No one who listens to Afrobeat can say there isn’t something to love about the sound, except you hate music, and if that’s you.. sorry. Ayodeji Balogun, popularly known as Wizkid has been at the forefront of the Afrobeat movement since his debut album “Superstar” dropped in 2010, featuring bangers like “Love My Baby”, “For Me featuring Wande Coal”, “Pakurumo” and others, he gets so much stick for being “lazy with dropping music now” but people forget he was dropping music constantly for at least 4 years, including his “Wizzy Wednesdays” singles that ended up heating up the airwaves. Baba deserves to rest, beause he’s put in the work over the years. All of his past work seems to h been building up to this “Made In Lagos” point. In 2019, when asked about what “Made In Lagos” wouls sound like, he was quoted to have said, “I’m in a great place in life in general, so it’s a positive album, a good-vibe album. You can play it A to Z and feel good about it.”. Currently writing this as I am listening to the album for the first time this morning at 8AM. Let’s find out how true that claim was, shall we?
First off, sax based beats sound like they are massaging your brain, and that is exactly what Wiz started with.. basically opens the long awaited album with a slight bragging session, referencing the work he’s had to put in over the years, kinda telling you n*ggas to get off his back and take the album and put it wherever you want to put it, because him no send una mama. Baba don hustle!
“Ginger” (feat. Burna Boy)
We finally get a Wiz-Burna track (“Sponono” doesn’t count because Wizkid was just humming, and “Jah’s Love Is True” off Burna’s L.I.F.E album was a*s). Burna was fire with the backup vocals and lamba just flowed. The song has a “Ja Ara E” feel to it, with Wizkid flowing on the beat like he came to have fun and tell you guys about what his life is like now (eat your heart out Solo! Wiz party no dey finish till daylight).
“Longtime” (feat. Skepta)
Imagine a part II of “Bad Energy” where Wizkid had verses, yeah.. this is it. No complicated lines, just feel good music for the bad honeys and the streets because we don suffer. Dem finish work for this track, flows never went offbeat once.
More sax based vibes for the honeys, any chance to rock off with loved ones to this cannot come fast enough for us. How far this Lagos state curfew?
“Blessed” (feat. Damian Marley)
I ran the track back before it got halfway because of how fire Damian Marley’s verse was. The saxophone beat dey bust head. The bars he was dropping catch you off-guard because you don’t expect that kind of flow on a slow track like this. Wiz entered the track with his “lazy boy” flow, floating so smooth like he was obviously born to do this music thing.
“Smile” (feat. H.E.R)
I judged this song unfairly the first and only time I listened to it as a single before the album dropped, mostly because people were expecting a different sound but this album shows you cannot put creatives in a box when there are endless possibilities. Beautiful sound, the artistic chemistry was undeniably through the roof.
“Piece of me” (feat. Ella Mai)
This track shocked me because the beat sounded like something Donell Jones would be floating on, and Wizkid was eating it up without a care. Ella Mai kicked his a*s all over the track though, she had Wizkid dropping bridges and dipping on his own track. Love to see it, because she really did it justice.
One word, and that’s Fire.
As this song dropped, wahala for who no get boo to rock with to this track o, or at least honeys wey you fit lie to say you dey in love. The production, performance, mixing.. everything sounds like butter melting on the hottest toast. So smooth.
If you have not listened to “Killed Before” by Young Thug, you really should. If you have, you know what is so special about this song because the producer laid a saxophone solo over an already complete instrumental, and made it even better. Trust Wizkid to finish work.
Essence (feat. Tems)
I had no idea what song Tems was going to be on (P.S: someone tell TEMS I need it, bad. I can cook and clean, just want to be rubbing her body with essential oils while she speaks to or sings to me in that angelic voice). But yeah, the chemistry was unmatched. No verses, they were just trading vocals off each other’s last word. So many flame emojis.
Roma (feat. Terri)
First things first, shoutout to Blaq Jerzee for creating this inferno of a beat. I had been missing this version of Wizkid, waiting to hear him sound like he was flowing on a beat in a tiny studio in Yaba. He and Terri didn’t disappoint in the slightest. Banger, for sure. If “Made In Lagos” was a track, this would be it.
This song was massaging my brain. No direction, just vibes. Basically, palmwine/alariwo music (drinking palm wine right now, its 6pm somewhere in the world, and this couldn’t sound better). I ran it back three times before I knew what to write, and as you can see.. I have no words. He really put the best songs at the second part of the album, so wahala for who just dey browse through.
Like the intro, our narrator made the outro about reliving his journey (dem no fit run my race), reiterating that he always stays in his lane and eats his food. No stress, we stan an unproblematic King (shoutout to you if you remember that “who wan vex Starboy? I just wanna live life and make music for the fans” video).
I decided to sleep and listen to it first thing in the morning with a clear head and it gets a 9/10 overall for me, it might sound even better on subsequent listens (as Wizkid’s music always does). He didn’t lie about it being a “feel good” album.