There are certain features that make us unique and different from other human beings. Some of these traits are it good or bad can’t be removed because it makes up our existence as human beings; it’s in our DNA.
Burna Boy might be the “Odogwu“, “The African Giant” of the Nigerian Nigerian music industry but he’s human-like every people. Over the years, we have watched him grow to one of Africa’s most exquisite, and we’ve got to deduce traits that can never be taken him from him. In this article, we would be examining five things that can never be taken from Burna Boy.
1. His Vocal Signature – “OluwaBurna”
If you’ve been a fan of Burna for a long time, you cant listen to his music and not hear the words “Oluwaburna” or “Oluwaburna ti de“. He says it to announce himself on a song, to end verses, and pretty much anytime he wants, like on his hit single “Ye” and several tracks ”Yes, so many other artistes like Zlatan, Davido are ardent users of slangs in their music, but that of Burna’s is spiritual and deep. Fans have gotten accustomed to him using slangs in his songs, and interestingly, he uses these slangs in his international collaborations. The reader of this article would agree with me that a Burna Boy song without slang is incomplete.
Burna Boy is notable for incurring the wrath of Nigerians on social media, especially the Nigerian Twitter-sphere, and in the end, he got fed up and left the platform. We’ve lost count of times the self-acclaimed African Giant has proved to be arrogant and narcissistic.. well in the opinions of thousands of critics. However, many have argued that Burna Boy is not proud but merely a confident man and unapologetic that knows what he wants, says whatever he wants regardless of the consequences- a bolder Fela.
You would vividly recall the Coachella Bruohaha that stirred controversy and brought about the birth of his drama with Nigerians on social media. The organizers of one of the world’s most celebrated music festivals, Coachella announced the complete line up of performers for its 2019 edition. With the likes of prominent international acts announced as headline acts, Nigerians were excited as two of its own; Burna Boy and Mr. Eazi were also billed to perform on the Coachella stage.
— Coachella (@coachella) January 3, 2019
To the dismay of Nigerians who were celebrating this feat, Burna Boy had a bigger concern on his mind, and that was with the character or font with which his name was written on the Coachella advert. “@coachella I appreciate you. But I don’t appreciate the way my name is written so small in your bill. I am an AFRICAN GIANT and will not be reduced to whatever that tiny writing means. Fix things quickly, please.”
Due to this statement, he was called out for coming from a place of limited understanding and having a false sense of entitlement as other acts like Kendrick Lamar, Asap Rocky, Seun Kuti, Azealia Banks, Frank Ocean and a host of other superstars appeared in small fonts. He continued to irk Nigerians after this, but after declaring himself the best after Fela and bragging about paving the way himself and for other African artistes, they felt he had gone way too far.
“FACT! I always knew I was, and I am THE BEST. Everyone you think is the best know I’m best since Fela Kuti, “But @timayatimaya told me something a long time ago that made me not care about being the best. The World can do without the Best” the world will still spin regardless,
“Remember I Told you I was the African Giant and most of you laughed and said I should be grateful for small fonts. I pray that you learn from me. I mean this in no bragging way and the wise know that the Future of Africa depends on the kind of strength and resilience I show. “You say “thank God he didn’t win”. Because I tell the truth? And because of your twisted Fake views on humility. I’ve been out here With My Family since 2012 going through unspeakable things just to get here against all the odds.
NOBODY paved shit for me. Everybody dey finds them own. I bin out here if you knew the way they made us look weak by begging and paying the western world to like us you will see that no table was set and I’m the one that brought you the Respect you currently enjoy.”
At that time, Burna was already achieving unimaginable all over the world. He had sold-out shows, received prestigious awards plus the Grammy nod, so it as if the full-blown success that was getting into his head. Despite all the bashing and dragging, Burna Boy still does whatever he likes, and he says no one can do anything about it. You can even tell from some of his music.
Just like American singer, Beyonce, who affirmed that she alter ego, Sasha Fierce consumes her when she gets on stage, Burna Boy is a totally different man when he gets on stage. The singer is unarguably one of the best performers in the continent. Music fans, including his critics, have attested to the fact that he is a beautiful performer.
Word on the streets says that you would have no other choice but spellbound once he climbs the stage, it’s like you’re on a different planet and space. His energy is unmatched, and he’s like a drug without side effects. Some people even stated that watching him perform on stage would make you want to steal your own money and also make you fall in love with his songs the more. You might intensely dislike Burna Boy, but you can’t hate his music energy.
4. Mama Burna
If there is one thing we are sure that we can’t take from Burna Boy, it’s his mother; the famous Bose Ogulu popularly known as “Mama Burna“. Like every artist’s wishes, they had a momager like her. Fans have watched her boost her son’s career, which has continued to progress over the years, but no one understands how she does it. The woman who is argued to have once danced for Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo- Kuti is a strong believer in the African spirit that the singer preached in his time and her son’s music.
However, what’s more, important is her accomplishments as not only a manager but an academic and professional in the music business. Mrs. Bose is not a neophyte to the music business. Her father, Benson Idonije, a well-known radio host, was Fela Kuti’s first band manager. Her father’s nature of business exposed her to how things are being run in the music industry from an early age.
With a Bachelor of Arts in foreign languages (she is fluent in French, Italian, German, English, and Yoruba), and a Masters of Arts in translation, Mrs. Bose had a successful career as a translator for the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce, and held other prominent roles in the teaching sector and the music business. Even with her achievements, Bose is a wife of 29 years and a full-time mother to three children, also a manager to Nissi Nation and her dad, Benson Idonije.
With her strong personality and mind-blowing speeches, she sure has garnered the attention of fans all over the globe. You would recall her iconic address at the 2018 SoundCity MVP Awards Festival where she accepted his award for Best African Artiste on his behalf. “They say he dey craze, he no normal. Thank you for 2018. 2019, expect more madness,”
And she was true to her words as Burna Boy shattered 2019 with full force. The singer bagged awards, nominations, broke records, and even received the prestigious Grammy nod. She made the headlines again in 2019 when she accepted his BET award for Best International act. “Thank you BET, Thank you, Africa, because that’s the constituency for which we got noticed in the first place. The message from Burna, I believe will be that every black person should please remember that you were Africans before you became anything else.”
Her epic acceptance speech got a rapturous response, and she was given a standing ovation and viral reactions on social media, especially from African-Americans who agreed with her statement. Even Burna has spoked about how she is the only person qualified to talk to him. A curious fan had asked in his famous question and answered questions back in March about why he chose his mom as his manager. Burna clearly stated that she is the only human being he trusts 100%.
Because she is the only person qualified to talk to me and she is the only living human being that I truly 100% TRUST. https://t.co/2J2tbdqRge
— Burna Boy (@burnaboy) March 31, 2020
Burna Boy was only a kid when Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti passed away, but that was enough time for the “African Giant” to be inspired. He claims to have been the one to have coined the term “Afro-Fusion,” a genre that brings together Caribbean influences, R&B, and pops all threaded by Afrobeat. Burna Boy has done an outstanding job in pushing the afrobeat genre out of Africa, but he didn’t do it alone though.
Afrobeat was the main reason Burna Boy came to be in the first place, so this is probably the only thing you can never take away for him. Remove afrobeat from Burna Boy, and you might only get a weird sounding Rastafarian or perhaps a Nigerian sounding Bob Marley. All in all, Burna would still turn out great because the talent is inbuilt. From his style of music, his dressing, performance on stage, and even manner of speaking, everything about him reeks of Afrobeat; it’s with him for life.
Did we miss anything out? Do let us know in the comment section below… Thanks