DJ Cuppy defends Beyoncé and Diddy: Americans aren’t exploiting Africa

DJ Cuppy says there is room for American and African artists to work together.
DJ Cuppy says there is room for American and African artists to work together.
Image: Gallo Images/Oupa Bopape

Apple Music's DJ Cuppy has weighed in on claims that American stars “exploit” Africa for relevance and to make a quick buck, saying the increased exposure of African artists overseas is benefiting both parties.

Both Beyoncé and Diddy have been accused in recent weeks of using artists and cultures from the continent to cash in on the popularity of African content overseas.

Speaking to TshisaLIVE, DJ Cuppy said she did not see it that way.

“I think that when you look at the projects they work on, there is a high level of collaboration. I personally think the most important thing is mutual respect and added value for both parties. We don't know the back stories of these projects. As long as there is a barter, you can't be angry at that.” 

She said the popularity of African music on the world stage is a sign that people are understanding their African roots.

“I think people are realising that they underestimated our continent and people. They realise that, actually, in most music the root and origin is African. People are curious. The spark has always been there but it's really ignited in a whole new way recently.”

Cuppy, who is originally from Nigeria, hosts a weekly radio show on Apple Music, showcasing some of the continent's biggest talent. She said it is no easy task when there are so many unique artists and sounds.

The star recently released the single Jollof On The Jet, featuring Rema & Rayvanny, ahead of her debut album Original Copy dropping on Friday.

“The inspiration for the album is me being me. Everyone knows me as a DJ and I have been nervous to push the envelope because I was so comfortable behind DJ decks. It feels so good to be in front of the mic and express myself.”

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