Previously, we have looked at the times global superstars such as Drake, Beyonce, Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran have experimented with the Afrobeats genre.
Today, we focus on Afrobeats’ biggest international collaborator. No foreign artiste loves and supports Afrobeats more than this multi-talented superstar. This year alone (2022) Chris Brown has spawned five different Afrobeats collaborations, with fans on Twitter lightheartedly naming him the “Afrobeats Artiste of the Year”.
Join us as we walk you through a chronological timeline of the 10 Times Chris Brown Collaborated with Afrobeats Artistes.
1. WizKid Ft Chris Brown, Trey Songz, and French Montana – Shabba
Released in July 2016, this in our books is Chris Brown’s first official collaboration with an Afrobeats act. The song was released off the back of WizKid’s growing popularity in the USA following his guest appearance on Drake’s smash hit “One Dance”.
An ode to the iconic 90s Dancehall act Shabba Ranks, “Shabba” is a straight-out hip-hop joint that also featured Trey Songz and French Montana. The song was met with mixed reactions with many criticizing WizKid for departing from his signature Afrobeats sound. Chris Brown and WizKid’s relationship dates back to December 2012 when they met and performed together for the very first time in Lagos-Nigeria. The duo reconnected three months later, and they again performed in front of a teeming audience in Accra-Ghana. The rest is history! The duo has multiple collaborations, all of which will be enlisted on this countdown.
2. Ayo Jay Ft Chris Brown and Kid Ink – Your Number remix
Often described as a one-hit wonder, London-born Nigerian crooner Ayo Jay seldom gets the flowers he deserves. His song “Your Number” was one of the first contemporary Afrobeats songs to penetrate the US scene, becoming a radio hit! Originally released in June 2013, “Your Number” simply put is a flawless dancehall-afrobeats fusion crossover banger! With “Your Number” steadily gaining steam, Ayo Jay assembled Chris Brown and rapper Kid Ink for the remix which was released in August 2016.
3. Wizkid Ft Chris Brown – African Bad Gyal
WizKid and Chris Brown reignited their chemistry on “African Bad Gyal”, lifted off WizKid’s third studio album “Sounds from the Other Side” which was released on 4th July 2017.
On the Sarz-produced record, the two international stars show their love and appreciation for beautiful women of African descent. “African Bad Gyal” was leaked a week early prior to its official 8th June release. The leaked version only contained WizKid’s first and Chris Brown’s second verse. The official version included an additional verse from WizKid and an intro. The track served as a follow-up to the previously-released album precursor singles, “Daddy Yo,” featuring Ghanaian songstress Efya, “Come Closer” featuring Drake and “Sweet Love.”
4. Davido Ft Chris Brown – Blow My Mind
“Blow My Mind” is a song by Nigerian Afrobeats superstar Davido which was released on 26th July 2019 as the fourth single off his sophomore album “A Good Time”.
The song marks the first of an onslaught of collaborations between Nigerian Afrobeats superstar Davido and Chris Brown over the coming years. David and Chris today appear to have a bromance that transcends music, with Chris Brown having once described Davido as “his brother for life”. Davido revealed in an interview with Ebro Darden on Apple Music’s Beat 1 that he and Chris had never met, with the now usual collaborators only speaking once via FaceTime prior the recording of “Blow My Mind”.
“I spoke to Chris in December last year on facetime for a minute. But then, we didn’t link. We have a mutual friend actually, Hoodie… he would tell me that he likes this record I did last year (Assurance)…”
“So, I come back to LA and I’m recording the album and I’m making this record (Blow My Mind) – shout-out to Shizzi and Wurld, they produced and co-wrote it too. I sent the record to the Hoodie and then I was on a flight for 12 hours to Italy. And when I landed in Italy, the verse was in my email. I ain’t speak to Chris a day in my life. I only spoke to him once…”
“Then he came for the tycoon fest in Atlanta… I just got to the hotel and they say, ‘Oh yeah, this is your key, Chris got you a room right by his…’ I spent three days in Atlanta with Chris, it was crazy, I lost my phone, you know how that goes… And then he (Chris) was like, ‘Yo, let’s go to LA to shoot the video.”
“Blow My Mind” was one of the most commercially successful songs off Davido’s “A Good Time” album peaking at No. 3 on Billboard’s Top Triller Global Charts, and going 2× Platinum in South Africa.
5. Chris Brown Ft Davido – Lower Body
“Lower Body” marks the second official Chris Brown and Davido collaboration following the hugely successful “Blow My Mind”.
