‘Oleku was the first song coined as Afrobeats’ - Ice Prince
Nigerian rapper Ice Prince claims that he and his team were the first to coin the genre 'Afrobeats' with his 2011 hit song Oleku.
Panshak Henry Zamani, widely recognised as Ice Prince, asserts that his 2011 track 'Oleku' with Brymo can be credited as the inaugural song to fall under the classification of "Afrobeats." During an interview on the Echoo Room, the Nigerian rapper reaffirmed that Oleku was one of the first songs to be playlisted on BBC Radio. Global media, at that time, did not have a name or term for African music.
"Oleku is actually the first Afrobeatsssss"— 🐬 @𝗼𝗻𝗲𝗷𝗼𝗯𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗯𝗼𝘆 (@OneJoblessBoy) December 28, 2023
- IcePrince Zamani
📹 The LinkUp pic.twitter.com/4z9ULmbE0f
The 'Aboki' crooner said, "And at that time, they [foreign DJs] didn’t know what to call our music, and they couldn’t call it Afrobeat. So, we [I and my team] told them to put an's' it to make it Afrobeats". Ice Prince was hesitant to make such claims, as he did not want fans to take his words the wrong way.
He went on to say, “Check the history; ‘Oleku’ was the first Afrobeats record. Because they have to label it on a radio station, that was why we put the ‘s.’ If not tell me who came up with the ‘s’ at the end? A lot of people said it is credited to DJ Abrante, but guess what? Abrante was the one that playlisted the song ‘Oleku.’ That’s my own claim o!”
During the interview, Ice Prince also revealed what had happened to Choc Boiz. The musical group comprised of M.I., Jesse Jagz, and Ice Prince split after the last two left Chocolate City to form their record labels, Jesse Jagz Nation and Super Cool Cat, respectively.
He emphasised that the reason for the split was due to the importance of establishing independent platforms where they could mentor and nurture young talents within the industry. “What happened to Choc Boiz? I would say it is growth. Then I do not know if it was a miscalculation or whatever but one thing that we did back then was we got to a point where we thought that people like M, people like Jesse, people like Ice, should start up their own companies so we can allow younger artistes come in the game" he said.