“Regardless Of Your Status, Respect For Afrobeats Should Be Upheld,” Says Bella Shmurda

April 2nd, 2024

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Bella Shmurda shares his dissatisfaction with the recent denigration of Afrobeats.

Bella Shmurda replies Nigerian artists disrespecting Afrobeats

Wizkid became the latest artist to try to dissociate himself from Afrobeats after a rant via his Instagram story.

Wizkid’s rant about not being called an Afrobeats artist and how Afrobeats fans shouldn’t listen to his music reminded many of Burna Boy’s infamous statement about Afrobeats.

In a recent interview on The 90s Show shared his thoughts on the big names disrespecting Afrobeats.

Bella Shmurda shared that he was displeased with the recent comments he saw about Afrobeats from big artists and he wanted to say something on social media but he didn’t want to risk having issues with people.

“We all artists should respect Afrobeats. This is our thing you can’t downgrade it no matter what level you’re. The country is bad, the government is bad and this (Afrobeats) is the source of our happiness and you can’t downgrade it,” Bella Shmurda said in response to the growing denigration of Afrobeats.

Bella Shmurda also had words for the big artists who have said unflattering comments on Afrobeats in a bid to distinguish themselves. Bella made it clear these big artists don’t support the local awards or perform in Nigeria but they claim to be representing Africa when they go in search of Western acclaim.

“We have Headies Awards, we have AFRIMA, they call you and you don’t want to perform because you’re too big but when you go for these international awards you try to give Africa shoutouts and make it look like you’re representing Africa. Leave the shoutouts, it’s for yourself. You’re not real and you’re not representing Africa because if you’re representing Africa, you will be at an African award,” Bella opined in an emotional plea that carries the palpable pain that informs his position.

On the defense that artists are refusing to be boxed in award categories by the Afrobeats tag, Bella opined that Nigerian artists should prioritize the Nigerian and African awards that understand their music. And even if they want to brand their music to fit into other categories outside of Afrobeats, they should do that without denigrating Afrobeats.

“If they try to categorise us, let’s prioritize our own. If you want to be acknowledged properly, from home, you have to be that person. If we take our own seriously, these people won’t have a choice”.

Bella Shmurda further stated that those who should be leading are more preoccupied with validation from outside and this informs their condescending behaviour towards Afrobeats.

“Those who are supposed to be at the top and should be leading Afrobeats, I think they are more interested in validation from outside and this shouldn’t be so”.

The constant jabs at the origin, intrinsic value, and utility of Afrobeats have been a source of concern for stakeholders in the industry. Bella Shmurda’s thought on the subject is a powerful contribution towards maintaining the integrity and value of Afrobeats.

the full interview Bella Shmurda interview with The 90s Show runs for 1 hour 34 minutes. You can watch it below.


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