Bounty Killer faces backlash after saying Afrobeats has 'no lyrics'
Dancehall artiste Bounty Killer

Controversial dancehall artiste Bounty Killer believes that the rising genre of Afrobeats, when compared to dancehall, "has no lyrics".

Bounty Killer, who made the comments during a viral interview with I Never Knew TV, drew a comparison between Afrobeats and dancehall. He said dancehall’s problem is its “topics”, which are now only limited to scamming, and this the dancehall veterans said, is the reason Afrobeats is “taking over.”

"Afrobeats have no lyrics; they have a lot of melody, grove, and topic. Ye ye ye is not a lyric; it is a topic. The song only has a style, melody and topic," the acerbic Bounty Killer said.

The Warlord weighed in on the work of Afrobeats' artistes with whom Jamaicans are often compared, citing Burna Boy’s Ye as an example.

“Ye, ye. Dat a lyrics? Dat a topic. Ye, ye, we know what Ye Ye Ye, mean… those are topics and di melody. Style, melody, topic. Simple!”

The backlash was immediate with one social media account, writing: "That man na craze did he listen to the verses? Burna Boy knows how to entertain people while sending a message at the same time, YE is about hustling for a better life. This guy na dust full him head mtcheeeeew."

Another social media user, mayowabae, suggested that dancehall artistes were jealous of Afrobeats' success, saying : "Lol it’s obvious the dancehall artists are getting jealous of the Afrobeat taking over."

Yet another social media user blasted Bounty Killer's assessment, remarking: "This n*gga no know wetin he day talk he day even day use burna boy dey do example burna wey get lyrics like mad."

The Poor People Fed Up artiste commented on the current state of dancehall, which is going through its own doldrums and inertia. Bounty Killer claimed that a significant portion of the songs being released, while being chock ‘full of lyrics’, lacked melodies and dancehall grooves, and seemed content to focus on topics that the rest of the world seems largely uninterested in hearing.

“It’s just the topics. Dancehall artistes don’t have any topics. They are stupid. They are singing some regional things; some corner argument. They are not singing household argument where every household understand what this means. Chappa argument, scamma pan corna; dat not relatable," a frustrated Killer ranted.

"People caan relate to that in every nation and every country. How far that goes? Fool-fool. People just a sing fi roun di road so that’s why Afrobeats a lead…."

In January 2020, Billboard discontinued its Reggae Digital Song Sales chart, and two years later, the magazine announced that it had joined forces with the music festival and global Afrobeats brand Afro Nation to launch the first-ever US chart for Afrobeats Songs. The weekly Reggae Digital Song Sales chart had ranked the top-downloaded reggae and dancehall songs in the United States, but low sales figures for years may have played a role in that decision. The Reggae Albums chart continues to be published weekly.

Local music insiders believe that the announcement appeared to herald the impending reign of African music, replacing the space formerly held by dancehall music.

"That’s Dancehall problem – the topics. The topics are limited. None a di chapppa artiste nuh big like Charly Blacks. Party Animal. Everybaddy know bout party. Di word party big inna every nation. Which nation don’t party? Simple. So a dat. Our artiste dem don’t choose di topic right. Di argument is regional and wi a sing inna wi own dialect and wi a talk to wiself. Suh dem music deh just go in di diaspora,” Bounty said.

Bounty Killer defended the lyricism of modern dancehall, but belaboured the content of the songs. He believes that tweaking the content will restore the potency of the art form.

“So the artistes they are very talented, even more than me. Caw di style weh dem a use and di different things great, but the topic stupid. We need to look in the world and choose a topic fi suit we and them”.

“Dancehall will get back to the fore. But nuttn nuh wrong wid dancehall. All dancehall a do is lose the feel. The music and the topics not right,” he posited.

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