Did Drake popularise Afrobeats music?
7 January 2020, 10:14 | Updated: 7 January 2020, 10:22
After Drake's RapRadar interview, many fans have been debating whether he popularised Afrobeats music with songs 'One Dance' and 'Come Closer'.
Drake’s recent comments on his influence on the Afrobeats scene has cause a lot of controversy within the afro-music community.
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In his RapRadar interview fans originally was struck by him claiming Rihanna was "in the middle" of his and Chris Brown's friendship. However, fans are debating whether Drizzy made Afro-beats mainstream.
However, during the interview is causing consternation after he credited his song “One Dance” with exposing American audiences to the sound preeminently known as Afrobeats.
When asked about his response to people claiming he is a "culture vulture" Drake said “I’m not one of those people who gets inspired by something and [mimics snatching something with his hands] ‘Oh, that was inspiring, thanks…’
The Canadian rapper continued "‘One Dance’ goes No. 1 and all of a sudden, it’s Afro-inspired, but… Wizkid was on the song with me and I had blessings from the real dons in that space. I know those guys…
"The chatter is one thing, but in the community, I’m solidified.”
Drake needs to shut up his stinking mouth, he did not popularise Afrobeats.— TAEHYUNG LOVEDOWN (@mmeonysus) December 27, 2019
This genre has BEEN popular especially amongst Africa and Europe, it’s been this year especially that many of our artists have broken through due to THEIR talent and nobody else’s.
Drake is a thief. https://t.co/cnijAWGDnL
Drizzy also spoke on “cultural appropriation,” to help clarify his point, further saying he is not trying to steal any other artists buzz without giving them appropriate credit.
“The definition of appropriating a culture is not supporting that culture, doing songs with people who are deeply rooted in that culture, giving opportunity to people who are in that culture,” he explained.
“That’s not appropriating. Appropriating is taking it for your own personal gain and denying that it was ever inspired from this.”
Many fans took to social media and debated on whether Drake popularised Afro music and whether the songs he has made constitutes as Afro-beats or Afro-Pop.
One fan wrote “Drake deserves no credit for popularising Afrobeats,” on Twitter. While another fan wrote “Most people don’t consider ‘One Dance’ Afrobeats and these times all Wizkid did on the song was whisper”
Fans began chiming in the debate with factual evidence that Drake has helped popularise Afro music.
A fan tweeted “Drake's 2016 international hit "One Dance," once the most-streamed song on Spotify, featured Nigerian Afrobeats artist Wizkid, who would go on to sign with RCA Records in what became the biggest record deal ever for an African artist”.
See the counter-arguments below.
I think as NYers its deceptively easy for us to assume that the rest of the US operates like us. Other ppl really had ZERO access to Afrobeats before big artists started to collab. Do I think Drake introduced it to the US? No. But he definitely helped in some capacity— Hotep Meme Archaeologist (@Jvmessays) January 7, 2020
Making room for Afrobeats to have a wider audience. Black Americans have to be spoon fed anything that doesn’t sound like us. I do think Drake played a vital role in bridging the gap. But popularize? Naha— RAVYN💇🏽♀️ (@slaymeravyn) January 7, 2020
Drake really implied that he popularized Afrobeats. Whew, the DELUSION.— busayo (@_beksnotbecky) January 7, 2020
Drake did not make Afrobeats poppin but the success of "One Dance" did help the progression. Really not sure how anyone can argue that.— Nigel D. (@NigelDPresents) December 27, 2019