Difference Dey: Afrobeats and Afrobeat

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Welcome. This’ll only take 2 minutes. You already know the point I’m trying to make. It’s an actual fact, there’s a difference between Afrobeats and Afrobeat. I’ll attempt to show you— you’ll see it, I promise.

Next time anyone makes the mistake, correct them. Or, show them this article before they do.

Afrobeat (the one without “S”)

Afrobeat is instrument and band based. The genre has very strong ties to American jazz. When you hear Afrobeat, think about Fela. A Fela song could last for anywhere between 15 to 45 minutes and more than 70% of the time would be spent rendering instrumentals.

Traditionally, Afrobeat was targeted towards societal ills, other considerations were secondary. The flexible nature of the genre and instrumentals make it quite amenable to personal/political truths. This is why the activism of the Kuti’s excel on those beats.

Fela is a pioneer. More recent versions of the sound can be found in Seun Kuti & Egypt 80’s— “Black Times” 

Afrobeats (the one with the “S”)

Afrobeats on the other hand is the name applied African diaspora elsewhere, most notably the UK. contemporary West African pop music, being made both in West Africa.

Afroswing/Afro Bashment is a genre born in the UK. It is more melodic, and chill oriented than Afrobeats, similar to Dancehall.


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Don’t take me too seriously, all I have is facts.

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