The Significance Of R Kelly Remixing Davido’s Hit Song “IF”
“Oba no dey go transfer”, that is what Benin people say in regards to their king who hardly leaves the palace. If you must see him, you will be the one to come down to his palace. It will have to take a stronger force for him to meet you somewhere else asides his palace. The only time I see it recorded that he left his palace was when he went to welcome the Queen of England.
What has this got to do with R Kelly remixing davido’s song? RKelly’s is known as the King of RnB and even the R in RnB. It can only take a great force to make a king of a genre abandon his genre to do something else. Remember how he moved from RnB to do a bit of gospel music when Kirk Franklin and his likes were making waves worldwide. When the Jamaicans were put back on the map with their reggae dancehall music, R Kelly once again dropped his RnB music and went on to release hot dancehall tracks that we can never forget e.g Thoing Thoing, Snake, Pick up the Phone etc. That was like a full endorsement of Jamaican music. Once they saw that the King of RnB was now making waves with dancehall music, other American acts decided to toe his path. That was when we saw Beyonce featuring Sean Paul and the rest of them featuring Elephant Man, Beenie Man, Wayne Wonder, Vybez Kartel etc. A Busta Rhymes who shouldn’t be seen near dancehall (because of the pride rappers had then) didn’t mind featuring Sean Paul in “Make it Clap”. Do you also remember Lumidee?
Did R Kelly stop there? No, he didn’t. The moment he noticed that Latino Raggaeton music was gaining ground in the underground scene, he jumped on it and released a massive song titled “Burn it up” featuring Wisin and Yandell. At that moment, Nigerian musicians were still busy switching from Rap to RnB and dancehall; they were just following R Kelly’s path. Then, we had Psquare dropping “Busy Body”, a dancehall song which they later remixed into a Raggaeton song. They were hits no doubt, but we’re not accepted globally for different reasons one of which is lack of originality. It was just R Kelly’s formulae they were following. Tuface knew the importance of an R Kelly endorsement of a genre, that was why he shadily ripped an R Kelly vocal from a song and placed it in his own song titled “Flex” which he dropped in his album “Unstoppable”. However, the song did nothing but give him bad publicity cos it was a scam.
Over the years, we’ve seen our artistes pay huge sums to feature American musicians who most times treat them like trash by not going on stage with them or not showing up in the video of the song they did together. To them, it is denigrating associating with African sound even when they do admire its uniqueness. But I expect to see a huge turn around now that a legend they all respect has dim it fit to jump on an Afrobeat tune. This is all thanks to staying true to ourself and the path laid down by Fela, Ebenezer Obey, Onyeka Owenu, King Sunny Ade, Osadebe, Salawa Abeni, Shina Peters etc.