Nigeria’s music sensation, Burna Boy, has once again made headlines with the release of his track “City Boys” from his seventh album, “I Told Them.” The song, which was released on August 25, 2023, has been creating ripples in the music industry, not just for its catchy beats but also for its unique sampling choice.
In a recent interview with Henrieviii of Kiss Fresh, Burna Boy delved into the inspiration behind the track. He explained his decision to use audio from J Hus’s Instagram story as the introduction to “City Boys.” J Hus, a British rapper and singer, often referred to himself as “Mr. Ugly,” a reflection of societal perceptions of black African men. Burna Boy highlighted that there was a time when black African men were not considered “aesthetically pleasing” or handsome by societal beauty standards. He mentioned, “There was a time in life when we (Black African Men) weren’t poppin’. You had to be a Light Skinned Boy.”
However, the narrative has shifted with the global rise of Afrobeats, UK Drills, and other music genres. Black-skinned men are now recognized and celebrated for their unique style and worth. Burna Boy emphasized this change, stating, “Now black-skinned men and everyone around them know their true worth. They aren’t ‘Ugly’ as they were previously projected to be.”
The song “City Boys” has been well-received, with its release propelling the album to debut at No.1 on the Official UK Albums chart. Additionally, Burna Boy recently earned seven nominations at the BET Hip-Hop Awards in September, further cementing his position as a leading figure in the music industry.
Several media outlets, including GRM Daily and Hypebeast, have also highlighted the track’s sampling of Jeremih’s classic R&B hit “Birthday Sex,” showcasing Burna Boy’s ability to blend different musical elements seamlessly.
As Burna Boy continues to push boundaries and challenge societal norms through his music, fans eagerly await more innovative tracks and collaborations from the Afrobeat superstar.