Did Burna Boy Sacrifice Local Acceptance For Global Fame?


Did Burna Boy Sacrifice Local Acceptance For Global Fame?

By Munah

With a variety of collaborations which include Stormzy, Sam Smith, Jon Bellion, Ed Sheeran in the recent past, Burna Boy has always been big on the international scene.

From the early days of his career until now, his music has carried him across eras and genres. But since he hit commercial success, his acceptance locally has been a topic of controversy.

Excerpts from the lyrics of his most recent collabo with Polo G consolidates the notion that Damini Ogulu seems to constantly alienate his local audience in order to enjoy global successes and walk proudly through the international hall of fame.

“I remember when they said they don’t believe in me no more
I was sleeping on the ground, on the cold floor
Whole time I was grinding, I’ve been tryin’ to achieve
Working night and day, you know my people no dey sleep
I got every Louis V collection from Virgil
And my life a fashion show, no rehearsal
Dior from Kim Jones, Bottega from Daniel
Hundred K my ring so I’m not shaking no hands though”

While he tries to drive the narrative that he doesn’t care so much about the local audience, ‘Question’, a song he released with one of the most credible African producers in the person of Don Jazzy, is a subtle whisper that Burna Boy takes to heart, what his local audience feel than he cares to admit.

Easily a banger, especially with Don Jazzy’s input, Question is a tune that satirically evokes a feeling of nostalgia, reminding you of how playful Burna Boy can be when he’s not making music that pricks the conscience of the society.

It is no hidden truth since Burna Boy hit global success, that he’s had to struggle with acceptance from the core of his audience here in Nigeria. The popular debates on Nigeria’s biggest music exports have always evolved around Wizkid and Davido.

Many times the Port Harcourt born artiste has had to voice out on his social media pages and quite truthfully, many of his fans have equally come out to express the same, sharing his opinion that Nigerians didn’t give him recognition until the rest of the world did.

His claim to fame is a proud aim at the stars in his Spaceship, one that has earned him a Grammy. With an ever-increasing hunger-for-more mindset, he is living up his self-acclaimed ‘African Giant’ title, despite pessimists telling him that his attitude will not take him far.

Question is a good song no doubt, but It has Burna boy sounding like an artist that is clapping back to an audience that has refused to hear his pain, feel his anxiety, or recognize his genius.

Just like the song, is the question of the topic one without an answer?




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