Afrobeats artist Burna Boy has been making waves both in the United States and internationally. Earlier this year, he made history as the first Nigerian artist to headline a US stadium. He also headlined the NBA’s All-Star Game halftime show and J. Cole’s Dreamville Festival, and his collaborations with artists like J Hus and Byron Messia have been in high demand.
Burna Boy’s influence is so significant that rapper J. Cole compared him to Tupac during an episode of the Rap Radar Podcast. Burna Boy shared a story about being in the studio with J. Cole and a group of tall basketball players, where J. Cole referred to him as “Tupac reincarnated in Africa” after hearing him perform. While Burna Boy downplayed the comparison, it is not entirely without merit.
Burna Boy, like Tupac, has been vocal about political issues. He is a supporter of the “One Africa” movement and refused to perform in South Africa in 2020 due to political reasons. His music video for “Monsters You Made” criticizes authoritarian abuses. These shared Pan-Africanist views, along with their similar cultural influence and popularity, likely led to J. Cole’s comparison.
Fans can hear the results of Burna Boy and J. Cole’s collaboration on Burna Boy’s new album “I Told Them…”, which is now available through Spaceship Records and Atlantic Records.