Burna Boy is on a roll, ruffling feathers all over the internet. He caught a lot of heat for his controversial stance regarding the disconnect between African Americans and their roots. He’s now using Malcolm X and Minister Louis Farrakhan to make his point.
The 32-year-old artist is actively promoting his upcoming album, I Told Them and appeared on Complex’s 360 With Speedy. Host Speedy Morman brought up his recent rant and Burna dismissed the negative rebuttals.
“My mission is to bring us together,” he said. “My mission is to build a bridge that can’t be broken, a bridge that should’ve always been there. So for me, that’s not really relevant. I don’t really look at none of that because I feel like when people say that, they have their own agendas.”
The Nigerian artist then mentioned the two activists to clarify this statement.
“There’s nothing I said that Malcolm X didn’t say,” he said. “There’s nothing I said that The Honorable Louis Farrakhan didn’t say. But, obviously, it’s Burna Boy saying it and he’s from Africa. All that’s beneath me. My mission and my movements [are] too divine for stupid sh*t like that.”
The comment that had fans riled up was Burna’s response to a question activist Chaka Bars asked him in March. Chaka asked, “Why it is important for the African diaspora to come home.”
"Why is it important that the diaspora come home?"
Burna Boy: pic.twitter.com/YUP5W5BYIG
— 🐬 @𝗼𝗻𝗲𝗷𝗼𝗯𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗯𝗼𝘆 (@OneJoblessBoy) March 17, 2023
Burna’s response highlighted how several ethnic groups can trace their lineage to the first member of their family who came to America, but that’s not the case for most African Americans.
“Same goes to everyone else except the African-American,” he said. Before the clip ended, he implied the inability of African Americans to trace their roots could be a hindrance. “How can an African-American and an Italian-American be on the same field,” he added.
While his comments got under the skin of some, Burna was unapologetic about his views, stating they are all part of the “bridges” he is building at this point in his career.
The Grammy-winning artist previously had people in an uproar recently with his comments about the Afrobeat music genre. Blavity recently reported on Burna’s views about the genre during his interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music.
“90% of them have almost no real-life experiences that they can understand, which is why you hear most of Nigerian music, or I’ll say African… I don’t even know what to say, Afrobeats as people call it, it’s mostly about nothing, literally nothing. There’s no substance to it,” he said. “Nobody is talking about anything in it. It’s just a great time.”
He continued, “No matter how nice of a time you’re having now or you had at some point or you plan to have, you’re still going to face life. So it’s like, for me, I feel like music should be that, music should be the essence of the artist, you understand?”
Burna Boy speaks on AfroBeats as a genre
“… AfroBeats as people call it, is mostly about nothing, literally nothing. there’s no substance to it — like, nobody is talking about anything in it. it’s just a great time.” pic.twitter.com/rfzOtCaZZY
— benny. (@benny7gg) August 22, 2023
Later, in his interview with Morman, Burna spoke about his work in the AfroFusion genre. The artist is often credited with its origin and stated it “can’t be boxed in” like the alternative.
“I created Afrofusion because I didn’t want to be boxed into any AfroBeats or any Hip-Hop, because I don’t believe in genres,” he said.
You can watch the interview below.