Artist Profile: WizKid and the AfroBeat Revolution in Hip Hop

Hip Hop has taken many turns in the past couple years, with many sub-genres arising. Amongst the likes of pioneers such as Yung Lean to XXXtentacion, a new rapper has emerged in the American Hip Hop scene: his name is WizKid, and he reps the genre Afrobeat.

What is Afrobeat? Afrobeat is a genre that originated in the 1970’s in Ghana and Nigeria. It was a combination of the traditional West African music style, Fuji, blended with the influence of American funk and jazz. Over the years it has evolved, highlighting the importance of deep percussion and catchy vocals that give it a very similar vibe to Caribbean Dancehall music.

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PHOTO: 36ng.ng

Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun (a.k.a. WizKid) is arguably one of West Africa’s hottest Afrobeat artists today. Wiz’s past hits include “Daddy Yo”, “Final (Baba Nia)”, and “Ojuelegba” (check out the link below for a remix with Drake and Skepta). He began receiving international recognition in 2015 after his feature on One Dance by Drake and has been popping off ever since.

His latest album, Sounds From The Other Side, was released this past summer and features big-name artists such as Drake, Ty Dolla $ign, and Major Lazer. My favorite hits off the album include “Come Closer” (feat. Drake), “Dirty Wine” (feat. Ty Dolla $ign), and “One For Me” (feat. Ty Dolla $ign). Wiz has a feature on Wale’s new song, “My Love” alongside Dua Lipa and Major Lazer, and is well worth a listen.

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PHOTO: Hypebeast

Some beats to check out:

“Ojuelegba Remix” (feat. Drake and Skepta)

“Come Closer” (feat. Drake) for the hypest music I have ever seen

Last, click here for a groovy Afrobeat playlist I made that can help you fool your friends into thinking you are very cultured or to help get bodies movin’ at your next function.

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