Damini Ogulu, the Nigerian singer, who is globally known as Burna Boy, recently revealed that he was taken aback when American rapper, J. Cole, referred to him as the legendary Tupac Shakur during their conversation.
The Grammys winner, speaking on Rap Radar Podcast hosted by Elliott Wilson, said the American rapper made the statement when they got together to work on one of the tracks in his latest album, ‘I Told Them’.
Tupac, named Shakur, was a legendary American hip-hop rapper who was killed in Las Vegas in 1996.
According to Burna, the rapper dropped the statement that he was ‘Tupac reincarnated in Africa’, adding that he had to look around to confirm who he was talking about and it ended up being him.
He said: “I don’t really know the dynamics behind how everything happened but somehow, I ended up in the studio with J. Cole and a bunch of basketball players, tall as hell.
“You know, and then, yeah, before any music, we’re all just talking about real stuff, about life and everything really, you know.
“And then, before we start, he just goes, ‘Bro, this nigga is Tupac’. And then I looked around to see who he was talking about. It’s me he’s talking about. Like yeah, this nigga is, he’s like Tupac reincarnated in Africa and shit.
“I’m like damn! That’s kind of deep. Alright, let’s make some music.”
Meanwhile, this revelation by the self-acclaimed ‘African Giant’ has generated mixed reactions from Nigerian users of X (formerly Twitter.)
Some, still angry with the artiste, who in an earlier interview with Apple Music described Afrobeats as “lacking substance”, dismissed his new expose.
A user, @Cappadiszle, said Burna Boy could be suffering from an insecurity that has seen seeking unnecessary validation.
“This dude wishes to be a black American so bad. Deep down, there’s a heap of insecurity & self-hate, masked by arrogance & fragile egotism. His tantrums at Nigerians isn’t about lack of appreciation, he is angry at not being validated as the new Fela. Now he wants to be Tupac, ” he said.
Another user, @Letter_to_Jack, said, “The struggle for validation and acceptance from those people is crazy. He’d trade all of Port Harcourt in an instant to be recognised as an African American”.
Amidst the backlash, @applephilia reminded his critics that Burna Boy as it stands, is a global brand that everyone wants to identify with.
“Call him the new cat all you want but damn Burna Boy is the new kid on the block of global music, everybody wants to identify with him,” he said.