By NWABUEZE EZE/NNN
Burna Boy, the Nigerian artist and self-proclaimed advocate for pan-Africanism, has found himself embroiled in controversy once again. His latest album, “I Told Them,” has arrived amidst a storm of criticism after the artist made comments about Black Americans and immigrants in the United States.
During an interview with a journalist, Burna Boy suggested that Chinese and Italian immigrants in the US have a more favorable experience compared to African Americans because they have a stronger connection to their roots. However, many critics were quick to point out that Chinese and Italian immigrants came to the US voluntarily, unlike African Americans who were forcibly brought to the country as slaves.
This is not the first time that Burna Boy has courted controversy. In a 2020 interview with The Guardian, he expressed admiration for former Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi. Despite his controversial statements, Burna Boy’s popularity has been on the rise. He recently became the first African artist to headline a US stadium concert, drawing a crowd of 41,000 people at New York‘s Citi Field.
Burna Boy has been strategically building his fan base among Western audiences. He has collaborated with artists such as Sam Smith, Justin Bieber, and Coldplay’s Chris Martin. His latest album, “I Told Them,” however, focuses on Nigerian talent, featuring collaborations with Seyi Vibez and J Cole.
The album is shorter and more streamlined than its predecessor, with a strong emphasis on catchy hooks and bulletproof songwriting. Burna Boy draws influence from a variety of sources, from Fela Kuti to UK rap. The album’s sound is vibrant and sunny, incorporating synthesizers, guitars, and smooth 80s pop elements.
While Burna Boy’s desire to unite Africa and its diaspora is a recurring theme in interviews, it takes a backseat on “I Told Them.” The album primarily celebrates the artist’s success and charm rather than delving into political issues. Despite the controversy surrounding his comments, Burna Boy’s undeniable talent and catchy melodies ensure that his album is likely to leave a lasting impression on listeners.