Daily Music

First Impressions of BNXN’s “Bad Since ’97” Album

BNXN is arguably one of the brightest talents in Afropop and if you didn’t know of his presence, then you will certainly know of him following the release of his latest album, Bad Since ’97. In full disclosure, I hadn’t been too familiar with BNXN’s music until early this year courtesy and that came courtesy of Apple Music’s Africa Now Radio playlist.

BNXN (formerly known as Buju) has provided a breath of fresh air to the scene. Although the line might be blurred at times, there is a difference between Afrobeat and Afropop. Both are rooted in the same rhythmic principles, however, the biggest distinction between the two resides in the difference in intensity. Whereas Afrobeat is notably more upbeat, Afropop lies on the opposite end of the spectrum, featuring generally gentler melodies. Afropop in particular has largely fallen out of favour amongst younger crowds because it has had a tendency to be downtempo, however, the new crop of artists are bringing an element of bounce that was preventing the sound from recapturing its magic.

That is where BNXN’s Bad Since ’97 comes in. Existing at the equilibrium point, BNXN expertly brings together the tempos of Afrobeat with the smooth harmonies and melodies of Afropop. Perhaps it comes from my personal affliction for R&B, but I feel this execution of Afropop is unrivalled on the continent and is in my opinion far superior to anything that has graced our ears from the West African region. From his delivery, one might think he freestyles or ‘punches in’, but according to his interview with Apple Music, he writes to his beats and… I love that. It hints at a level of maturity to recognise the benefits of writing. The BNXN magic comes in his natural ability to craft melodies, which is the main reason why an artist would choose to freestyle.

Admittedly, I haven’t had the time to fully dissect the album and it’s nuances, however, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that Bad Since ’97 is easily my favourite piece from Africa due to how easy it is on the ears. Listen to Bad Since ’97 below.

The Best Music Journalist In Southy. - @lesiba__ everywhere if you're looking for me -


  1. […] as per usual, I will bring you the best African heat. In a previous article, I spoke about my first impressions of BNXN’s Bad Since ’97 album and I am happy to report that since then, I have only grown fonder of the body of work by the […]

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *