We waited three years Daddy Yo! Starboy after the long wait finally dropped his long awaited 4th Studio album titled “Made in Lagos” the project was initially scheduled to drop on the 15th of October. However, due to the End SARS movement against Police Brutality in Nigeria, Wizkid in his wisdom thought it would be insensitive to drop an album at that crucial time in Nigeria’s history. Therefore, its release was delayed.
Wizkid’s debut album was released 12 June 2011 titled “Superstar”, by 2014, he gave the second massive album “Ayo” also under the Empire Mates Entertainment. “Sound from the other side” came in 2017 after he signed with RCA records. An EP titled Sound Man Vol. 1 came in 2019 from StarboyEntertainment. And now, on October 29th 2020 at 11:11 pm Nigerian time, the much anticipated album dropped! “Made in Lagos”.
Made in Lagos is a 14 track album featuring both local and international artistes, namely Burna Boy, Skepta, Damian Marley, H.E.R, Ella Mai, Tay Iwar, Projexx, Tems and Terri. The vocals of these awesome artistes being rendered on this Album is priceless, as it makes one appreciate the diversity and uniqueness of sound fused into a project for auditory bliss. On Ginger, Burna’s higher pitch is met with Wiz’s more relaxed vocals with both pidgin and Yoruba as language of the song delivery. For Longtime, Skepta’s slow rap and Wizkid’s verses give pleasure as an Afro fusion of hip hop and Afrobeats. Blessed featuring Damian Marley is a beautiful Reggae, one track well blended with Trumpet sound and lyrics of benediction for growth. Smile featuring H.E.R has a lively tune to reflect the mood of the song with guitar chords and occasional trumpet sound. The Duet with Ella Mai on Piece of Me is a pristine ballad, one which should appeal to the foreign market especially. Tay Iwar and Projexx on True Love give a soulful love story from a male perspective. On Essence, as always, Tems has a voice full of energy, also the call and response at the end of the track further showed vividly a perfect chemistry of vocals. Roma with Terri is a more jumpy tune of pure Afro beats and there is a similarity in vocal texture as observed on this track with Wizkid and Terri truly reflecting that indeed Terri is a Starboy prodigy.
A critical analysis of the album will point to the realisation that there is a distinct sound of slow groove heavily rooted in Afrobeats portrayed in every track this would seem novel as it negates the more energetic gbedu style rife in Nigerian music industry. The reason for this sharp turn is not far fetched. Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun popularly known as Wizkid has cemented his place in the Nigerian Music industry with Afrobeats, however there is a need to stand out with a unique style, in order to carve a niche for himself. The effect of this would be to have for himself a distinct sound sellable home and abroad well recognized as a Wizkid sound. Going international with music means having a sound that carefully respects the needs of listeners locally and Internationally. That very aim was what Wizkid sought to achieve with Made in Lagos.
Many may assume this sound has come too suddenly, however the last EP, Soundman Vol. 1 showed a sample to prepare the ears of fans for what was coming. This new sound should be viewed independently of the reputation of Wizkid and seen as an Afrobeats genre to be embraced anew. In less than an hour the album was already 4th on Apple Music US and in a day, it already had millions of streams across music streaming platforms. Looks like Starboy will feel blessed for the reckless true love shown by his ever gingered fans worldwide, ever ready to gyrate and give a mighty wine to songs on an album they awaited a long time. Wizkid has a reason to smile as Grace is an essence in the acceptance of his sound locally and internationally.
– AYỌ̀MÍDÉ YEKEEN