Back in 2009, I attended a party at a hotel in Nigeria and got my first real look at the changing landscape of culture through the nightclub scene in Lagos. Over the next five hours nothing but Afrobeat was being played. As we were heading back I realized that the genre was here to stay and hip-hop and other forms of music was taking a backseat. Fast forward a few years later, the name Wizkid started popping up everywhere with claims by many that he is the next big thing in the Afrobeat genre.
Prior to Wizkid, there were artists that were excelling within the genre and slowly achieving success internationally and creeping into the American music consciousness. 2Face Idibia, D’banj and P-Square all come to mind during the early period. With a growing list of hits and collaborations, Wizkid has managed to crossover in a way that none of the other artists have achieved since his debut album in 2011. Wiz represents more than just an artist, he symbolizes the possibilities for the genre beyond just making music.
Recently, Wizkid released his latest video Baba Nla and prior to the release of the new track, he released Ojuelegba featuring Drake and Skepta on the remix. Drake being featured on his track definitely provided a boost to his crossover appeal to American consumers. He has and continues to collaborate with many American Hip Hop and pop acts proving that his marketability can only grow over the next few years. Adiddas and Kanye West collaborated on a new sneaker, while Drake released his OVO Jumpman sneakers. With the growth of the genre, Wizkid is the most marketable of the artists in the genre and it is only a matter of time before an artist such as Wizkid is able to collaborate with one these corporate giants.