As far as music is concerned now, Burna Boy is hot topic. Born Damini Ogulu, Burna Boy shut down a sold out Madison Square Garden on April 28, showing all of Africa to the borough of Manhattan, New York.
His iconoclastic performance had been preceded by lots of talk about how history is in the making, several interviews, and a visit to the United Nations headquarters in New York, but his 3-hour long alluring staging at the Garden, shows exactly why the boy’s stock is on the rise.
Burna was introduced to an ecstatic crowd of more than 20,000 people by New York’s very own legendary rapper Busta Rhymes, as modern day Afro culture intersected with modern American culture.
The introduction was followed by a sensational performance by veteran Senegalese composer Youssou N’Dour, with whom Burna Boy had worked with in the past.
If his fans were ever going to have one cheap night in space, it was ET, as the MSG vibrated with a gamut of iconic sounds across the sub-Sahara.
Many Outsiders (Burna Boy fans), would have loved to be at the Madison, Burna understood his global appeal and made the live broadcast accessible via YouTube. At some point, over 80,000 people were tuned in.
Although “Twice As Tall” earned Burna his first Grammy after he had elusively missed out the previous year with “African Giant,” the trend-setting records on the former occasionally leads people to conversely describe the two albums, despite “Twice As Tall” being a great title.
Whether it is the title of the album (African Giant), which has now become eponymous with the “Ye” singer or the infusion of a spectrum of elements from Afro popular culture, music wise, “African Giant” will is Burna Boy’s and one of Africa’s most iconic musical and art exports.
The crowd at the MSG proved again the power that music has to unite the world, with White folks and Black folks celebrating African art with similar energy levels in real time.
They rocked to hits from Burna’s previously released tracks including recent collaborations with fast rising Ghanaian rapper and singer Black Sherif (Second Sermon) and fellow Nigerian singer Asake, who featured Burna on his chart topping “Sungba (Remix).”
The surreal moment, however, came when Burna officially confirmed the release date for his next studio album, which will be his 6th, and performed an unreleased song from the project.
Announcing the album, Burna reminded the audience of a QR code contained in their tickets, saying it’s a link to pre order the album, which is titled “Love, Damini.” He continued that the album will drop on his birthday July 2 like he had earlier teased during his recent appearance on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.
If you missed Burna Boy’s One Night in Space concert at the Madison Square Garden in New York City, you’re still in luck.
Check out the full concert below.