Did Drake popularise Afrobeats music?

7 January 2020, 10:14 | Updated: 7 January 2020, 10:22

Is Drake responsible for popularising Afrobeats ?
Is Drake responsible for popularising Afrobeats ? Picture: Getty

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.”

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.

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