Rotimi Claims to Have Pioneered Afrobeats in the US, Sparking Debate


Nigerian-American singer and actor Rotimi has stirred up controversy by asserting that he pioneered the introduction of Afrobeats to the United States. The ‘Power’ star made this bold claim during a recent episode of the 85 South Show Podcast, where he recounted the challenges he faced in promoting his single ‘Love Riddim’ due to its Afrobeats influences.

Rotimi recalled his early efforts to introduce Afrobeats-style music to American audiences, citing instances where radio stations initially rejected his music. Despite facing resistance from program directors who failed to grasp the genre’s appeal, Rotimi maintained that he played a pivotal role in popularizing Afrobeats in the US.

However, his assertion has sparked heated debate on social media, with many observers disputing his claims. Critics pointed out that artists such as Ayo Jay, whose track ‘Your Number’ gained traction in 2015, along with hits like Drake and Wizkid’s ‘One Dance’ in 2016, and Davido’s ‘Fall’ and ‘If’ in 2017, had already achieved success with Afrobeats-inspired songs before Rotimi’s ‘Love Riddim’ was released in 2018.


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