The Rise of AfroPop | ComplexCon(versations)

  • Published: 20 December 2019
  • Over the past decade, AfroPop has exploded onto the global stage with everyone from Beyonce to Drake partnering with Africa’s premiere artists. This is just the beginning. We gathered genre’s biggest names -- Jillionaire, Afro B, Davido, P2J and Wale -- to explain how it grew to where it is now and where it’s going next.

    ComplexCon(versations) gathers some of the most prolific figures in music, film, television, sports, and fashion for a series of panel discussions on the subjects that drive our culture. Watch more conversations here:

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Comments • 1 154

  • Baz
    Baz  2 days back

    Wale is disrespectful on this panel. You’re an African, so act like one for once. Here you are, talking about being proud African but with all that “N” word dropping, idk if we appreciate that.

    • Зи Дон
      Зи Дон  7 days back

      Afro Beats and Afro pop is the introduction to the world
      Afro Trap, Afro RnB, Alternative (Alte) and Afro House all of that exist
      And the best part of this is you can find it in native and different European languages
      And one time for Zimbabwe I know Dancehall we holding it down it’s just a matter of time

      • Junior Fk
        Junior Fk  1 weeks back

        What about Akon???? What about Dbanj the one who did Oliver twist he is a Kanye artist.. smh

        • Osinachi Okorigbo
          Osinachi Okorigbo  2 weeks back


          • Sarah Mudeebe
            Sarah Mudeebe  2 weeks back

            I'll never forget yall called us Africans are booty scratchers and now yall want to be wakanda forever now yall want to wear yall dashiki and find out your ancestory DNA and listen to our music WE AIN'T FORGET

            • Sarah Mudeebe
              Sarah Mudeebe  2 weeks back

              I think the day afrobeats became big was with probably Akon influence. It's weird how waka waka originated from Africa by a little boy and was taken by shakira and became big. Even African queen.

              • e b
                e b  2 weeks back

                Thank to the man in the red plaid shirt shouting out Santi. Him, Odunsi the Engine, Nonso Amadi, Tay Iwar are really the future of a new style called Alté y'all are sleeping on them

                • Mcjosh Taylor
                  Mcjosh Taylor  2 weeks back

                  Wale is smart

                  • Sankofa MoJah
                    Sankofa MoJah  2 weeks back

                    Afrobeat is late over here, because it's not "needed/ desired". You must understand black Americans have created all of the top genres in the world, from rap to rock n roll. There's nowhere in the entire world that you can go where you can't find black American influence. You can barely play an Afro-Beat song that doesn't have hip hop in it, so to expect the dominant to have interest in the lesser, is unrealistic. It's the same even with black American music amongst other black American music genres. Hip hop is number one, so most black Americans don't know about other black American genres, because the lesser genre is not as big. For example, Wale mentioned Go-Go music, a genre that's huge in the DMV, but if you ask the average person from outside of the DMV what Go-Go is, they'll have absolutely no clue. And even though Go-Go is huge in the DMV, it still takes a backseat to Hip Hop and R&B. Africa has Afro-Beat, and that's it! Most people are ignorant as to how many different genres of black music that's lit in the states. Even in hip hop, it doesn't sound the same across the states. I'm talking about the sound is drastically different, to the point where, even if you don't speak English, you can tell that the songs are not from the same place. Example, if you listen to a rap song from Baton Rouge, it will sound nothing like a rap song from New York, so much so, there are artists from Baton Rouge with MILLIONS of Youtube views, but the average person from New York has NO CLUE of who that artist is. You must understand, you're talking about the leaders in entertainment (Black Americans) knowing about a sound (Afrobeat) that will most likely get no play, because the shit that's here is already the hottest shit in the world

                    • nin10do4eve
                      nin10do4eve  2 weeks back

                      Wale managed to be a cornball in this too. Every time..

                      • Victor Emerson
                        Victor Emerson  3 weeks back

                        I Think AfroBeat/AfroPop First Crossed over in 2013 with Nico and Vinz - "Am I Wrong" Which went 3x platinum in the U.S. and did crazy numbers worldwide #Respect

                        • A jones
                          A jones  3 weeks back

                          How did Wale get in this conversation?

                          • A jones
                            A jones  3 weeks back

                            Afrobeat was popping way before Drake. It's a shame most black Americans Have no idea.

                            • Fact Chitanda
                              Fact Chitanda  3 weeks back

                              I kinda hate how the western pop is trying to infuse its lewd messages into African music. I switched from mainstream Hip Hop to Afropop to escape that negativity, now its woven itself into our indigenous music!

