Eedris Abdulkareem claims he paved way for Davido, Wizkid, Burna Boy, others


Veteran musician, Eedris Abdulkareem has made bold assertions regarding his significant contribution to the international recognition of Nigerian artists such as Davido, Burna Boy, and Wizkid.

In an interview with The Honest Bunch Podcast released on Monday, February 19, 2024, Abdulkareem credited his 2004 rebellion against mistreatment of Nigerian artists by concert promoters as the catalyst for the global rise of Nigerian music.

Abdulkareem recalled the pivotal moment when he stood up against concert promoters' exploitation, which culminated in a physical altercation with American rapper, 50 Cent and his G-Unit associates during a visit to Nigeria. Despite acknowledging that his rebellion had repercussions on his own career, Abdulkareem emphasized its positive impact on the Nigerian music industry, attributing the emergence of stars like Burna Boy, Wizkid, and Davido to the revolution he ignited.

Dismissing claims of unaided success from some contemporary artists, Abdulkareem asserted that the groundwork laid by pioneers like himself paved the way for the current generation's achievements. He emphasized the importance of acknowledging the sacrifices made to elevate the Nigerian music industry to its current global stature.

Addressing criticisms and lack of appreciation from some quarters, Abdulkareem remained resolute, stating that his primary concern was fulfilling his purpose as directed by God. He expressed indifference towards recognition, emphasizing that his focus was on leaving a legacy of empowerment and paving the way for future generations of Nigerian musicians.

In his words, he stated that, “I f you don't fight for your industry, nobody will fight for you. You heard someone like Burna Boy said nobody helped him in Nigeria. Would you have been a star without some people starting the revolution? That is a stupid talk. You wouldn’t have been where you are if we didn’t make this industry what it is; if we didn’t fight for it. Unfortunately, most of them don’t appreciate it. And I don’t give a dime."

“It [fighting for Nigerian music industry] affected my career but it was a beautiful sacrifice that gave birth to Davido, Boy, Wizkid, and everybody today. For me, what’s more important is that I have done what God asked me to do and our music is now allover the world. I have opened the road for them. It’s their responsibility to appreciate the fight. And if them don’t, I don’t give a dime,” he added.

Abdulkareem's remarks serve as a reminder of the struggles and sacrifices endured by early pioneers to establish Nigeria's presence on the global music scene. His perspective adds depth to discussions surrounding the evolution of Nigerian music and the debt of gratitude owed to those who laid the foundation for its international success.