Two South Africans shone at Nigeria’s annual Sound City MVP Awards over the weekend. Busiswa won in the Best Female MVP category and AKA was given the Best Hip Hop award.
But it was Nigerian singer Burna Boy who scooped the most awards. The afrofusion artist put out the monster, Ye, and was rewarded handsomely for it. In addition to Ye producer Phantom winning the Producer of the Year award, Burna Boy bagged four awards including Song of the Year and African Artiste of the Year.
Burna Boy might have been the real MVP of the evening but all eyes were on his mother as she set social media ablaze when she gave an acceptance speech on her son’s behalf as he was out of town.
She reportedly said: “Thank you to the fans. Thank you to YouTube. Thank you Kanye West for making a mistake and calling your album Ye, Thank you for 2018. 2019, expect more madness.”
There is no doubt that Burna Boy had a great 2018. It was no surprise then that he would be billed to play at the Coachella Valley Music and Art Festival in California this year.
Granted, Beyoncé pretty much killed any chance of the world being as excited as it was for any Coachella that would follow that game-changing performance. But what’s the event to do? Stop existing because Beyoncé isn’t coming back?
This year, the likes of Solange, Childish Gambino, Kid Cudi, Janelle Monae and Ariana Grande are billed to perform. They will be joined by Mr Eazi and his fellow Naija star, Burna Boy.
The aesthetic of the Coachella poster is similar to an eye test - there’s one big name followed by a few more and as the list goes on, the font gets smaller. Burna Boy was not happy that his name was barely visible under Ariana’s big name and took to social media to express that.
“I am an AFRICAN GIANT and will not be reduced to whatever that tiny writing means. Fix tings quick please,” he wrote on his Insta story.
And can you believe people tried to check him for saying that?
There’s no denying that Burna Boy is a force to be reckoned with on the continent. What surprised me was that it was not American Twitter who came for Burna Boy.
It was mostly Nigerians who were either making fun of him or acting shocked that he didn’t want to be “reduced” to anything.
It’s 2019, I would hope that by now, most people have a sense of pride and patriotism when it comes to the music from their home.
Maybe what it takes is more Americans to value Oluwa Burna before the rest of the continent climbs on board the GIANT train. We’ll see.