Is This The Year That African Music Will Conquer The United States?


David Adedeji Adeleke, a.k.a. rapper, singer and producer Davido: “Most music that comes out these days has our elements already in it, so why wouldn’t the people love African music?” (Tom Oxley)

Whether it’s through hip-hop, R&B, Top 40 radio or Internet memes, Drake is a ubiquitous presence on our cultural landscape. Yet for all of his inescapable hits in the past few years (“Hotline Bling,” “Started From the Bottom,” guesting on Rihanna’s “Work,” to name a few), it was only in May that Drake finally topped the Billboard charts, with the bubbling, shuffling beat of “One Dance.” And while Drake is known to assist rising stars such as Migos and iloveMakonnen, on “One Dance,” he was the one who got a boost, from singer Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, better known as Wizkid.

All but unknown in the United States, Wizkid is a star in his native Nigeria and a major force behind Afrobeats, a fidgety musical hybrid mashing Afro-pop, Caribbean soca and American hip-hop (not to be confused with Afrobeat, the genre pioneered by…click here to continue reading


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