I’m the first artist to bring Afrobeats to America – Rotimi sparks discussions online

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Rotimi, a Nigerian-American musician and actor, has considered himself the first artist to introduce Afrobeats to the American music industry.

According to Rotimi, he pioneered the Afrobeats trend in the United States, setting the stage for international collaborations that popularised the music throughout the world.

In a recent episode of the 85 South Show Podcast, Rotimi discussed his experience submitting his track ‘Love Riddim’ to radio stations in 2018, only to be rejected owing to its Afrobeats influence.

He said:

“I remember bringing ‘Love Riddim’ to the radio stations in 2018 and the program director was like ‘This is not good’. They didn’t even understand it and this was before Wiz (Wizkid) got the record with Drake,” he said. “I can comfortably say I brought Afrobeats to America” Rotimi confidently asserted.

Rotimi’s statements, however, have generated a heated dispute on social media, with many pointing out that Afrobeats songs such as Ayo Jay’s ‘Your Number’ (2015), Drake and Wizkid’s ‘One Dance’ (2016), and Davido’s ‘Fall’ and ‘If’ (2017) attained popularity in the United States before Rotimi’s ‘Love Riddim’ (2018). These analysts contend that Rotimi’s assertion ignores the achievements of other musicians who helped pave the road for Afrobeats in America.

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