Budweiser continues to create a way for us to remember what is important to us, as a genre and as a community.
While it is easy to get carried away by the glamour and flashing lights Afrobeats experiences in arguably its best-ever state, it’s necessary to pay homage to our roots and stay in touch with our essence. As a community, one thing we have lacked is an adequate record of how we got to this point of global allure, relying on nostalgia and our minds that forever play tricks on us to retrace our steps to where it all began. This is a flawed method of keeping records as oral tradition is subject to misinterpretation and goalpost-shifting. Budweiser Smooth Kings Remix, alongside others, is fixing this important problem.
The show put out its first edition last year to this effect. Its maiden season saw 20 artists pair up to refix and remake classic Nigerian records from yesteryear, spearheaded by production from Gospel on de Beatz and Alternate Sounds. It hosted a healthy roster of artists like Ycee, Prettyboy DO, BadBoy Timz, Small Doctor, Terri, Niniola, and Chike amongst others, who recreated songs like M.I. Abaga’s “Action Film”, Tony Tetuila’s signature hit record “Danfo Driver”, Sunny Nneji’s heartwarming “Oruka” and so on. Season One was packed with interesting performances and set the tone for what the show is about while amassing hundreds of thousands of views on Youtube.
Season Two came back bigger and better, with a richer repertoire of artists and song covers. We see interesting pairs team up, like BNXN and Lojay combining for Iyanya’s “Kukere”. Zule Zoo’s “Kerewa” enjoyed an energetic rebirth through Peruzzi and Liya’s effort. Bella Shmurda and Alpha p teamed up for an infectious rendition of “Touchin Body” by J. Martins, but perhaps the most captivating remake came from Victony and GoodGirl LA. The pair’s synergy was a joy to behold as their vocals intertwined to birth a colorful refix of Paul Play’s “Angel of my Life”. Their efforts were met with resounding appreciation from the man himself. This season ends in July 2022.
Budweiser’s mission to create lasting musical impressions has turned out to be successful, and it’s been no easy feat. Since the maiden BudX Lagos show in 2019, their efforts have been reciprocated by dedicated viewership and attendance. They have focused on curating, preserving, and reviving parts of the rich musical culture that we are blessed with in Nigeria. With another BudX show coming later in July 2022, they continue to toe the line they started out drawing.
When sharing your culture with the world, it is important to keep it rooted and remembered. Nigeria’s pop culture space has created a new record of old history that should be handled with the utmost care. Without this, culture can get lost as it is passed down. Budweiser has created a way for us to remember what is important to us, as a genre and as a community.