On “SoundMan”, Wizkid re-defines afrobeat, and makes ‘perfection’ a reality (Album Review)
Cut the BS, this is grown man music. Wizkid just showed us he’s not one of those kids, and that he is, in fact, the artist of the decade.
For a man whose last album was back in 2017, dropping a new album without any promotion or announcement will seem like a bad move.
But with Wizkid, it’s never bad. Unannounced, unexpectedly, the Starboy came back with what some are already calling the best project of 2019 (since the year is almost over).
He also made it clear, this is just the first volume and we should expect more Starboy collectives like this. Even before his “Made in Lagos” album.
That alone, means at least one more decade for Wizkid to reign as the King of Afrobeats. Tf! Right?
And when it comes to the music, “SoundMan Vol 1” is the ultimate one and I’ll be brief with this review because I still gotta get back and listen to it again. It slaps, really.
Wizkid, in recent years, has received a lot of backlash from critics about the decline in the quality of the content on his music. Well, not the music, per se, but the lyrical content.
But all the while, anyone who was following would see, that the man was creating sounds, fine-tuning his style and bringing vibes. So, it was never really about the lyrics for Wiz. It’s the energy, the vibe, the sound, the beats!
Perhaps, because all we got were scraps, singles that don’t stick for too long, people thought, maybe Wizkid is old and man should rest.
Really, he got older, because his sound now is mature. The vibe isn’t just something any kid who sounds like Starboy can pull off, that’s why I said this is grown man music.
Quick one before I delve into the track analysis. A friend asked me why I think his boys are not on the album? Terri, Ceeza Milli and guys the Starboy has co-signed over the years. And the only reasonable explanation I could give him is, this is SoundMan, not SoundBoy.
This is for the men, and that’s why it’s only big guns like Tunez and Jerzee and Chronixx that are on the EP. Most likely guys that worked on his “Made in Lagos” album. It’s grown ass shit, nigg!
“Jam” featuring Chronixx opened the album and God knows it’s currently the Most Played song, for me. Within hours, it has quickly topped even old Wizkid songs I’ve played over and over for years.
Now, that’s a banger. Minimalist production, piano chords, trumpet sounds, hard kicks, Wizkid singing a perfect chorus and Jamaican star Chronixx doing a sharp vamp before delivering a dope verse. And then they took the chorus together, Wizkid singing, Chronixx backing up. The ending couldn’t have been more perfect.
As the saxophone sounds blows and Blaq Jerzee comes in shouting ehh mogbe, you already know what “Blow” is going to be. Bang afro, and they’ve done something like this before on DJ Tunez‘s “Gbese.”
‘Keke napepe’ has gotta be the most creative thing I’ve heard on a song, this year. Blaq Jerzee doing his lines like he’s Don Jazzy and Wizkid syncing along. Jam!
“Cover Me” is more like what Burna has been doing for a while now, the afro and dance hall mash-up that’s banging. Wizkid did his thing here, and he added some Yoruba lines that will hit some nerves in your brain. You’ll start to think this track has Wizkid‘s best hook, so far.
But Wizkid isn’t just a singer doing afro-pop, Starboy is a versatile artist, afrobeat, dance hall, hip-hop, whatever, Wizkid will surely deliver. “Mine” with Kel-P, is pure reggae vibes.
And he didn’t even lower the bar, he just soaks himself in the vibe completely and does a love tune that I have no choice than to play on my wedding ceremony (whatever year it is!)
Who doesn’t want some Afro EDM to spice up things a little? “Electric” is the kind of thing you put on when you just wanna party on a low. No one test this electric vibe. I believe this one is for ’em UK fans, they really love this kind of vibe. Imagine Skepta on a verse here? Damn!
Hm. That’s some good vibes on “Ease Your Mind”, as the king fuses highlife with Afro, and talks about the al life. Inspiration for the ones that are down. Starboy says when it feels like the rain no pour, just ease your mind.
Wizkid is not a kid. He knows how to start and end an album, nobody understands this music better. Saying a few prayers, and vibing some party vibes. Blaq Jerzee didn’t join in singing, yeah, but he did his own part as he stuffs the beat with a lot of sauce!
Who’s the King, again?
Rating: 5/5 (Perfection!)