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Afrikan Boy: 'There was Afrobeats before Abrantee'

UK RAPPER Afrikan Boy has said it is wrong for Choice FM DJ Abrantee to be heralded as the person who made Afrobeats popular in the UK.

The 22-year-old, who rose to prominence in 2007 with his track One Day I Went to Lidl, has said that it is about time African music got national recognition. But he believes that there were, and still are many other contributors to the genre, that do not get acknowledged.

“It’s about time Afrobeats has made it big, but [people like me] have been trying to push [Afrobeats] since 2000,” says Afrikan Boy. “It’s getting a lot of media attention, but there were countless DJs playing Afrobeats before Abrantee, so it is kind of unfair that everyone has coined it to him.”

Speaking exclusively to The Voice about his new single Kunta Kinte, the MC acknowledged that Abrantee’s weekly Afrobeats show on Choice FM gives the genre wide exposure. But he believes that the work put in by various other artists shouldn’t be forgotten.

“His show is a great movement. Two hours every Saturday night, what more could you ask for? But there have been a lot of DJs, artists and people who were really pushing the African movement through music for a while.”

Regardless of who has been credited with making Afrobeats popular in the UK, Afrikan Boy is excited by the fact that the genre is currently experiencing more mainstream recognition.

“Of course Afrobeats has always been popular, but there was a time when bashment and grime was reigning. We have the platform now. I had a meeting with my new record label and they were excited by the sound of Afrobeats. Everything has its time and it’s Africa’s time now.”

Look out for the full Afrikan Boy interview coming soon in The Voice. The single Kunta Kinte will be released on April 15 on Meltdown Records

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