“90% of them, have almost no real-life experiences that they can understand, which is why you hear most of Nigerian music, or I’ll say African… I don’t even know what to say, Afrobeats as people call it, it’s mostly about nothing, literally nothing. There’s no substance to it,” Burna Boy said. “Nobody is talking about anything in it. It’s just a great time.”
According to Burna Boy, the genre doesn’t reflect the reality of life.
“But at the end of day, life is not an amazing time,” he said. “No matter how nice of a time you’re having now or you had at some point or you plan to have, you’re still going to face life. So it’s like, for me, I feel like music should be that, music should be the essence of the artist, you understand?”
Musicians, according to Burna Boy, should express life’s trials and tribulations through their work.
“The artist is a person who has good days, bad days, great days, and worst days,” he said. “And for me, if I give you something like this with my face on it, and my name, then I should be giving you that experience. That should be a window for you to see some of that essence.”
Fans of the Afrobeats genre saw the rapper’s remarks as disrespectful and inaccurate.
“This is ignorance at its peak!” one person said. “A great time is not ‘nothing’. It is something. Something tangible. Afrobeats has lifted a lot of people out of depression. During #EndSARS protested using Davido’s FEM as our anthem. @burnaboyshould stop capping rubbish just because he wants to sell his album.”
This is ignorance at its peak! A great time is not 'nothing'. It is something. Something tangible. Afrobeats has lifted a lot of people out of depression. During #EndSARS protested using Davido's FEM as our anthem. @burnaboy should stop capping rubbish just because he wants to…
— Dr. Kelvin Alaneme (@Kelvin_Alaneme) August 23, 2023
Critics also argued that Afrobeats is not all about having a good time.
Respect but while AfroBeats does emphasize enjoyment & rhythm, dismissing it as lacking substance overlooks its diversity. Just like any genre, AfroBeats can vary widely in content and depth. It’s essential to recognize its ability to both entertain and carry significant message.
— Official Anza (@Official_ANZA) August 23, 2023
Several social media users also defended the 32-year-old artist.
“Where is the lie??” one person wrote. “Most of these afrobeats artists just sing literally nothing They need to reflect who they are on their song just like burna does….listening to any song from burna i can tell what mood he is in while making the song.”
Where is the lie??
Most of these afrobeats artists just sing literally nothing
They need to reflect who they are on their song just like burna does….listening to any song from burna i can tell what mood he is in while making the song
— Deh_Blvck🦍 (@Uceee_Okeke) August 22, 2023
Burna Boy, who is planning to soon release his seventh studio album, recently shared the track list for his project on social media, Hypebeast reported. The album, which will include 15 songs, features artists such as 21 Savage, Dave, J. Cole, Byron Messia and Seyi Vibez.