                              • Alfredo Zau
                                Alfredo Zau  3 weeks back

                                Afro B I salute u to talk about us 🙏🏽Angola 🇦🇴🔥we have kuduro

                                • Unapologetic
                                  Unapologetic  3 weeks back

                                  Crediting Drake and Beyoncé (who didn't sold much of her soundtrack, only sold 330 copies in France and 949 copies in the UK) for the Afropop take over in the global is a false. Africans artist never needed the American Market, but it's a plus tho... Africans in the motherland and the Africans living outside of Africa and their children are the reason of the take over because we were proud of our culture and display it despite the world looking down in our culture. Not Because of Black Americans and anyone else.

                                  • poetmm
                                    poetmm  3 weeks back

                                    Drake said he popularize Afro beats lol

                                    • Markfield Park
                                      Markfield Park  3 weeks back

                                      Oliver Twist DBanj started it

                                      • Frannie Speaks
                                        Frannie Speaks  3 weeks back

                                        Bottom line is very African artist imitates CongoBeats! Mic drop...bye!!

                                        • Riot Murume
                                          Riot Murume  3 weeks back

                                          Y'all sleeping on east African music 🤒🤒🤒

                                          • Daniel Terfa
                                            Daniel Terfa  3 weeks back

                                            31:09 DAVIDO and I on the same page I try to pay Homage to Afro music legends by posting music from the untelevised legends of the Genre Daily on @el_danmusic and at el_danielh_artiste

                                            • Misshoney20
                                              Misshoney20  3 weeks back

                                              When people talk about Africa they never talk about Congo! We‘re the heart of Africa! Congo is a big country! We‘re twice as big as Nigeria if we only look at the expance. Put some respect on us pls..

                                              • Junior Fk
                                                Junior Fk  1 weeks back

                                                Congo is the heart of African music!! Unfortunately being a franvophonic country has its disadvantage!!
                                                Much love from Guinea

                                              • Sarah Mudeebe
                                                Sarah Mudeebe  2 weeks back

                                                @Prem's Writing please no one wants to go into your space 😂😂😂😂😂 it's a well known fact that Congolese music has been popping for years and is never brought to the table.

                                              • Prem's Writing
                                                Prem's Writing  2 weeks back

                                                You guys (other Africans) always want to squeeze into the space Nigerians create for ourselves

                                              • Sarah Mudeebe
                                                Sarah Mudeebe  2 weeks back


                                            • Never Giveup
                                              Never Giveup  3 weeks back

                                              Davido speaks like he on vegetables 😂😂😩😩😩

                                              • Mark-Anthony Horton
                                                Mark-Anthony Horton  3 weeks back

                                                The intro was wack, drake and Beyonce ain’t do shit for afrobeats

                                                • Abdiaziz Farah
                                                  Abdiaziz Farah  3 weeks back

                                                  America has always been anti African anti black. If they embrace Africa they are afraid of the powers that could be of all blacks/Africans unite and start to migrate to Africa.

                                                  • Ama n
                                                    Ama n  3 weeks back

                                                    I love Davido. That Nigerian pride is contagious.

                                                    • Francis Anazodo
                                                      Francis Anazodo  3 weeks back

                                                      i love David

                                                      • SUuch An aura
                                                        SUuch An aura  3 weeks back

                                                        lol it aint thanks to drake or beyonce though, afro pop was already booming outside of america

                                                        • Bisola Aurora
                                                          Bisola Aurora  3 weeks back

                                                          please get facts right mo hits psquare were around in the 2000s even before that 2face was mainstream

                                                          • robert moon
                                                            robert moon  3 weeks back

                                                            Damn Wale need stop saying Nigga too much.

                                                            • Ponsah Fanap
                                                              Ponsah Fanap  3 weeks back

                                                              I like how Davido yan for here. Naija music na de vibe worldwide now

                                                              • Pumplock Records
                                                                Pumplock Records  3 weeks back

                                                                usa just want to join in now. lots of bs. Americans don't have anything to do with afro pop or beats. so get yur facts beyonce nah . drake nah.

                                                                • Lejoka
                                                                  Lejoka  3 weeks back

                                                                  Wale and using the “N” word is Kinda Tasteless but 🇳🇬🇳🇬🇳🇬🇳🇬🇳🇬🇳🇬🇳🇬🇳🇬

                                                                  • SKIN DEEP
                                                                    SKIN DEEP  3 weeks back

                                                                    Awesome interview! I just subscribe to your channel! Yes America is very late to Afrobeat! I love it. That's all I play in my 🏠, car,🚗, period! I love you Wale!

