Afrobeats – The New Black Music From the Motherland

Check out Dr Sid’s remix of ‘”Tornado” featuring X Factor Alexandra Burke! I know, it’s crazy 8O.

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Afrobeats were in the works between 2005-2010. In 2012, I went to an all Roundhouse music event where there was a seminar about Afrobeats. It had speakers such as Eddie Kadi, BBC Radio 1xtra’s Dj Edu and a host of others. The seminar was very engaging. It was clear that the genre has made many of us second generation immigrants (of African descent, living abroad) to have a sense of pride about our heritage. Even in 2006, when I went to Nigeria for the first time, I heard endless Afrobeats tracks that once began on the streets of Nigeria and Ghana. Both countries have already produced artists such as P Square, Dbanj (prior to his ‘Oliver Twist’ hit when he was with Don Jazzy), 2 Face Ididiba (who brought the amazing song “Africa Queen” in 2005), Timaya and Sardokie, who’s popularly known for his mother tongue rap. The seminar clearly celebrated the entrepreneurial spirit of Africans. External from Western ‘whitewashed’ music, African artists do many tours in Africa and are extreme A-listers on the continent (yes, they get paid). The video directors use small Canon cameras to produce videos that are equally up to the same standard as the West.

Meanwhile in the UK, Donaeo and Skepta (who are of African descent) another grime artists gradually began to bring Afro inspired beats to the urban UK sound.

Other grime/afrobeat artists bringing both bridges together are Afrikan Boy, Mista Silva and new cat Burna Boy.

Even though I previusly mentioned that Afrobeats was in the works between 2005-2010, I think we need to rewind further. Wayyy back to, let’s say the 70s.

Ah,  the glorious years of Fela Kuti. My parents always spoke of his creativity and outspokenness about issues, as well as his instrumental powers of the three things that never departed in Black music: vocals, drums and dance. He was the one who laid the foundation of the name. He took the genre after learning it from Ghana’s highlife (club party night) scene and made it the hottest export.

From him came both the traditional Nigerian music (both Yoruba and English) I always listened to whilst growing up. They still play those at weddings and party for out mamas and babas (papas) #Godblessthem. Who knew that Afrobeats will become a new move in Africa?  The plight of Afrobeats came after Dbanj’s hit ‘Oliver Twist’. in the UK. Sadly, he parted from Mavin Records CEO Don Jazzy (one of the biggest Afrobeat music producers) and got signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D music.

Dbanj also feaured Snoop Dogg on his “Edowned ” Remix.

P-Square also did a duet with Rick Ross

Personally my preference is towards P-Square’s collaboration with Rick Ross than D’banj. His music has gone downhill. He shouldn’t have left Don Jazzy over something stupid. #Justsaying.

The genre reached a high mark after Fuse ODG ‘s (who is of Ghanaian descent) recent track “Dangerously Love” ft Sean Paul reached number 3 in the UK Singles! If that wasn’t enough, his debut track “Antenna” was among BET’s Top 10 on 106 & Park! Whoa. The power of social media is giving Afrobeat artists the freedom to reach audiences than ever before. Afterall, Africa has the most mobile users in the world. Fuse ODG has launched few dance competitions via Youtube.

From the streets of West Africa, other countries are beginning produced their own style of African music. The Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo and  Togo have the famous DJ Arafat, Fally Ipupa, Koffi Olomide and  Toofan. Angola have Anselmo Ralph, JD and Yuri Da Cunha.

Mozambique have Lizha James.

South African duo Mafikizolo  are huge in the South,  their massive fame is being felt across Africa. While West Africa is influence with hilife beats, South Africa are being leaders of the emerge of kwaito-house with the duo as well as Uhuru. This type of music is not like the common dance music of the West but one that has smooth-cooler dance African rhythm with mother-tongue chants/lyrics.

From this, collaboration with artists from other African countries have become very common; bringing musical, dance influences from those countries unto the mainstream. I guess its best to say that this is the beginning of a new United Africa.

Iyana ft Flavour  – Jomobolo (from Tombolo, Congolese)

Wiz Kid – Azonto (Ghanaian dance)

Afrobeats is the only genre that celebrates,the beauty of Black women and marriage. I’ve lost count as to how many songs give gratitude to the Black women (both in love and lust) who are popularized as ratchet in Western media. P-Square were known to have popular love songs  as well as Bracket, Tiwa Savage, Flavour and Diamond (Platinumz). I understand that they’re a host of others.  Afrobeats is played loud and clear in the streets of London town. In the car, in the garden… Even at weddings, especially African ones, Afrobeats is now in the mix now. No more modern American music. They’re even more Afrobeat club parties these days.

With the celebrations of Afrobeats comes speculation. Firstly, I’m seeing a lot of people referring to Afrobeats to ‘Afropop’. Abeg, call it Afrobeats because that’s what it is. Also, Davido has been accused for stealth of many beats tracks from emerging artists such as Password and Dammy Krane as well established artist including Wizkid, who Davido has stolen the spotlight from.

Michael Jackson ‘stole’ the moonwalk from Jeffery Daniels (Nigerian Idol Judge) which was originally known as the backslide.

In terms of Davido taking beats and track, should there be a copyrights law put in place to prevent this happening?

I always say it and I repeat myself again give credit to whom credit due. Michaeel Jackson never gave credit to the moonwalk teachers. Davido didn’t even give eye to Dammy Krane who was known for his dance miove. He better be careful, because what goes around comes around.

Prior to ending this post, we can conclude that Afrobeats is on the rise. Whilst this is great news, let’s remember to keep the pureness of what it is. The genre is doing well in Africa so we don’t need acceptance, co-orp or help from Western nations. They’ve done enough colonizing. In the words reflected at the African Union Summit, let Africans be themselves and build their own future from Western influence and dependence.

Forget about ‘copying’ like the West. Afrobeat music is for Africans/Black people across the diaspora. So you can forget those stereotypes of starving children, sticks and huts. For goodness sake, starving children are everywhere. Including the West, where homeless and poverty are on the rise.

That explains why Black people are hostile about giving to aid/humanitarian charities. LOL 😀

Colonization wasn’t made to help Africa, it was there for capitalist gains for Europeans. This is what is happening in the Middle East through ‘war on terror’ and the AFRICOM foolishness with stupid insurgencies by Boko Haram to stop Nigeria being a rival to the West. That’s why they’re spreading the propaganda of  the insecurity vulnerabilities in Africa to justify for brutal military/police state through funding the terrorists themselves, with money out of magic (thin air).

(sigh) Still, despite the *beep* from mediocre of maffias-of-higher power, at least Afrobeats celebrates the beauty of the motherland in all red, yellow, black and green.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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