Burna Boy – OUTSIDE (2018)

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What's your favorite track on this slinky, simmering album?

Poll Results

Ph City Vibration 3
Calm Down 2
Ye 2
Sekkle Down (f. J Hus) 1
Heaven's Gate (f. Lily Allen) 1
More Life 0
Devil in California 0
Rock Your Body 0
Streets of Africa 0
Giddem 0
Koni Baje 0
Outside 0

rob, Saturday, 1 December 2018 15:27 (one year ago) link

This has stuck with me all year and is now a contender for year's best thanks to Burna's laid-back charisma and how artful the production fuses dancehall, highlife, rap, and rnb.

Ph City was the immediate standout when I first heard this in January and it might still be the one, but there's a lot to love here. Thanks to Kanye plus some accidental SEO, Ye is probably the biggest hit (though Rock Your Body was pretty big in 2017 iirc). Both features are excellent--I don't have any Allen pro or con feelings, but even if you do she's incorporated well here. The title track is the least compelling, but sticking it on last minimizes the damage.

rob, Saturday, 1 December 2018 15:36 (one year ago) link

Good album, although I was underwhelmed by him live .

curmudgeon, Saturday, 1 December 2018 15:55 (one year ago) link

heh I can imagine that. But I'm curious: what kind of set-up did he use? was this in DC? what venue?

rob, Saturday, 1 December 2018 15:58 (one year ago) link

either Ye or Sekkle Down

galaxy brian (voodoo chili), Saturday, 1 December 2018 15:59 (one year ago) link

I tend to think the first half is >>> the second, but Giddem's Dire Straits meet Sly and Robbie vibe really stood out on a recent listen

rob, Saturday, 1 December 2018 16:06 (one year ago) link

the only ye I recognise

single bed mentality (||||||||), Saturday, 1 December 2018 16:17 (one year ago) link

definitely the best Kanye-related news of 2018

rob, Saturday, 1 December 2018 16:22 (one year ago) link

I saw Burna Boy at the Howard Theatre in DC and he had a band plus used backing tracks at times. He didn’t seem that into performing the songs. He held the mic out to the crowd for more time than I have seen anyone do so. When I saw Yemi Alade there another time , she danced, sang, engaged the crowd. It was great. I saw Serge Beynaud live in Maryland once. Just he & dancers and backing tracks. But Serge was charismatic and the dancers were great, so that was better than Burns live too. I still like Burna Boy’s album though.

curmudgeon, Saturday, 1 December 2018 17:07 (one year ago) link

One of the best albums of the year, for sure. It’s between “PH City Vibration” and “Ye” for me, I think (I’m not counting “Rock Your Body” - too familiar as a 2017 hit already). I also have a soft spot for “Streets of Africa”, annoying nursery rhyme and all.

The two pre-album tasters that didn’t make it to the album, “Gba” and “Deja Vu”, would have been contenders too.

breastcrawl, Sunday, 2 December 2018 17:38 (one year ago) link

btw rob, I know you know “Ye”’s popularity isn’t just to do with the Kanye factor: https://www.pulse.ng/entertainment/music/some-nigerians-want-burna-boys-ye-to-be-the-national-anthem-id8438414.html

breastcrawl, Sunday, 2 December 2018 17:38 (one year ago) link

Thanks for that link--I was def worried I was overstating the "ye" effect (kind of an occupational hazard as I've been researching the effect of algorithmic recommendations on culture), but tbh I wasn't exactly sure what accounted for that being such a breakout hit.

I find Streets charmingly goofy as well. I can't remember if I've heard "Gba" or "Deja Vu" (will do so shortly) but follow-up single "Gbona" deserves mention here--it could have been added seamlessly.

rob, Sunday, 2 December 2018 18:44 (one year ago) link

For me it's probably something like 1) Ph City 2) Ye 3) Koni Baje. 4) Rock your Body. 5) Lily Allen. I don't really listen to the others.

