Tupac’s Towering Legacy: A Benchmark Burna Boy Can’t Reach

A recent rendezvous that sent shockwaves through the music world is the partnership between Nigeria’s ‘Afro-fusion’ performer, Burna Boy, and the American rapper, J Cole. While their collaborative track, “Thanks,” from Burna Boy’s latest album, ‘I Told Them,’ has been making waves, it’s the off-mic conversation that’s got tongues wagging.

Speaking in a recent interview, Burna Boy narrated how he ended up in the studio with J Cole and a group of “tall as hell” basketball players. The self-proclaimed African Giant said he cannot categorically explain the “dynamics behind” his collaboration with the US rapper.

Burna Boy argued that Cole — after being impressed with his performance — said “This n*gga’s Tupac reincarnated in Africa”.

The question that needs to be answered is if this a valid parallel, or is it a disservice to the legacy of the iconic Tupac Shakur?

The Charisma Factor

Tupac Shakur, the legendary rapper, was more than just a musician; he was a cultural icon and a symbol of anti-establishment politics. His charisma was magnetic, drawing people from the Sowetos of South Africa to the urban communities in La Paz, Bolivia. Tupac’s music transcended boundaries, resonating with individuals from all walks of life.

What set Tupac apart was not just his lyrical prowess but also his profound ability to convey raw emotion and poetic depth in his words. He tackled the structural inequalities faced by Black and brown people living in the United States, igniting fierce national debates on minority issues. His songs were not just entertainment; they were a reflection of the harsh realities of his time.

Moreover, Tupac was not content with merely rapping about these issues; he was an activist at heart. He actively engaged with these causes, advocating for change and speaking up against injustice. Tupac wasn’t just a voice; he was an embodiment of the change he wished to see in the world.

Burna Boy’s Aspirations and Criticisms

In contrast, Burna Boy’s journey has led him to be compared to Tupac, but the parallels are tenuous at best. Burna Boy has attempted to market himself as a modern-day incarnation of the legendary Fela Kuti, an afrobeat pioneer and political activist. However, the comparison often falls short when examining his commitment to addressing social and political issues in Nigeria.

While Burna Boy’s music has been empowering and resonates with many, his actions often contradict his words. His reluctance to speak out on pressing political and social matters in Nigeria has been a source of disappointment for some fans. In instances where he does speak out, it has sometimes taken a confrontational and divisive tone, which runs contrary to the inclusive and unifying spirit of Fela Kuti.

The Album Controversy

Burna Boy’s latest album, ‘I Told Them,’ has faced substantial criticism, with some viewing it as a reflection of his true character—vindictive, arrogant, and self-conceited. It raises questions about whether Burna Boy is genuinely aligned with the issues he purports to represent or if his image is more calculated than genuine.

While Burna Boy’s talent and impact on the music industry cannot be denied, comparing him to the likes of Tupac Shakur may be a disservice to the enduring legacy and influence of the latter. Tupac was more than just a rapper; he was an activist, a philosopher, and a voice for the marginalized.

Burna Boy’s journey is still unfolding, and only time will reveal whether he can fully step into the immense shoes of the legendary Tupac or if he will chart a distinct path in music history. The debate rages on, but one thing is clear: the shadow of Tupac looms large, casting a challenging standard for any artist to live up to.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail