In the early part of 2020, Burna Boy made a statement that got social media in a frenzy stating that ‘No one paved the way for him’ in the Naija music industry.
This got people reacting in different ways with some supporting his views while others against it stating that he couldn’t have been where he is today if not for the work of some artistes before him who made breaking into the international market easier for him.
In his recent interview with Douglas Jekan on PGM Radio Show, Burna Boy, reinforcing that stance but this time, making his point clearer, stated that the reasons behind the opinion.
One of these reasons according to Burna Boy is the meaning of the phrase “paved way” to an average Nigerian which he said is different from what the generally accepted definition of the term “paved way”. This reason is coupled with his experience in the music industry, which he said, he has seen enough to stick to that belief that he worked his way to where he is and no one paved the way for him, rather most of what they did on the way were mistakes of misrepresentation both of Nigeria and Nigerians, making it difficult for him to demand his worth at the beginning of his career as an international artiste.
“I’m the one that’s out here in the world, representing all of you and really seeing the way they saw us when I started and the way they see us now. I’m the one that sees that, so I have the right to tell you what I’m seeing. and the second reason why I said that is because I realized our people have a different definition of the word “paved way” than what is written in the dictionary… and the one definition they have is some shit that will probably anger me to the point where I’ll slap whoever is in front of me saying that. because I know the blood and sweat and rejection I’ve had to go through … things that the average Nigerian would take his slippers off and run is stuff I had to overcome to get here with no help from anyone…so I’m the last person anyone should be looking for a come up off of… I’m the last person anyone should try and claim andy glory for that they did not actually work for because as far as I can see, I have not seen the help that anybody can say they’ve helped me in that form… obviously it’s something I’ve grown out of, but me last year, it’s something that would’ve pissed me off but right no it doesn’t matter who says what, I’m older now and I understand things a lot different now…”
He went on to state that;
“And when I say what I said yea, I don’t want to go as far as a general level, I mean like when you walk into an office in London, France, or you walk into an office of people that matters to discuss some real business, the way you are looked at, the way I was looked at the first time I walked through the door into those offices based on the people that were there before is not the same way I’m looked at now. Let’s say in 2016 when I would go to offices where they would send for us and I’ll go with my manager who’s my mom and when we start talking, we start hearing things like, “oh but this guy, so so and so, this is what they did what makes you different? why are you asking dor this? Why are you saying this? and at that point, we have to fight… to make them understand that whatever they saw before was a mistake and what you’re seeing now is the reality… and it’s as serious as a heart attack because it can go left for you very quickly.
With me, there has been no dilly dally, it has always been straight ton the point and it’s always with confidence and with my conscience because I’ve never really gotten what I deserved without fighting for it so I don’t expect any of that to change and I’m cool with it, but don’t come and act like anybody was fighting before I came, that’s all I’m saying. because if anybody was fighting, we should be fighting together, shouldn’t we? But I’m the only one om the frontline….”
Watch the interview below;