“I Brought Afrobeats to US”: Rotimi Says, Recounts Opening Wizkid’s 2012 Show, Nigerians Blow Hot

“I Brought Afrobeats to US”: Rotimi Says, Recounts Opening Wizkid’s 2012 Show, Nigerians Blow Hot

  • Popular US-born Nigerian actor and singer Rotimi recently shared the role he played in making Afrobeats international
  • In an interview, the American star recounted how he opened Wizkid’s show in the US in 2012 and how it all led to Afrobeats popularity
  • Rotimi’s claims were met with a series of mixed reactions on social media, with many Nigerians blasting him
  • A Nigerian social media expert Tobi Crackit reacted to Rotimi's claim in an exclusive chat with Legit.ng

An American-born Nigerian actor and singer, Rotimi Akinosho, made headlines after he shared how he contributed to the popularity of Afrobeats on the international stage.

The US star spoke during an interview where he shared how he helped Nigerian singer Wizkid open his first show in America in 2012 and how it led to the eventual acceptance of Afrobeats.

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US actor Rotimi claims he brought Afrobeats to America.
Fans react as US actor Rotimi makes claim about Afrobeats. Photos: @rotimi, @wizkidayo
Source: Instagram

According to Rotimi, after he got off the plane ahead of opening Wizkid’s show, the singer offered to help him with his bags, and they later got to talking in the hotel room.

The US star said he had mentioned how he planned to be the biggest actor and artist in the world, but Wizkid responded by saying that he planned to take over the world.

In his words:

“Back in 2012 when Wizkid first came to America, they had found out about me musically because one of my songs had crossed over back home and this was before Afrobeats, Instagram and all that, I don’t know how they found it but when they got here they asked me to open up for Wizkid, it was his first time in America and they were doing 500-seaters, this was in 2012, to the point where I got off the plane and Wiz was like ‘hey bro let me help you with your bags’. It was really like we were on a mission and I’ll always love him for that because he knew what he was going to be. So we were doing 500-seaters, I performed in front of the crowd and the conversation we had then was like in 10 years, I want to be the best actor, best artist, best this and that and he (Wiz) was just like ‘I’m taking over the world bro’, that was his answer.”

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How Rotimi started having hit records

Speaking further, Rotimi added that in 2012, he decided to start leaning more towards R&B despite seeing the Afrobeats wave and that it took him five years to find himself after remembering his chat with Wizkid.

The US actor then decided to just be himself and accept that he could be the bridge between RnB and Afrobeats, and that was when he started having hit songs.

In his words:

”I saw the wave in 2012, then after that I just started falling back into doing RnB. It took me five years to really find out who Rotimi was and remembering the conversation I had with Wizkid in 2012 and in 2017, that’s when it hit me like ‘bro just be you, you are the definition of African American so be the bridge of RnB and Afrobeats all in one’ and that’s when the hit records started happening.”

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Also, in the interview, Rotimi explained that he could proudly say he brought Afrobeats to America. He, however, acknowledged Drake’s role in making One Dance with Wizkid. According to the US actor, it was all about the sound and the right timing for it.

“I can comfortably say I brought Afrobeats to America, then One Dance with Drake and Wiz came out. I’m not saying it was because of me, no, but the timing, the sound,” he said.

He also said:

“I can proudly say that I did that but it started with that conversation in the hotel room like bro let’s just be true to who we are. Like it’s okay to be African because growing up, the joke was like all of y’all are dirty”

See the full video below:

Nigerians react to Rotimi’s Afrobeats claim

It did not take long for Rotimi’s claim to spark an online discussion, and some Nigerians were not pleased with what he had to say. Read some of their comments below:

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“I still saw one show Kanye west, D banj and Don jazzy on the same stage tho and this happened in the United States. Kanye was booming too then.”


“Which strain dis guy dey on? I like smoke one .”


“I laughed really hard .”




“Talking rubbish.. this one use to open for Wizkid.. maybe he forgot.”


“ Many of you don't know this guy.. He might be right because the guy has being in Hollywood for a a while now.. So who knows, he doesn't have a camera to follow him around na.. But I know this guy, he's being in the entertainment industry, but he's more on Hollywood movie..”


“One dance was released 2016 your song was 2018 how that make sense bro everybody fina lie now or what.”

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“He played his part too, I remember. Everybody try for the matter .”


“It’s true remember he’s song meeting in my bed.”


“Person wey be say na inside power (series) we take know em I no still like eh character the series self. Maybe e dey 5yr old when dbanj drop Oliver Twist.”


“So una think say FELA no tour Europe countries and North America?”


“What I love about Wizkid is the fact that there was no time he mentioned he brought Afrobeat to international Level. His Success usually speak for him. And Naso e suppose be.”


“Make we just Dey enjoy this thing Dey go and forget about who blow ham… cause na wahala he Dey cause last last.”

Rotimi is wrong - Media expert speaks

A Nigerian social media expert, Tobi Crackit, shut down Rotimi's claim of bringing Afrobeat to the US. According to him, the fact that Banky W called on him to help Wizkid open his show in 2012 doesn't mean he was known at the time. In his words:

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"I think Rotimi thinks he was known because he was called to open for Wizkid, but thinking he brought Afrobeats to America is overreaching. Was he making Afrobeats or was he spreading the music at clubs or on Radio stations? He is wrong."

Wizkid describes his new kind of music

Legit.ng recalls reporting how Wizkid expressed his anger about being boxed and the kind of music he makes.

During the rant, the Nigerian singer noted that he is no longer an Afrobeats singer, revealing the type of music he now makes.

After revealing that he now makes Bollywood music, he slammed his fans, throwing abusive words at them.

Source: Legit.ng

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