The Kiddominant-produced record is a chill Afrobeat-inflected tune that sees Chris and David take turns in serenading a damsel, encouraging her to dance with her “lower body”. Davido delivers a remarkable guest verse and hook setting the tone for Chris Brown to ride on. “Lower Body” is taken off Chris Brown’s ninth studio album Indigo which he released on 4th October 2019. The album marks his second double album and serves as a follow-up to 2017’s Heartbreak on a Full Moon.
6. Davido Ft Chris Brown and Young Thug – Shopping Spree
Davido collaborated with Chris Brown for the third time on the song “Shopping Spree”, taken off Davido’s third studio album “A Better Time” released on 12th November 2020.
“Shopping Spree” sees Davido and Chris Brown once again flex their undeniable chemistry. This time around the duo’s effort is complemented by a fire guest verse by Atlanta rapper Young Thug. The song sees the three superstars play the role of suitors who make expensive promises to their love interest. An instant fan favorite, Davido marked his 10th entry on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales Chart with ‘Shopping Spree’ on 27th July 2021.
7. Lojay x Sarz ft. Chris Brown – Monalisa
The original version of “Monalisa” is taken off record producer Sarz and newcomer Lojay’s collaborative EP “LV N ATTN” released back in June 2021.
Aptly combining elements of Afrobeats and Amapiano, the song was an early standout due to its hypnotic beat and infectious hook, becoming one of the biggest Nigerian releases that year. On recruiting Chris Brown on the remix Sarz revealed: “We’ve always wanted an international voice on the remix of Monalisa and we felt that Chris Brown stood out from the list of international stars we had. Chris is an artiste that can sing in any genre and still be identified. His voice took the song to another level.”
At London’s recent Wireless Festival, Chris Brown brought Lojay out to perform “Monalisa” remix for the very first time during his set on the main stage. Now a global hit, the collaboration has put Lojay on the map as one of Nigeria’s fastest-rising acts and cemented Sarz’s status as an Afrobeats production powerhouse.
8. Rema ft Chris Brown – Time N Affection
Mavin signee Rema tapped Chris Brown for “Time & Affection” off his 16-track album Rave & Roses which was released on 25th March 2022. This London-produced track is an R&B and Afrobeats fusion that sees Rema and Chris Brown reassure their respective love interests of all the time and affection.
Rema in his Genius commentary on the song explained:
“Time N Affection” is about the time you put into someone you love and how much you give into it. It’s one thing to love and spend money and ball and whatever, but when it loses that main interest, it’s not love anymore. It’s lost. Putting in your time, no matter how busy you are, and putting in your interest proves how much you love someone, and that’s what the song is all about. Chris Brown did his part and that made it a special record. Very graced to have his vocals on my album.”
In the summer of 2022, Rema joined Chris on stage at the AfroNation Music Festival in Portugal, to perform Time N Affection for the very first time.
9. Chris Brown ft. WizKid – Call Me Every Day
“Call Me Every Day” is a laid-back, afrobeats-inspired song released as the third official single from Brown’s tenth studio album, Breezy, on 17th June 2022. The vocals on this record are mainly led by WizKid, with Chris Brown adopting a similar flow to match WizKid’s Afro-inspired vibe! The song marks the third collaboration between the duo following: 2016’s “Shabba” and 2017’s “African Bad Gyal”.
In a recent interview with radio host Big Boy, Brown revealed that he and WizKid share a longtime friendship relationship outside of music and that they previously did various studio sessions together where he felt like they ended up doing “fun songs”, but with “Call Me Every Day” he accomplished his desire of making a “real record” with the Nigerian artiste.
“He’s been my friend for 15 years plus. We always like play studio and some fun sh*t but this time we made a real, real record, And I feel like it’s dope”, Breezy said. “Call Me Every Day” received positive reviews from music critics, and debuted at #76 on the Billboard Hot 100.
10. Fireboy ft. Chris Brown & Shenseea – Diana
One of the fan favorites off Fireboy DML’s third studio album “PlayBoy” which was released on 5th August 2022, “Diana” is a star-studded collaboration that features Chris Brown and Jamaican dancehall diva Shenseea. On the Zaki Amujei-produced record, Fireboy and Chris Brown declare their love for Diana—while trying to repair their relationship troubles created by mistrust. Shenseea provides the feminine perspective by playing the role of Diana and stating what she needs from her significant other.
Notable Mention: Chris Brown ft. Davido – Nobody Has to Know
Having built a genuine friendship over the years, this song forms the fourth official collaboration between the duo. Released on 8th July 2022 – Nobody Has To Know is lifted off the deluxe edition of Chris Brown’s tenth studio album “Breezy”. The new iteration of the album houses 33 tracks, as opposed to the original album’s 24, and sees additional features with Davido and Anderson Paak.