If you’re Nigerian and/or into African Music and except you are living under a rock somewhere far away in Yemen or something then I can bet with all that I have (which is not much by the way) that the name Wizkid is not unfamilar to you. Poster boy of the EME family – the stable that birthed Nigerian Ramp;B crooner Banky W and also houses emerging Nigerian emcee Skales – finally releases his long-awaited and highly anticipated debut album titled Superstar.
Such an apt title for our very own “Justin Bieber/Chris Brown” and yes maybe I’m stretching the comparison just a tard bit but you can’t deny the easy comparison that they are all very young cats who have taken their respective music scenes by storm in recent times. A young Fela as the “superstar” says on his twitter profile perhaps or maybe a young 2face Idibia? I have to honestly say that I am yet to find a suitable comparison, which is testament to the fact that Wizkid – real name, Ayo Balogun – is in a league of his own.
The buzz started slowly but unlike other artists that fade away or burn out before they’ve even begun, he kept people wanting for more and more of him – the clamour stemming from very stellar features on tracks with everyone from bM.I/b, bJesse Jagz/b, Olamide, Kel, bIce Prince/b and so many more. His first single “Gidi Girl” was released and I have to be honest and say I was slightly disappointed. My expectations were much higher than this release… Soon afternbsp;that, came the controversial hit song “bHolla At Your Boy/b” and I as with quite a few others began to see the makings of bWizkid /b- the superstar. That record was soon followed closely by the instant banger “bTease Me/Bad Guyz/b”. “bDon’t Dull/b” was subsequently released and it went on to rock every Gidi party from Nigeria to the UK to the US, leaving almost no one on their seat, to bring 2010 to an end.
It might then surprise you to hear that I was still not a fan of the kid. He seemed to be holding back just a little bit, and I thought he might be a little lazy with his verses, choosing to let the beats and musical backdrops of his songs do most of the “work”. Still I looked forward to this album. To whom much is given much is expected and it was obvious that it was his time to shine.
The first song I got the privilege of listening to and definitely my favorite song on biSuperstar /i/bis the Shizzi-produced “bLOVE MY BABY/b” (yes I had to put this in capital letter). This song just makes you happy and this is coming from a cynic on love such as myself. I found myself wishing I was getting married the next day with bWizkid/b singing this song while my husband and I danced away. The first thing that grabbed my attention was the instrumentation and I can imagine that a live rendition of this song will be quite EPIC with just drums, piano, a guitar and great backup singers. bBanky W/b harmonizing on this song was the perfect complement. Not one to overhype, listen below to a sweet little extended snippet of the song…
The next song you are about to listen to – “bNo Lele/b” – I also like because of the instrumentals. I’m not sure if there was indeed a drummer during the recording sessions but if there was, they need to be really commended because they went all the way hard and hats off to producer Sunny ‘Masterkraft’ Nweke for this record. While bSuperstar/bnbsp;is largely a party album guaranteed to have you dancing from start to end, bWizkid/b still manages to infuse two really inspiring songs that motivate amp; praise (watch out for the other one – “bOluwa Lo Ni/b”). “bNo Lele/b” is a song about survival and overcoming and I can particularly relate to it right now plus those drums patterns are just divine! Listen below
“When them tell you say, you no go fit, my sister make you tell them say No Lele”
Speaking of party songs, one particular record on biSuperstar/i/b is in my opinion one of the select songs that will be sure to have clubs going mental this year, the song is titled “bPakurumo/b”. I suggest to DJs to start their sets with this song, end it with this song and make sure to play it a couple times in between throughout the night. Before I go on, I have to say that producer bSAMKLEF/b deserves a standing ovation for his work on this song. He goes hard and the combination of bSamklef/bnbsp;and bWizkid/bnbsp;is money everytime kinda like DJ Khaled and Rick Ross; Dr Dre and Eminem; Timbaland and Missy (OK you get my point). I must confess that I’m also slightly biased towards this particular song because he mentions my sister’s name in the song (Hi Tolani), check it out below.
“They way you whine, whine, you blow my mind, mind”
Overall, this album is a very stellar debut effort from bAyo Balogun/b aka bWizkidnbsp;/band highly recommended here at WPGM. Other notable tracks on the 16-tracknbsp;biSuperstar/i/b include the Banky W-featured “bSlow Whine/b”, “bFor Me/b” featuring Wande Coal, “bWad Up/b” featuring D’Prince, “bScatter the Floor/b” and “bWhat You Wanna Do/b”.
I would have liked that rather than include old singles like “Gidi Girl” and “Holla at Your boy”, we got treated to some new tracks but alas one can only wish plus remove the four previously released songs and we still have twelve brand new songs and sixteen solid tracks in total on biSuperstar/i/b (bar “Gidi Girl” which is alright but not on par with the kid’s best) and in my books that makes for a 100% + “10/10 Shikena” album. As an aside, I would have also loved to see Skales on one or two other tracks on the album but I am sure his time will soon come and we will be compelled to do a similar feature on him when that time comes.
Ok so we can’t just tease you with snippets and leave you feening for more, that wouldn’t be fair so peep one of the many other stellar songs that did not make it on the bSuperstar/b album, this one only barely making the cut as a bonus track – the recently “leaked” “bWiz Party/b”.
It’s also definitely a Wiz Party this Summer as Wizkid and the entire EME family come here to the States for a tour starting June 24th in Washington DC. Make sure to check a href=”http://empireworldorder.com/”btheir website/b/a for tour dates at a city near you.
Wishing the album was out already, aren’t you? Yes ladies and gentlemen, VERY SOON you can get biSuperstar/i/b from your local vendor and stores and for those of us outside Nigeria, you can get your hands on the album via the online store at a href=”http://notjustok.com/”bNot Just OK/b/a/divdiv style=”text-align: justify;”br //divdiv style=”text-align: justify;”Till Next Time…