Photos

This Is What Burna Boy's First Ever NYC Concert Looked Like

In photos: Swizz Beatz and Jidenna came out to show love at Burna Boy's first ever NYC concert.

NEW YORK CITY—Burna Boy is one of the undeniable shining stars of Nigerian music.


Since his initial arrival on the scene, the singer has quickly and steadily built a style that he calls "afro-fusion"—a pop blend of Nigerian-inflected dancehall, hip-hop and reggae—into a buzz that overshadows a lot of his contemporaries.

Hits like "Yawa Dey," "Soke," and "Pree Me," as well as successful projects like L.I.F.E (Leaving an Impact for Eternity and On a Spaceship, have solidified Burna Boy's status at the top of the new afropop scene.

Over the weekend, the Nigerian artist played his first ever concert in New York City, at Times Square's Playstation Theater. The night was the first stop of Burna Boy's long-awaited North American tour, Outside Tour, in promotion of his latest EP, Redemption.

The show, presented by W&R Projects, started out with none-other-than Swizz Beatz introducing Burna Boy's set, something which the star producer told the crowd he rarely did for other artists.

Burna was quite the show man, and his live band was on point as they ran through energetic renditions of "Soke," "Like To Party," and many other of the singer's countless crowd pleasers.

Halfway through the set, there was another big surprise as Jidenna jumped onstage to perform "Little Bit More" and "Classic Man," which had the audience going wild, before Burna Boy came back on to finish off the show.

Throughout the set, you could spot DJ Tunez and Swizz Beatz, decked out in a Ruff Ryfer's jacket and bandana, dancing on stage behind Burna Boy.

See photos from the night, shot by Enoch Eshun, below.

Burna Boy. Photo by Enoch Eshun courtesy of W&R Projects

Burna Boy. Photo by Enoch Eshun courtesy of W&R Projects

Swizz Beatz. Photo by Enoch Eshun courtesy of W&R Projects

Burna Boy. Photo by Enoch Eshun courtesy of W&R Projects

Jidenna. Photo by Enoch Eshun courtesy of W&R Projects

Jidenna. Photo by Enoch Eshun courtesy of W&R Projects

Burna Boy. Photo by Enoch Eshun courtesy of W&R Projects

Interview

Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

The 7 Best Nigerian Songs of the Month (July)

Featuring Olamide, Lady Donli, Omah Lay, Adekunle Gold, Falz and more.