Songs are sent in to big artists and labels as a norm, but for Drake, with his history, this isn’t just standard practice.
cross all platforms, on social media and comment sections, the major reaction has been outrage at the way Burna Boy was treated. People believe that Drake is a ‘culture vulture’ judging by his dealings with other musicians from Africa and the Caribbean whose association, influence and skill he has used to score chart-breaking projects and generated more cash for his pockets.
Standard Music Practice
Honestly, what he did is the standard practice in the music industry. This world of creativity is a jungle. The food chain is obeyed, where the bigger fish eats the smaller one. Just like the laws that guide the wild, it’s a survival of the fittest. There are no ideal situations when musicians deal with each other. They are simply trying to get their hands on the latest piece of music, influence and contribution that would
Honestly, what he did is the standard practice in the music industry. This world of creativity is a jungle. The food chain is obeyed, where the bigger fish eats the smaller one. Just like the laws that guide the wild, it’s a survival of the fittest. There are no ideal situations when musicians deal with each other. They are simply trying to get their hands on the latest piece of music, influence and contribution that would propel their brand, influence and bank accounts to the next level.
That’s why the bigger artists deal the smaller artists a hard hand. What Drake did to Burna Boy isn’t new. It isn’t the first time it has happened, and it will never be the last time. When you traverse the working spaces of musicians, these sort of stories appears to be the norm. People record with each other every day, artists pay insane sums to get a verse, others simply have their material jacked and appropriated without compensation or acknowledgement. There are very rules guiding this, and many of these musicians have very little funding to take legal actions, so they become victims of a sad story.
Distrust of Major ‘Saviour’ Labels
But here’s why Nigerians are angry at Drake specifically for this. A section of music listeners and enthusiasts are sceptical about the motives of the major labels and the international artists who have arrived on the shores of Nigeria seeking to ‘throw the spotlight, extract the best talents, and market them to the world’. And this is because we have seen this happen to the Caribbean dancehall artists, like Mavado, Kevin Lyttle, and a few others who were given platforms, drawn closer and studied. The end goal is that they stay relevant for a project or two before their sound is ultimately ripped and replicated by homegrown artists for profit.
Drake’s dealing with Popcaan on the song ‘Controlla’ was a prime example. The Jamaican singer originally was featured on the unofficial version, but when it was time for the 2016 album to be made, Popcaan was taken off the track completely.
For Wizkid, the singer was part of the process for ‘One Dance’, but his contribution was limited. The singer would later fail to appear on the video for the phenomenal record, which was shot in Africa (Cape Town, South Africa), a mere 6-hour flight from Wizkid’s home in Lagos, Nigeria. Nigerians were disappointed and angry that Drake wasn’t also a part of Wizkid’s two visuals for ‘Come Closer’. After all, ‘One Dance’ created a wave, which artists like Omarion utilized for ‘Destiny’, and French Montana and Swae Lee found themselves in Angola for a video of ‘Unforgettable’.
No Credit For Burna Rankin’
Nigerians are also mad that Burna Boy got no credit for his role on the project. No matter the inner dealings that happened, if Burna Boy submitted vocals for a project, which was chopped and added to the single’s outro, he deserves some form of credit. That didn’t happen for the ‘More life’ project. On the Black Coffee’s ‘Superman’ song he remade as ‘Get it together’ – South African R&B singer, Bucie, who voiced the original was taken off and replaced with a British artist, Jorja Smith, who performed her part. Burna Boy was added at the outro, and he got no credit or acknowledgement for his role. This isn’t morally right. But it happens in the business world.
Nigerians see this as the moves of a ‘culture vulture’, who is simply feeding on the influence, skill and creativity of prominent artists from niche regions for personal gain. That’s the core reason why Nigerians are angry. People get cut off records all the time. Songs are sent in to big artists and labels as a norm, but for Drake, with his history, this isn’t just standard practice. It is seen as ‘taking advantage’ of Africa’s wealth of talents.