In a wide-ranging interview with America’s The FADER, Burna Boy spoke about his music and especially the rave of the moment, his latest album African Giant. And he also spoke about the Nigerian youth, in a surprising way.
In the course of the interview, Burna Boy was asked why he feels Nigeria is being misunderstood by outsiders.
Burna Boy shocked the interviewer when he said even Nigerians inside, especially the youth, misunderstand the country.
“I can guarantee you that at least 90% of my people that are my age group in Nigeria —who are considered the youth — had no clue about how Nigeria, the real origins of Nigeria.
“There’s so much knowledge, there’s so much truth that needs to be told. There’s so much that needs to… there’s so much that the youth needs to know in order to be — how do I explain it? — In order to be almost respected.
“Because really and truly right now, the only thing that can save the youth is knowledge and financial independence.”
The question arose from his song, “Another Story,” which sounds like a brief history lesson about Nigeria.
The interviewer asked why he included it in the album.
“Do you feel like Nigeria is kind of misunderstood by outsiders?”,
Burna was asked.
And then he dropped the one line shocker:
Nigeria is misunderstood by insiders.
The Nigerian singer also spoke about his desire to cross over Americans to Afro Beat.
“Something I always noticed when it comes to non-American artists, and it’s not even just whether they Black or not, there’s always talk of attempting at a crossover, or wanting to crossover.
“But just from conversations [I’ve had] with different artists, some people resent even the idea of wanting to crossover.
“Is that something that you care about or is that something that you maybe pushed back against when you were early in your career?
I care about crossing over, but in the opposite way.
How do you mean?
I want to come here and cross you over to where I am. You understand? Because where I am is the actual home of the beginning. I’m kinda like the (gestures towards himself) I don’t know.
The reverse cross back?
Yeah, exactly. The reverse crossover (laughs).
Do you feel like that’s been a success? Because I would say in the past three years or so, the average Black person I know listens, or is at least aware of, African music.
I would say it is being accomplished because now, almost everyone, if not everyone I’ve come across is proud to be African, or to say they’re African, or to say, “Oh, I did this ancestry thing and it says I’m from this place.”