Burna Boy‘s new “African Giant” album is just a few hours old, yet we can’t seem to get enough of it. The follow-up to his critically acclaimed “Outside” mixtape is a star-studded album that features some of the best acts around the world. Although Fela‘s influence is dominant all over the project, Burna Boy explores and fuses several genres like Afrobeats Reggae-dancehall, Afrobeat and moreover 19 tracks (well, 18 and an interlude).
After giving the album a couple of spins, we at Hitsongz have found it to be a highly enjoyable and sonically cohesive project and have gone further to select the five songs that stand out to us off the project.
P.S: This list doesn’t include the pre-released singles ‘Anybody’, ‘Killing Dem’, ‘Dangote’ ‘Gbona’, ‘On the Low‘, and ‘Pull Up‘ released earlier this week.
This album opener and title-track serves as a worthy introduction to this stellar body of work. Over a mid-tempo Kel P production laced with scintillating Latin guitars, a laidback Burna Boy sings a praise poem to himself as the African Giant.
Another Story featuring M.anifest
Heavily influenced sonically and philosophically by Fela, ‘Another Story’ is one of the politically charged songs on the project. Burna Boy teams up with Ghanian rapper, M.anifest to lament about the ills of the societies where they come from.
The track opens with a brief history lesson of how Nigeria as an entity was created by the British colonialists with economic and commercial motivations and not the ‘white man’s burden’ of spreading Christianity and civilization as they claimed.
Wetin Man Go Do
The third track into the LP, ‘Wetin Man Go Do‘ is one of the most relatable records off the project. After highlighting some of the everyday experiences in the poverty capital of the world, Burna resigns to one of the most popular coping phrases in the country -“wetin man go do.”
This Afrobeat record is also the most Zankuable jams (well, probably after the Zanku-anthem Killing Dem)
Different featuring Damian Marley & Angelique Kidjo
This was the track we were most eager to hear once we saw the tracklist of the album and it didn’t disappoint. After years of admiring from afar, Burna finally gets a record with the legendary Angelique Kidjo and Damian Marley. Over the reggae-dancehall cut, Burna Boy and Damian deliver their verses in thrilling patios while Angelique Kidjo sealed the record with her powerful and distinct vocals.
NB: This track hits different with a blunt in hand.
Gum Body featuring Jorja Smith
On this love-themed cut, Jorja Smith join forces with the African giant to produce one of the best songs off the project. The track finds a repentant guy trying to run back to his sweetheart. Fully apologetic, he acknowledges the wrong done and begs his lover to come back to him. On this record, Jorja gives perhaps the most impressive vocal performance on the project.
Enjoy the full project here.