                                                                    • Pincho On The Beats
                                                                      Pincho On The Beats  3 weeks back

                                                                      it started with P square

                                                                      • king dejong
                                                                        king dejong  3 weeks back

                                                                        I like Wale, but really bruh... No more separation. black music is black music... ... All "positive " black people need each other... we are all apart of the diaspora. We should remove our arrogance and ignorance to learn from each other. The good and the bad. Because, we are losing the "Race".. check out the Berlin conference, slavery, United African company... Then ask yourself who really created the countries we are so proud of. We should be proud collectively of something more tangible.. culture, melanin, accomplishments, excellence, philanthropy etc...,

                                                                        • Godson Kose
                                                                          Godson Kose  3 weeks back

                                                                          It's not the nation issue, its tribe issue we pay loyalty to tribe more than the larger African dream

                                                                      • COREY T. ROGERS
                                                                        COREY T. ROGERS  3 weeks back

                                                                        Only fools makes things over complicated.
                                                                        This media business is "Complex"

                                                                        • Mamadou Ba
                                                                          Mamadou Ba  3 weeks back

                                                                          If you want the Afrobeats experience and Live in or near Albany NY there is a Rema & Teni concert at the Palace Theatre on the 24th of January.
                                                                          Address: 19 Clinton Ave, Albany, NY, 12207
                                                                          Doors open at 8pm (01/24/2020)
                                                                          Tickets at

                                                                          • Koke Fran
                                                                            Koke Fran  3 weeks back

                                                                            Wale 👍👍👍

                                                                            • Lachy
                                                                              Lachy  3 weeks back

                                                                              Wale using the n word so much, mispronouncing naija names needs to not be. Jidenna needs to be on this panel.

                                                                              • sessy Show
                                                                                sessy Show  3 weeks back

                                                                                Lachy wale grow up
                                                                                In America never live in Nigeria, jedinna grow up between Nigeria 🇳🇬 and America

                                                                            • Ikeh Sandra Chiamaka
                                                                              Ikeh Sandra Chiamaka  3 weeks back

                                                                              Wale was speaking and immediately Davido start speaking, it took my spirit language to Nigeria.

                                                                              • Izzy Odigie
                                                                                Izzy Odigie  3 weeks back

                                                                                Olivér twist by d’banj started bringing African music into the American market

                                                                                • e b
                                                                                  e b  2 weeks back


                                                                              • Conrad Hernandez
                                                                                Conrad Hernandez  3 weeks back

                                                                                Wtf is Afro-pop? I heard of Afrobeats like 10 years ago.

                                                                                • K*Ships in K*Chups
                                                                                  K*Ships in K*Chups  3 weeks back

                                                                                  Naija pop, Naija hiphop is what I love calling the nigerian songs

                                                                              • Krystoff Evans
                                                                                Krystoff Evans  3 weeks back

                                                                                Can Wale stfu, damn man

                                                                                • Allof A Sudden
                                                                                  Allof A Sudden  3 weeks back

                                                                                  I’m not gone set hear and say us my people of color in American aren’t late we just didn’t care and some still but I’m a music fan not a genre fan. Regardless if it’s hip hop. Those are banana boat privileges and said that cause I took a lot of that as an insults to my people of color born and raised in America black people. We late why cause we do our own thing. I would say with the dances yes but music no. I do agree with the ignorance as far a lot of my people think bush babies and naked people running around. But it’s more of them over there acting white, bleaching Jamaicans especially. But I was a dancer before any of it. I can dance to the sound of the wind, rain, sleet, snow, hail. We’re known to sell out and come up with something new all the time. But I always wonder what’s gone replace hip hop. But that sessions of this show was Interesting. But it was a lot sneak dissing. Love Wale album though. Top five for me

                                                                                  • Allof A Sudden
                                                                                    Allof A Sudden  3 weeks back

                                                                                    Forever Go Go North East R E & Back Yard R I P Chuck Brown

                                                                                    • Ayo Ranks
                                                                                      Ayo Ranks  3 weeks back

                                                                                      Loool Wale was moving so beggy here. Davido was freeing the real

                                                                                      • MikeStoan
                                                                                        MikeStoan  3 weeks back

                                                                                        I've been getting hard requests for Afro Beats from at least 2016.