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EDITORIAL

Is Afrobeat A Blend Of West African And Black American Music? All You Need To Know

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Fela Kuti performs on stage, Paris, 1981. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)

The Grammy Awards in a report described the afrobeat as a mesmeric blend of West African and Black American music. This is all you need to know.

It could be traced to the foundation and history, as far as we know, we can trace the beginning of Afrobeat to West Africa, Nigeria specifically, but, we have never heard of a Black American who could come out to say he or she pioneer the sound and mastery of afrobeat.

The sound in itself is a combination of traditional Yoruba/Igbo music which focuses largely on chants, complex intersecting rhythms and percussion, Before Afrobeat, there were other genre of music like Awurebe, Apala, Highlife (from Ghana). It is a mixture of this with western musical equipment that formed afrobeat.

The likes of Fela Anikulapo, Orlando Julius Ekeremode and few other started the unveiling of afrobeat, however Fela Anikulapo Kuti popularize the sound together with his drummer, Tony Allen.

At no point in time did any Black American develop the Afrobeat nor could the sound be associated with any westerners. Afrobeat is a combination of different sounds Yoruba genre of music into one.

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