Burna Boy sealed his position at the Zenith of the Afrobeat and Afropop genres with this album, African Giant. This release follows major achievements this year alone; winning the Listener’s Choice, Song of The Year, Best Male MVP, and African Artiste of the Year categories at the 2019 SoundCity MVP Awards Festival. Then going on to win the Best International Act category at the 2019 BET Awards, and finally having a solo track on Beyoncé’s The Lion King: The Gift soundtrack album for the Disney classic animation remake, The Lion King. The features on the album were also rich as he excluded A-List artiste in the Nigerian industry, for reasons best known to him. For an album titled African Giant, he didn’t bother adding African and internationally known artiste, but went ahead to add the likes of Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley, multiple Grammy nominated and winner Angélique Kidjo, Future, YG and so on. The 19-track album was full of hits and genre mixtures that made a perfect blend, with him trying different flows, ranges, and topics on the tracks. The basic thing lacking majorly in the Nigerian Music Industry is Content. Artistes with content in Nigeria suffer proper recognition. The most popular and successful artistes are the Afropop artistes, these artistes former 99% of the A-List group, the remaining 1% are mostly from the Rap, Alternative music, Afrobeat, R&B and Soul genres. These 99% percent of these 99% lack contents or have slowly dropped the ball somewhere along the line during their career and just churn out beats and vibes that has zero contents and meaning. Between 2013 and 2019, the amount of songs without concepts and meaning content have the most rotations on the Radio, and TV, and the artistes get the endorsement deals. This fluke has made great songwriters dumb down their lyrics for the sake of popularity and recognition. They forget that gifted can’t do a great job being mediocre, like a mediocre would originally do. Long story short, Burna Boy is our very own Content Rich Afropop and Afrobeat artiste to get international recognition without being overrated.
Burna Boy opens up the album with “African Giant”, a PSA to the rest of the world that the time for recognition of African sound on a Global scale is now. He introduced sounds that are usually scarce in this sphere to the song, mixing a bit of Alté with acoustic guitar at a medium range tempo. The concept of the song is that good things come to the patient, hardworking and the one with a plan. Because others have tried and failed, doesn’t mean you will also fail at it. Content rich songs have failed to garner international recognition for almost a decade now, and somehow, Burna Boy did it without aligning with A-List artistes since he did on his debut album. His had a history with not taking nonsense from fans as he is blunt and speaks his mind without carefully politicking the lines. This has led him to leave the social media world, with his accounts being managed by his management, as he knows such comments from him could derail his plan to putting Nigeria and his music on the global map.
“Dangote” was released as a single in March as the 4th single from the album. This is a song one would see as his inspiration and motivation; “No such thing as too much money”, if the richest man in Africa can still be in search of new investments in order to increase his portfolio, then why should him with a net worth not up to a 1% of Dangote’s be relaxed? This song has this mellow vibe that you just bob your head to while you take in the sound, adlibs, content, flow and range. He spruced it up with a little bit of Afrobeat and just made it a song that everyone from all works of life and age bracket instantly connected with.
Afrobeat genre is known for talking about social issues since the days of it’s creator, Fela Kuti, when he used music as a tool of resistance against the Civilian Government and the several Military Governments during his lifetime. “Another Story” also talks about the challenges and the continuous failures of it’s leaders and how they continue the exploit the economy in order to enrich their pockets. Types off songs modern A-List artistes refuse to sing as they scurry favours from Government, as it is the norm in the industry; kiss ass so you can get the paper, Burna isn’t about that kind of life and he has stayed away from political figures in his career and has never done a song endorsing a public officer or a party candidate. It’s always been about the passion to make his own sound, rather than conform to the norm so as to have his pocket stuffed, he has managed to transcend with out compromising his morals and music.