Nabozo, Sunday, 2 December 2018 19:13 (one year ago) link

xp There’s also current hit “On The Low”. I felt it was a step down from “Gbona” at first, but I’ve fallen for it hard this weekend.

breastcrawl, Sunday, 2 December 2018 20:03 (one year ago) link

gbona is amazing... i love how supple his beats are

J0rdan S., Sunday, 2 December 2018 22:08 (one year ago) link

ph city insane also

J0rdan S., Sunday, 2 December 2018 22:20 (one year ago) link

Voting calm down because it hasn't been mentioned yet and I love it

just sayin, Sunday, 2 December 2018 22:44 (one year ago) link

Calm Down is awesome, probably the biggest surprise production-wise on first listen, somehow there's a lot going on while it also being really elegant (<-- maybe applies to the whole album). I should look up the credits for this

rob, Monday, 3 December 2018 01:08 (one year ago) link

also I assume "Outside" won't get a vote but I love that closing couplet

rob, Monday, 3 December 2018 01:11 (one year ago) link

this is my aoty and Calm Down is easily my most listened to song since whenever this released. not a song on here i dont like. easy album to get lost in.

Spottie, Monday, 3 December 2018 02:58 (one year ago) link

calm down kinda reminds me of right side of my brain off of love vs money. predominant layered vocals being used to create something really immersive, and def both standout outliers on their respective albums.

Spottie, Monday, 3 December 2018 03:04 (one year ago) link

the kinda mournful sax on "rock your body" is so dope

J0rdan S., Monday, 3 December 2018 05:48 (one year ago) link

Went with ye cause it’s undeniable, but the whole thing is good, yes.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Monday, 3 December 2018 07:28 (one year ago) link

“Calm Down” was produced by Jae5, just like “Sekkle Down” with J Hus (obviously).

xps to rob

breastcrawl, Monday, 3 December 2018 08:36 (one year ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Thursday, 6 December 2018 00:01 (one year ago) link

voted Ph City since it grabbed me earliest

rob, Thursday, 6 December 2018 00:04 (one year ago) link

Ph City is amazing but the one I've played most is the Lily Allen one so that

Scritti Vanilli - The Word Girl You Know It's True (dog latin), Thursday, 6 December 2018 00:51 (one year ago) link

I love that one

Spottie, Thursday, 6 December 2018 01:48 (one year ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Friday, 7 December 2018 00:01 (one year ago) link

Meant to make up my mind about this yesterday, but then I forgot. Would very likely have voted for “PH City” as well, so it wouldn’t have affected the result.

Does this mean we now know ILM has a core of 12/13 Afropop aficionados, or is there a higher ceiling?

breastcrawl, Friday, 7 December 2018 08:37 (one year ago) link

that sounds about right. There are a few people who post to the rolling thread but didn't here (ufo, kreuzer 2, sean gramophone). I'm curious if deej or Matt DC are into this one?

rob, Friday, 7 December 2018 13:19 (one year ago) link

i’ve still only heard individual singles from this but thanks for making a thread y’all, i’m gonna finally check it out today

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Friday, 7 December 2018 13:28 (one year ago) link

it didn't click for me when i gave it a listen earlier in the year but i'll give it another try seeing all the enthusiasm for it here

ufo, Friday, 7 December 2018 13:32 (one year ago) link

real curious to hear yall's thoughts

rob, Friday, 7 December 2018 13:42 (one year ago) link

quite a few more listens later and i can confirm it's pretty good! jae5 has to be one of my favourite producers in the world at the moment between all of his work with j hus and the tracks he produced on this, and "calm down" is definitely my favourite track on this - those "do-do-doos" are sublime

ufo, Sunday, 16 December 2018 10:47 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

New Burna single, “Dangote”:
(produced by Kel P, just like “Gbona” and “On The Low”)

I also like “My Baby”, his track on the new R2Bees album:

...and this Afro-dancehall track:

Oritse Femi ft. