During the 16th Headies Awards ceremony in Atlanta, the globally recognized Nigerian singer Rema threw a subtle jab at his senior colleague, Burna Boy, while receiving his “African Artiste Of the Year” award. The African Artiste Of the Year and Next Rated awards are highly coveted prizes given to Nigeria’s most promising and outstanding upcoming artists.
Rema’s comment responded to Burna Boy’s recent interview with The New York Times, where he claimed that 90 per cent of Afrobeat songs lack depth and substance. Burna Boy emphasized that the genre primarily focuses on creating a lively and enjoyable atmosphere. He also pointed out that many Nigerian and African artists lack genuine life experiences, which, in his opinion, contributes to the shallowness of the Afrobeats genre.
During his acceptance speech, Rema indirectly referred to Burna Boy’s comments, stating that all Afrobeat songs don’t need deep meanings. He added that sometimes, people want to dance and have fun, which is perfectly okay. Rema’s response was met with mixed reactions from fans and industry stakeholders, with some supporting his stance. In contrast, others criticized him for not taking the opportunity to address Burna Boy’s concerns.
During his acceptance speech on Sunday, Rema, who defeated Burna Boy to win “African Artiste Of the Year” at Headies 2023 Awards, took a veiled dig at the “Last Last” crooner for his controversial statement. Rema emphasized that regardless of what Burna Boy chooses to label Afrobeats, they would all come together at Afrobeats award shows, emphasizing unity in the genre.
“Be it Afro Rave or Afro anything. We go all jam for Afrobeats award,”
Rema talking to Burna Boy stylishly right now is big flex 😂😂😂😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/DECyFT3MCP
— Incrdbl_Vikki 🇲🇦🇳🇬 (@VikkiP99) September 4, 2023