June 15, 2024

I’m first artist to bring Afrobeats to America – Rotimi claims

Nigerian-American singer and actor Rotimi says he pioneered Afrobeats in the United States.

The ‘Power’ star claimed to have popularized Afrobeats-style music in the US before the ‘Afrobeats to the World’ movement gained momentum through international collaboration.

Speaking in a recent episode of the 85 South Show Podcast, Rotimi recalled bringing his single ‘Love Riddim’ to the radio stations in 2018 and it was not well received because of its Afrobeats influences.

“I remember bringing ‘Love Riddim’ to the radio stations in 2018 and the program director was like ‘This is not good’. They didn’t even understand it and this was before Wiz (Wizkid) got the record with Drake,” he said.

“I can comfortably say I brought Afrobeats to America.”

His claims have elicited heavy reactions on social media, with many observers pointing out that Nigerian-American singer, Ayo Jay’s ‘Your Number’ (2015), Drake and Wizkid’s ‘One Dance’ (2016), and Davido’s ‘Fall’ and ‘If’ (2017), which were Afrobeats songs that enjoy some success in the United States, all predated Rotimi’s ‘Love Riddim,’ which was released in 2018.

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