Nigerian rap star D’Banj has made no secret of his desire to cross over into the US market, leaving behind the Mo’ Hits label that had supported his early career and signing with Kanye West’s rap juggernaut GOOD music. With the release of his latest single, “Blame it on the money,” featuring stars Big Sean and Snoop Lion, that success seems like it may be one small step closer. Unlike previous songs, such as the UK afrobeats hit “Oliver Twist,” the tracks abandons the stuttering syncopations of modern naija pop, replacing them with the tension-filled keys and a steady low-end thud of US radio rap. While D’banj’s vocals remain a distinctively Nigerian presence, for the most part, there is little to differentiate “Blame it on the money” from much of what can be heard on your run-of-the-mill hip hop station. That said, the hook is nice, and Snoop catches some flow on his verse. Will this be the breakout track that D’Banj hopes? Probably not, and it’s too bad to see him abandon the distinctive style in which he was so successful. At the same time, it’s never been easy to break into the US market, and where one African rap superstar goes? Others may be able to follow.
Check out the track, and let us know what you think of it yourself!