AFROBEATS: Burnaboy and how to survive fame – Niran Adedokun

When I saw the video of Grammy Award winner Burna Boy’s last performance in Lagos and the vitriol he passed on to his fans, my mind went back to an article I read a couple of years back.

 This article, entitled Trust me, I’m a psychologist – fame is bad for your health, was written by someone who had every qualification to tell.

Pamela Stephenson first gained stardom as a comedian on Not the Nice O’clock News, a British television show that ran in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Over the decades, she featured in loads of other television programmes and gained attention as an actress with a long list of performances between the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia. She is therefore competent to speak on the concept of fame and what it does to people.

Rock star.

But Stephenson became a psychologist with an interest in the lives of celebrities, amongst other things. So, when someone like that tells you that fame is bad for your health, pay attention.

In this article, the psychologist speaks about her conversation with many celebrities. At the end of it all, she reaches the conclusion that fame alienates the famous. It often creates a new personality, which the original person would find difficult to understand or even cope with. It could be a journey to everything or nothing, depending on how you handle it.

Regardless of the intricacies, literarily, every human being seeks a measure of fame. And most often than not, we crave recognition without preparing for the probable cannibalising effect of the same.

So, over the past decade, the artiste, Damini Ogulu, also known as Burna Boy, has caught the flame of fame. He has moved from one record-breaking accomplishment to the other, crowing his successes with a landmark winning of the Grammy Awards for his Twice as Tall Album in 2021. Before and even after then, there has been no stopping the Nigerian-born star. He is even a national award holder!

It is doubtful that these attainments and those that lie ahead of the 31-year-old artiste surprise him or anyone. Burna Boy dreamt of stardom as a child, and he has put in the hard work, which is now yielding fruit. Countless news reports quote him as saying: “I used to draw superheroes as a kid. I loved superheroes, so I drew a lot. Then I started to like the idea of being a superhero myself.” And the hero he fancied has arrived and landed on his very lap. What we however cannot be sure of is for how long the self-confessed African Giant plans to remain a superhero, and what he desires history to record about him at the end of his tenure.

And about the end of tenure, that is a sure juncture. Every celebrity gets stuck in the euphoria of wealth, access, adoration and membership of the exclusive club of the privileged, but as Dr Donna Rockwell posits in her article, fame is a dangerous drug: a phenomenological glimpse of celebrity, “the fame machine can only churn for so long.” Hence, what happens when the blinding lights of fame go dim, as they would at some point, depends on the conduct of today’s stars.

One of the best show men on duty

Now, this is the ironic thing about fame. It comes like a whirlwind and envelopes its victims in a bubble, where everything except themselves feels like a fantasy. In there, they live in their own world. They rule as they like without time to think about anything or anyone but their status. That stage, where nothing else other than notice and the adulation of people matter, is the place of danger for any celebrity.

Dr Michael Platt, a neurologist at the University of Pennsylvania and Dr Robert Deaner of the University of Duke, both in the United States, capture this in their experiment: Monkeys pay-per-view.

 They suggest that gaining social status makes people less interested in others. “You can think of attention as a knob that you can turn up and turn down. And when you are low in status, you turn that knob all the way up. You’re paying attention to everybody and trying to learn about them. If you are high status, then your knob is turned down low because it doesn’t really matter- you do whatever you want. It just makes you more aloof.”

At this stage, celebrities forget about everyone who may have contributed to the attainment of their current status. They only concern themselves with their own eminence, and they would spit down on anyone who, in their estimation, does not measure up to them. This is the image that our beloved Burna Boy cut at that performance.

Here is an artiste whose performance thousands of Nigerians paid to come and watch. These people defied considerable odds. Money is not only scarce, but getting fuel into your car is a herculean venture. That is not to speak about the risk of insecurity in the country. People disregarded these to be at your show, but you cannot even be grateful.


Gun Violence: Tory Lanez found guilty of shooting Meghan Thee Stallion

Rapper Tory Lanez found guilty of sh@@ting Meghan Thee Stallion and could face more then 20 years in prison.

Canadian rapper, Daystar Peterson better known as Tory Lanez, has been found guilty by a Los Angeles jury on Friday of sh@@ting a fellow artist, Megan Thee Stallion, in both of her feet following an argument about their romantic entanglements and respective careers in the summer of 2020.

He was convicted of three felony counts: a§§aults with a semiautomatic handg¥n, carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle and discharging a firearm with gross negligence. He faces more than 20 years in prison and could be deported when he is sentenced on Jan 25.

The jury of seven women and five men deliberated since Thursday before convicting the 30-year-old Canadian rapper. Mr. Lanez, who had been free on bail during the trial following a period of house arrest, was immediately taken into custody.

Tems wins Best New Act at 2022 Soul Train Awards [See Full Winners List]

This Year, Beyonce became the night’s biggest winner as she took home the award for the Best Album for ‘Reinassance’, Song of the Year for ‘Break My Soul’, and Best Collaboration for ‘Make Me Say It Again, Girl’.

