In a groundbreaking achievement for Afrobeats music, Burna Boy has written his name in history as the artist becomes the first African artist to have a Number 1 album in the UK with his seventh studio album, 'I Told Them…'. .This milestone emphasises Burna Boy's status as a global music icon and provides encouragement for the genre's increasing influence on the international music scene.
The album itself came highly anticipated following the success of its leading singles, including 'Sittin' On Top Of The World' featuring 21 Savage, 'Big 7', and 'Cheat On Me' featuring Dave. The album also features collaborations with renowned artists like J. Cole and Wu-Tang Clan's GZA.
On September 1st, 2023, it was officially confirmed that 'I Told Them…' had debuted at Number One on the UK album charts. Burna Boy, whose real name is Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, took to Instagram to share his excitement, posting a simple yet flex-worthy caption, "God Is Good," alongside the photo that declared "Number 1."
Martin Talbot, Chief Executive at Official Charts, praised Burna Boy's accomplishment, highlighting the significance of this achievement. He commended Burna Boy for being the first international artist to take Afrobeats to the top of the UK's Official Albums Chart.
The Number 1 not met with some leading controversy following the artists remarks about the state of Afrobeats. He shared his view in an Apple Music interview that the genre "has no substance".
“Half of them, [actually,] 90 per cent of them, have almost no real-life experiences that they can understand,” he claimed in the discussion. “That’s why you hear most Nigerian music, African Music, or Afrobeats, as people call it, is mostly about nothing, literally nothing,’ he told Zane Lowe.
“There is no substance to it, like nobody is talking about anything. It’s just a great time, an amazing time,” Burna Boy added. “But at the end of the day, life isn’t an amazing time.”
The comment sparked a series of conversations on the significance of music in African countries with some calling the 'African Giants' comments, reductive.