A beginner’s guide to Afrobeats.
Let me paint the scene. You’re at a party, feeling the vibes while sipping your drink and checking out that hottie, when a dope dance track comes on making you feel like you want to bust out some serious moves. I mean, like, go all out, whining your waist, pretending you’re Jessica Alba in Honey.
But then, it hits you. What is this music? It’s not reggaeton, or soca, or electronic or even dancehall. Sorta sounds like all those things but different, with a language you can’t quite place, but has sprinkles of English words. You Shazam it real quick, see the artist’s name, but it still doesn’t fully click. This my friend, is how the crash course into Afrobeats begins.
What is Afrobeats?
Afrobeats is currently hottest export from the continent of Africa, or more specifically, the city of Lagos, Nigeria (affectionately called Naija). It has taken the world by storm with other African countries like Ghana, Congo, South Africa, Kenya, and Angola definitely contributing to the mix.
Two of the genres biggest stars, Mr Eazi and Burna Boy, both performed at Coachella this April. Another star, Davido received a BET International Act Award, and Yemi Alade’s collab with Rick Ross is slated to be a summer hit with over 3M hits on Youtube. The genre name is a tad controversial, because the music is definitely not a monolith, but for the sake of bringing you up to speed, let’s call it Afrobeats. At least, until the genre names are properly established.
These dance tracks should be on your playlist, and if they aren’t, you’re missing out on the global phenomenon that is inspiring many a viral dance videos from Johannesburg to Paris to Korea. For inspo see the videos below:
Okay, so your’e getting the hang of it now. In conclusion, we’ve put together a hot Afrobeats playlist for you with all the hits. Songs that might inspire you to create your own viral dance videos *wink wink*. If you do, please share, we want to see it. Enjoy!