A Breakdown of Burna Boy’s Interview On the Million Dollaz Worth of Game Show

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Burna Boy's Interview

The Million Dollaz Worth of Game show is a weekly podcast with rapper Gillie Da King and social media influencer and disruptor Wallo267 (who are also first cousins), targeting their combined social media presence of over 1.3 million followers. For their audience, the Million Dollaz Worth of Game show bridges the gap between social media and reality tv, satiating the hunger for original and authentic content. The focus of the show is to teach you how to have GAME, which is authenticity, empathy, and truth to yourself while injecting humour into every aspect of the conversation. GAME is more of a life story than an expression to Wallo and Gillie.

For their newest episode, episode 174, Wallo and Gillie brought on the African Giant himself, Burna Boy. The episode starts off with the duo and Burna jamming to the lead single off Burna’s upcoming album Last Last. Gillie then proceeds to surprise Burna by choosing to introduce him as “Heavy D from PH city,” which Burna then confirms is a name his grandad used to call him.

Madison Square Garden and touring in the US

Wallo asks Burna if he ever sits back to think about how it felt to be “the king of New York” when he sold out Madison Square Garden for his One Night In Space show and how it feels to have his country on his back, and Burna responded saying, “it’s is a great honour to me but at the same time it is something that comes with a lot of negative eyes.” He goes on to talk about how although he’s being elevated and put in a positive place, it is a two-sided coin with its negative parts.

After a quick vodka break, Gillie picks up the conversion by asking if Burna was actively trying to be big in the US or if he was comfortable just being big in Africa and Burna tells Gillie that it was never about being big in the US per se. He talks about how he was never content with the space he was in, identified as a global citizen and just knew that he was meant for and deserved more. The conversation then spirals into talking about how music is a universal language. Burna also brings up the late Sidhu Moose Wala, how he really connected with his music, and the mixtape they were working on.

Wallo asks Burna what he means by “where I’m from is a part of where I’m going,” and Burna explains that it means without coming from where he’s from, he wouldn’t be able to see the world the way he sees it currently. “When you know that your purpose is bigger than any one place or person, then you begin to take life like that and see life like that,” he says.

On dealing with Negativity and Privacy

Wallo then asks Burna how he suppresses negativity. “Music is the savior. Music is the only way,” Burna replies. He talks about how he can’t really come out on TV or social media to express himself, and even when he does try, he can’t expect people to understand what he’s saying. “I’m blessed to have music,” he iterates.

Talking about his privacy, Burna shares how he only recently picked up being more private with his personal life and business, and how it has really helped him so far. He says that people will have their views of you regardless of what you do, but you shouldn’t pay attention to or allow those perceptions to cripple you. 

On the origins of Afrobeats and how Burna Boy’s grandad influenced him

The conversation further progresses to Burna being an Afro-fusion and not an Afrobeats artiste. Burna then schools Gillie and Wallo on the term ‘Afrobeats’ and how it originated from Fela’s style of music back in the day which was known as ‘Afro Beat’. He talks about how we have different types of genres like Highlife, Juju, Fuji, Kwaito, Amapiano, and Afropop. 

On the “sauce” he got from his grandad, Benson Idonije, the first band manager for Fela Kuti, Burna narrates the journey from not being a fan of African music when he was younger, to mostly being into rap music (he cites DMX), not being proud to be Nigerian, to coming back to Nigeria and having conversions with granddad. He says he didn’t like his voice, but his grandad made him understand that it was like a saxophone; if you know how to play the saxophone it’s beautiful but if you don’t then you’ll just be blowing air into an amazing instrument. 

On Last Last having a Toni Braxton sample, Burna talks about how he always wanted to do something with the He Wasn’t Man Enough sound and pointed it out to Chopstix who then ran with the idea. He says it was one of the most special creative processes ever, then mentions that Toni is getting 60% of Last Last’s royalties, which he, Wallo and Gillie laugh about. 

On big moments for him outside Africa, Burna recounts sometime in 2016 when Drake invited him to a show he was performing at. He remembers Drake telling him how his EP Redemption was getting him through the tour. Burna also recounts how a week later Elton John put him on his playlist.

Speaking to Burna fans, Gillie recalls what a crazy feat it was for Burna to sell out Madison Square Garden and emphasizes how it didn’t happen overnight. Gillie says it definitely took tons of hours of studio time and putting in the work, and advises everyone looking up to Burna to practice patience and be extremely hardworking.

On Love, Damini being a personal love letter to the fans, Burna talks about how most of his other albums have been more general and products of the environment, but how he wants Love, Damini to be a product of himself.

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