Burna Boy might have been the first Nigerian to win a Grammy with an original body of work, but that doesn’t mean he did it all single-handedly like he’d like you to believe.
He is, of course, one of the most influential artists of our generation, with many records broken and set, huge commercial success home and abroad, and critically acclaimed projects that, for one, cuts across genres and have an impact in the industry.
But the Burna Boy we all know didn’t just drop from heaven doing the best Afrobeats hits of our time. He was someone else many years ago, and the help he got on his way to the top is what made him who is.
Without further ado, here are five people who without, Burna would be no more than a failed artist like Sean Tizzle (who actually won the Next Rated over Burna Boy in 2014.)
Before 2014 when DJ Spinall collaborated with Burna Boy, the “Like To Party” singer was just a dancehall/reggae artist with a few hits under the belt. Many people don’t know but when the superstar DJ, Spinall came along, Burna Boy’s life changed forever. They did the afro-fusion hit “Gbagbe” together then.
Burna would later tell the story on another Spinall song called “Serious” in 2018 – a banger in its own right too. Maybe not so many people believed in Burna Boy then, but Spinall sure did.
Who was Burna Boy in 2016? A dancehall artist trying to make the switch to afro-pop but was finding it hard to crack the market like his peers. That didn’t stop Olamide from putting him on, though.
In hip-hop circles, the first introduction of Burna Boy was on Olamide’s 2016 album, “The Glory.” Olamide put him on two songs on that album. Two different songs! It was around this time he did “Link Up” with Phyno, too. Burna Boy has cred even amongst hip-hop heads because of this era.
Unlike others, Burna’s first real foray into the international market was a complete accident. Burna Boy’s first international hit, “Ye” became big because Kanye West dropped an album around that time and fans searching for Ye on streaming platforms were seeing Burna Boy.
Before we knew it, “Ye” is a monster hit, locally and internationally. Imagine if there was no Kanye West.
What Angelique Kidjo did for Burna cannot be over-emphasized. She exposed him to a whole new world including the exclusive Grammy community Burna Boy is now proud to be part of.
After losing to her at the Grammy’s, Burna Boy went to her, took some lessons, and came back twice as tall. Well, we all saw how it went down, didn’t we?
Without P Diddy, where would Burna Boy get the connections he needed to make “Twice As Tall” the beloved Grammy project? Let’s cut the crap, an American veteran rapper and superstar like Diddy co-signing you is a ticket to commercial success in the US, and that was what Burna Boy was gunning for.
Now, big question.
Do You Think It’s Reasonable For Burna Boy To Say He Won The Grammy All By Himself?
Let’s hear from you.
Drop a comment.