Audio

Afrobeat In Hip-Hop: The Influence On The Influential

We explore the use of Afrobeat samples in Hip-Hop, looking at artist from Fela Kuti to Manu Dibango.


Hip-hop is well known for providing new perspectives to old classics. We often acknowledge the presence of funk and soul in hip-hop, but what impact does afrobeat have on the innovative sound? Click on the links below to hear a few hip-hop hits that sampled some of afrobeat's most legendary grooves from the likes of Fela Kuti and Manu Dibango.

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J. Cole- "Let Nas Down" (2013)

"Let Nas Down" is a song from J. Cole's newest album Born Sinner that takes after the Fela Kuti & The Afrika 70 track titled, “Gentleman.” The Fela Kuti influence on this track is heavily felt, but doesn’t yet boast enough evidence to be officially labeled as a sample. Did J. Cole use a direct rip from Fela Kuti & Afrika 70’s track? Take a listen and let us know what you think.

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The Roots- "I Will Not Apologize" (2008)

"I Will Not Apologize" samples Fela Kuti’s “Mr Grammarticalogylisationalism Is the Boss.” Fela's raw bassline assists The Legendary Roots Crew in just the right way, adding the perfect flavor to complete the track.

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"Don’t Stop The Music"- Rihanna (2007)

Many believe that this hit was influenced by Michael Jackson’s 1982 classic, "Wanna Be Startin Somethin." However, the catchy 'Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa' was originally in Cameroonian musician Manu Dibango’s song, ‘Soul Makossa.’

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Nas ft. Alicia Keys- "Warrior Song" (2002)

Once again, Fela Kuti’s presence is felt in this inspirational song that uses some rhythms from his 1972 track titled "Na Poi."

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Missy Elliot ft. Timbaland- "Whatcha Gon’ Do" (2001)

Fela Kuti & Afrika 70 provided the creative spark for "Whatcha Gon Do" off of Missy Elliot’s 2001 album, Miss E …So Addictive. This song samples Fela & Afrika 70’s classic, "Colonial Mentality."

Interview

Interview: Bizzle Osikoya Is the A&R Shaping the Voice of a New Generation

We caught up with the A&R expert and co-founder of The Plug Management to talk about the fast-rising demand for Nigerian music and what it takes to break out as an artist.

The meteoric rise of Nigeria's burgeoning music industry over the last few years is definitely one for the books. From high profile collaborations that have graced international charts to appearances on American late night TV and a Grammy nomination, the Nigerian sound is sitting at the epicenter of a global conversation that the world—including Queen Bey herself —seem to scrabbling to get a piece of the action.

However, way before this global infiltration and westernized conflation of Africa's assortment of genres into one Afrobeats, Bizzle Osikoya was studying Music Business in England and plotting for a way to be a part of what he knew was inevitable. "I remember going to clubs in school and they would always play Jamaican music but rarely Nigerian songs. I knew we made good music here but I knew I couldn't sing. So I was motivated to come back, go behind the scenes, and see how we can make that crossover possible," he tells OkayAfrica.

More than a decade after making the intrepid decision to venture into A&R, helping artists find and develop their sound, Bizzle's creative genius has cascaded across different musical generations, from the piracy rife CD mix era with artists like Naeto C, Wande Coal and Dr. Sid to a streaming era populated with hits from Reekado Banks, Tiwa Savage and Davido.

Following the success of his latest project, Oxlade's Oxygene, we caught up with the A&R expert and co-founder of the Plug Management—a talent management company that has managed Davido, Peruzzi and DJ Obi—to talk about what it takes to break out as an artist, the fast-rising demand for Nigerian music, and how "alté" is not the same thing as alternative music.

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