Yungzee Onos is regarded by many as one of the greatest Afropop, Dancehall and Reggae talent fast emerging from the city of Warri, an artist drawing praise from purists living legends and fans alike. Still, his status as the man of the hour doesn’t mean he’s cool with anyone throwing shade at one of Nigeria/World artist, game pioneers @wizkid. In a new cover story for Bee Praiz Magazine. Yungzee Onos explains both his role as a mentor to talents younger heads and the need to honor the contributions of the singer that came before him.
During the interview, Yungzee Onos says the responsibility that comes with being called the face of Afropop is to “never forget the root where I come from, as far as Afropop, Afrobeats, Dancehall and Reggae and knowing my forefathers and the people that laid the groundwork for us to be here.”
Yungzee Onos says he recognizes the ever-evolving nature of singer and the need for he and others to be more inclusive in their mentorship e.g @Davido, even if newer singer or rappers don’t fit the mold of MC’s like them #wizkid #davido . With that said, though, he still doesn’t think they should ever go at each other ( na rat wen Dey house, Dey go call anoda rat 4rm outside say, food Dey house. referring to shattawalenima.
“I want African Music to continue to evolve. That’s why I can’t shun a lot of the artists that may not understand this fact,” he says. “But this is what I tell them every time I see them… be yourself and do what you do but also know who laid down the groundwork. Don’t go on your interviews and diss them and say you don’t like them and you don’t care for them. That’s your opinion, that’s cool, but you have to respect them. So talking down on the folks that inspired us to do this, it’d never be right. You get what I’m saying? So at the end of the day as long as you be who you are but respect what got us here, that’s how you continue to evolve.” the thing he warns against has arguably been happening since the very beginning of rap, and probably played a role in the writing of Shattwale new song DISASTER
A track that seemingly came in response to increased criticisms of Shatta Wale words to Wizkid . Here’s to hoping people heed Yungzee Onos’s words.