VIDEO: Burna Boy is Nigeria’s “Don Gorgon”

July 7, 2014

Words by Natalie Weiner—

Nigeria’s Burna Boy never skimps on the visuals, and his brand new video for “Don Gorgon” (yes, like that Don Gorgon) is no exception. The Naija deejay, already known for his love for dancehall (see tunes like “Yawa Dey” and “Wombolombo“) brings the yardie influence front and center on “Don Gorgon.” He pays homage to the genre’s greats throughout the track, casually throwing in allusions to Shabba’s “Ting-a-Ling,” Johnny Osbourne’s “Budy Bye” and Super Cat and Heavy D’s “Dem No Worry We.” Don’t get it twisted though—in a recent interview Burna professes that he’s “never had a liking for Shabba…people have told me of my similarities to him but personally, I don’t feel him,” stating his preference for Super Cat among ’80s/’90s dancehall greats (no word on his opinion of the original Don Gorgon—Ninjaman—though). 

The apparent conflicts between all of these dancehall legends are erased by the smooth vocals of Burna Boy, who switches between English, patois, and Yoruba seamlessly over the snappy, synth-heavy pop beat to make a tune ready for clubs from Nairobi to Kingston. The video, filmed in South Africa, is a bright, colorful, and distinctly African take on the classic cars/girls/parties music video trope, featuring some scenic shots of the coast and Burna alongside his pet cheetahs. He gets around in 3 1/2 minutes, from the car, to the crib for some video games, to an impromptu parade, to a hot air balloon… all while spitting some irresistible, dancehall-tinged verses. Check out the video below: