Photo Credit: Michael Tubi / Shutterstock.com
Before you say it, yes, I know the original version of this album came out last year here’s the thing, I do not care. I wouldn’t care if this album was released 5 years ago, pretending that this album wasn’t one of the top projects of this year would be doing a great disservice to everything WizKid accomplished with this project. The recently released “Made in Lagos” short film that accompanies the new songs on the Deluxe version of the album by the same name contains the line “What does it feel like to live in a world full of color?” and in listening to each track on this album it is very evident that WizKid set out to answer that question with his music.
Just turning 31 over the summer the Nigerian born singer has spent the majority of his life making music that has propelled him to international acclaim. On “Made in Logos” he implores the talent of Black artists from around the world including Skepta and Ella Mai from the U.K, H.E.R from the U.S, and an absolutely iconic feature from Jamaica’s own Damian Marley. The effect that this creates is a bit like a musical tour through the most beautiful parts of African culture worldwide.
Deluxe projects can often be very hit or miss, mainly for me because you can usually tell why the songs left off the original version were cut, whether it be the wrong feeling for the album or just underwhelming quality. However, with this Deluxe album it feels like WizKid has an infinite number of impressive songs that he could add to this project for the rest of his career and keep most people satisfied. New songs like “Steady” and “Mood” show off not just WizKid’s versatility as an artist but his mastery over the AfroBeats sound in general. As far as the original portion of the album goes, half a beat in and “Essence” is a ready made classic and crazy thing is it isn’t even that far above the other tracks talentwise.
This project sits as a testament to the power of love songs. Not just love between people but a love of people. With “Made in Lagos’ ‘ WizKid gave beauty a soundtrack. The album chooses to focus on the vibrant feeling of life he gets from his beloved home. Despite the fact WizKid said he’d never release political music, he in fact has done just that by celebrating the beauty of his native Lagos in it’s time of need and also by celebrating the beauty of the African Diaspora as a whole.
The body of work that WizKid has crafted on this project weaves together contentious politics in his country, different parts of the African Diaspora, and the simple joys of love to create a sonic mural that will not be soon forgotten. If his next 10 years are anything like his last, I don’t think there’ll be many artists with a discography as strong as the incomparable Starboy.