By Laura Onyeneho | Defender Network | Word In Black

Photograph courtesy of Wendy Wei/Pexels.

This post was originally published on Defender Network

(WIB) – The Billboards teamed up with music festival and global Afrobeats brand, Afro Nation to launch a new U.S Afrobeat song chart that went live at the end of March.

The chart will rank the top 50 most popular Afrobeat songs in the county based on official streams and download sales from top-tier music retailers according to Billboard.

This recognition in the United States was way overdue considering the continuous success internationally and the crossover collaborations with Africa’s biggest artists in America.

In an article from Billboard, they gave Beyoncé and Drake credit for the widespread recognition of Afrobeats music. Beyonce dropped her afrobeat-inspired album, The Gift from the Lion King movie which included artists such as Wizkid, Tekno, Shatta Wale, and Yemi Alade, while Drake collaborated with Wizkid on mega-hits like “One Dance”.

A Billboard staff writer wrote:

“Afrobeats sounds and influences have grown in the U.S. market throughout the 2010s, through artists such as Beyoncé and Drake, and now, the genre has yielded some of the biggest success stories of the young decade — including songs like Wizkid‘s “Essence” featuring Tems, CKay’s “Love Nwantiti (Ah Ah Ah)” and Fireboy DML‘s “Peru.”

Since then, the article has drawn mixed reviews. Many felt the article didn’t do enough research to understand the history of the genre and give proper credit to whom it was due, and some credited the massive stardom of Bey and Drake to launching the genre to success.

The Billboard did recover and published an article highlighting the rise of Afrobeats from West Africa to the Diaspora from 1950-2010.

Here is what some of you on Twitter had to say about it.

“Just imagine @billboard acknowledging drake and Beyoncé for the success of afrobeat. Forgetting the fact that there are original kings and pioneers of that genre #afrobeats @Davido @wizkidayo @burnaboy

really worked hard to make sure afrobeat is as big and mighty as it is today.” @mario30bg

“D’banj, Tuface, P Square, Kennis Music are the ones you should be crediting alongside those youngins.” @showdop

“There’s nobody that heard Beyoncé for the first time on the Gift Album but millions of people heard the African artistes for the first time and went on to listen to their other songs.”

But they want to deny that she opened the gate and parted the red sea. if I knock somebody” @pejubabyy

“No one is shaming anything, we’re talking about Afrobeat here. Why on Earth will they give accolades to Drake and Beyonce when people like Davido got the first solo Afrobeat song to get a gold certificate in the US and Burnaboy won the first Grammy with an Afrobeat album? Think man” @rodneyCarden4

Afrobeats has existed for so long and Billboard never gave it recognition till BurnaBoy’s album, TWICE AS TALL won a Grammy! @abbye_edi

“I’m so happy that Billboard is finally giving Beyoncé her flowers. All the exposure she gave the African artists on The Gift and Black is King is finally being repaid in small ways like this new AfroBeats chart. I can’t wait to see many more things like this to come” @hermiden

Support for this Sacramento OBSERVER article was provided to Word In Black (WIB) by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. WIB is a collaborative of 10 Black-owned media that includes print and digital partners.