The 2022 Soul Train Awards was held at on Saturday, November 26 2022 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

See full list of Winners below

Album of the Year

  • An Evening With Silk Sonic, Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars & Anderson .Paak)
  • Away Message (EP), Ari Lennox
  • Breezy, Chris Brown
  • Good Morning Gorgeous, Mary J. Blige
  • Heaux Tales, Mo’ Tales: The Deluxe, Jazmine Sullivan
  • R&B Money, Tank
  • WINNER: Renaissance, Beyoncé
  • Special, Lizzo

Song of the Year

  • “About Damn Time,” Lizzo
  • “Bad Habit,” Steve Lacy
  • WINNER: “Break My Soul,” Beyoncé
  • “Good Morning Gorgeous,” Mary J. Blige
  • “Hrs & Hrs,” Muni Long
  • “Last Last,” Burna Boy
  • “Pressure,” Ari Lennox

Video of the Year

  • “About Damn Time,” Lizzo
  • “Bad Habit,” Steve Lacy
  • “Good Morning Gorgeous,” Mary J. Blige
  • “Have Mercy,” Chlöe
  • “Hrs & Hrs,” Muni Long
  • “Last Last,” Burna Boy
  • “Pressure,” Ari Lennox
  • WINNER: “Smokin Out the Window,” Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars & Anderson .Paak)

Best New Artist

  • CKay
  • Coco Jones
  • Dixson
  • Doechii
  • Fireboy DML
  • Muni Long
  • Steve Lacy
  • WINNER: Tems
  • Best R&B/Soul Female Artist
  • Ari Lennox
  • Beyoncé
  • H.E.R.
  • WINNER: Jazmine Sullivan
  • LizzoMary J. Blige
  • SZA
  • Tems

Best R&B/Soul Male Artist

  • Babyface
  • Brent Faiyaz
  • Burna Boy
  • Charlie Wilson
  • WINNER: Chris Brown
  • Giveon
  • Lucky Daye
  • PJ Morton

Best Collaboration

  • “Amazing,” Mary J. Blige feat. DJ Khaled
  • “Be Like Water,” PJ Morton feat. Stevie Wonder & Nas
  • “Call Me Every Day,” Chris Brown feat. Wizkid
  • “Gotta Move On,” Diddy feat. Bryson Tiller
  • “Hate Our Love,” Queen Naija & Big Sean
  • WINNER: “Make Me Say It Again, Girl,” Ronald Isley & The Isley Brothers feat. Beyoncé
  • “Move,” Beyoncé feat. Grace Jones & Tems
  • “Slow,” Tank feat. J. Valentine

Certified Soul Award

  • Chaka Khan
  • Charlie Wilson
  • Diana Ross
  • WINNER: Mary J. Blige
  • Maxwell
  • PJ Morton
  • Ronald Isley & The Isley Brothers
  • T-Pain

The Ashford and Simpson Songwriter’s Award

  • “Bad Habit,” Steve Lacy
  • “Break My Soul,” Beyoncé
  • “Church Girl,” Beyoncé
  • “Good Morning Gorgeous,” Mary J. Blige
  • WINNER: “Hrs & Hrs,” Muni Long
  • “I Hate U,” SZA
  • “Last, Last,” Burna Boy
  • “Pressure,” Ari Lennox

Best Dance Performance

  • WINNER: “About Damn Time,” Lizzo
  • “Call Me Every Day,” Chris Brown feat. Wizkid
  • “Have Mercy,” Chlöe
  • “Persuasive,” Doechii
  • “Pressure,” Ari Lennox
  • “Smokin Out the Window,” Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars & Anderson .Paak)
  • “We (Warm Embrace),” Chris Brown
  • “Woman,” Doja Cat

Best Gospel/Inspirational Award

  • CeCe Winans
  • Erica Campbell
  • Fred Hammond
  • Major.
  • Marvin Sapp
  • WINNER: Maverick City Music X Kirk Franklin
  • Tamela Mann
  • Tasha Cobbs Leonard

Legend Award: The Time

Lady of Soul Award: Xscape

Dj Khaled Sends Burnaboy pairs of Sneakers

These two are going strong

You would recall that Burna Boy was invited by DJ Khaled to record a song. He also hosted Burna in his house and the duo took pictures for the gram.

On the 25th of October, Burna Boy took to Instagram to show off 5 pairs of Customized sneakers DJ Khaled sent to him. According to Burna, they are exclusives and nobody can get them in the stores.

You can never get these” Burna Boy was heard saying in the video. He also showed off the T-shirts and headphones DJ Khaled gifted him.

Young boy NBA signs new deal with Motown

Fresh off releasing his fifth solo full-length project of 2022, YoungBoy Never Broke Againhas signed a deal with the Universal Music Group-owned Motown.

According to Billboard, the Baton Rouge rapper will begin releasing music through Motown in 2023. Complex reached to a YoungBoy rep, who confirmed the signing. The news arrives a year after he announced a joint venture with Motown Records and his Never Broke Again collective.

“I felt like I had a responsibility to my artists to make sure to find the right partner for my label,” YoungBoy said at the time. “I’m looking forward working with Ethiopia, Kenoe and Motown Records.”

Last week YB joined forces with DJ Drama to drop Ma I Got a Family, which marked NBA YoungBoy’s sixth offering of the year, following Colors, The Last Slimeto, Better Than You, Realer 2, and 3800 Degrees.

After releasing the 19-track LP, YoungBoy teased plans to release four more projects before 2023.

“Fun challenge ‘10 tapes 1 year ??’” he wrote on YouTube. “I’m finna be on 6 you think I can do it?”