Wizkid: The Rebirth Of Fela Or Not
Nigerianews NG has gathered that since the death of the Nigerian music legend, the musical Taliban, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Nigerians have been up and standing with regards to seeing who the next Fela could be. In other words, who could be the next Nigerian Musician to make a global impact like Anikulapo did?
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Fela Anikulapo Kuti has been idolised by many as the Nigerian/Afromusic god. A memorial remembrance and worship of his rhythm is now part of the culture of Nigerian music lovers, with the inception of music fiestas like the ‘Felabration’ amongst others.
Even across the continent, We have international artistes naming Fela Kuti as the inspiration behind their music. Numerous books have been written in honor of the musical Jagaban, and not just that, stage plays and movies have been made both locally and internationally to commemorate the achievements of the never-dying legend.
Wizkid is one of the most followed Nigerian artistes on social media. He has made an impact on the international scene with great features with international act like Drake, Tinie Tempah, future, Chris Brown to mention but a few.
Wizkid made a breakthrough in Nigerian music in 2009 with his hit jam ‘Holla at Boy’ produced under the stables of the Empire Mates Entertainment (EME). He has since then made tremendous growth in the music industry. Many believe that Wizkid is the future of Nigerian music.
Arguments have ensued for some time now over the possibility of wizkid successorship of Fela’s legacy. And as every debate is, people take sides. Many have come out to say it is rather insulting to compare the artiste with the legend, while many others opine that the young lad has picked up from where his musical ancestor left it.
Nigerianews NG would try as objectively as possible canvass arguments in the following paragraphs on general opinion that Wizkid could be the next Fela. The opinion of Nigerianews NG is open to criticism from every angle.
Anikulapo Kuti, the only man who could throw away his surname because it is a white man’s name, used music as means of effecting socio political change in the country and across africa. He could be called a Nationalist who canvassed his fight against white imperialism through music.
He not only used music to effect socio political change, he used it to uphold the principles of pan africanism, even if it meant turning Africa against the world. This amongst other changes was his little transformative contribution to the African narrative.
Fela Anikulapo Kuti took music to the global stage. And when we say music, we do not talk about coming on stage to rant gibberish that lacks content. What we relate is the music that transcends beyond time because of the strong dictum contained in it.
Wizkid, on the other hand, has done well for himself. He has struggled through the hurdles of local music and has hit it big on the international scene. He is the first african artiste to be granted an opportunity to perform at the Royal Albert Hall in the United Kingdom. In fact, to even commend him, he sold the whole show out.
Wizkid’s primary goal as an artiste is to take Nigerian music globally, break all barriers hindering african rythym, create a legacy many other artistes may aspire towards. in other words, Wizkid hopes to become a music legend with his name written on the sand of time.
Beyond all that, Wizkid wishes to make every Nigerian happy through music. He wants to achieve the popularity that brings smiles to the face of music lovers. He hopes to see his name being called, and the world cheering.
Fela used music as a tool to tell stories. He hated the trespasses of the white on the black soil. He used his music to transmit messages that sensitized the people on the wrongdoings of the government.
After the military took over the government in 1966, Fela used music to promote activism and social welfare. This is evident in his song ‘Zombie‘ which he used to talk against the despotic leadership of the military government.
Anikulapo rejected opportunities that could make him go international and very much expand his bank vault. He was never interested in the monetary possibilities of his music, rather the social impact tendencies of his beats. He is indeed the father of Afrobeat.
The truth is African music cannot be discussed with the reiteration of the contributions of Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Every African artiste is living off the blueprint that Fela created. Fela’s Afrobeat or Afromusic is only being modified or blended with other types of genres to create new rhythms. Whether it is Afrofusion or Afropop, the origin remains Afrobeat.
Wizkid is the most streamed artiste on Spotify and has gotten a spot on the guiness world record. With the speed of his growth, he may as well stepped in the shoes of Baba Anikulapo. The shoes even Baba’s Son, Femi Kuti and Seun Kuti could not fill.
However, until and unless Wizkid makes legendary contributions that could get his name in history books, have Africans and music lovers from around the world chant his name twenty-one years after his death, then an inference could be drawn, that he is indeed the next Fela.
The influence of Fela’s heart has transcended even beyond time. His messages are for all generations, and not that, the Taliban cannot die as his name lives on. It is a great thing to see that someone is aspiring to pick up the mantle from where Fela stopped.
But Wizkid is just starting and has a long way to achieve that. At the moment Wizkid should not be compared with Fela.
Wizkid is Wizkid, and Fela is Fela, Don’t compare.