It’s been three years since we were last afforded the privilege of a WizKid album. Fans have enjoyed the singles and features in between, but a full project from the StarBoy himself has been long awaited. Whilst 'Sounds From The Other Side' showcased WizKid in the context of the global stage with varying genres, his newest album sees a return to home with sounds more consistent with traditional Afrobeats. Made in Lagos is one of WizKid’s most serene albums yet and a memorable comeback from one of Afrobeats' most loved princes.
Leading with a smooth bass and commanding saxophone, Reckless opens Made In Lagos and sets the tone for the rest of the album. The single discusses the doubt WizKid has been met with in his career and those who “pray for his downfall”, but he also reflects on the privilege he has and the importance of not taking said blessings for granted. Interestingly, 'Grace' concludes the project with similar lyrical undertones and it appears WizKid is stressing from beginning to the end that despite obstacles, he will continue to run his race.
Half a decade after WizKid and Burna Boy’s last collaboration, 'Ginger' does not disappoint and reminds us why the two are amongst the biggest stars in Nigeria. The pitch change in the 30 second outro increases the singles’ standard further and has me hoping it won’t be another five years ‘til we see these two come together again.
'Piece Of Me' is led by warm guitar riffs and is well fitted to the relaxed nature of the project whilst also offering a slight pop twang. In the repetitive chorus, Ella Mai demands her love interest “come and get a piece” and whilst it is not a personal favourite, it provides an enjoyable tune likely to be received positively in both pop and R&B spaces.
Artists can sometimes risk being swallowed by dominant features however, with pleasant additions from the likes of Damian Marley and Skepta, WizKid still holds his own and listeners are unable to forget who’s running the show in singles 'Blessed' and 'Longtime'. This is reiterated in two of my personal favourites 'Mighty Wine' and 'Gyrate' where WizKid’s distinctive flow carries these euphonious melodies and showcases his evolution since entering the scene in 2011.
WizKid offers a cohesive collection of singles and there’s an intentionality in the production that has been seen across all of his albums to date. There’s a distinct thread throughout the tracks which allow for a seamlessness on the project. This sometimes blends so well, differentiation may not always be easy. Despite this, the album displays a maturity in WizKid and his growth can be heard as he marries easy listening and warm upbeat tempos across his fourth studio album.
Words: Tochi Imo
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