I Pioneered Afrobeats In America – Rotimi Claims

Olurotimi Akinosho, known professionally as Rotimi, a Nigerian-American singer and performer, has asserted that he pioneered Afrobeats in the United States.

The artist claimed to have popularised Afrobeats-style music in the United States before the ‘Afrobeats to the World’ movement gained traction through global collaboration.

In a recent episode of the 85 South Show Podcast, Rotimi discussed bringing his tune ‘Love Riddim’ to radio stations in 2018, which was not well received due to its Afrobeats influences.

“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.”

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His claims have elicited strong reactions on social media, with many observers noting that Nigerian-American singer Ayo Jay’s ‘Your Number’ (2015), Drake and Wizkid’s ‘One Dance’ (2016), and Davido’s ‘Fall’ and ‘If’ (2017), all Afrobeats songs with some success in the United States, predated Rotimi’s ‘Love Riddim,’ which was released in 2018.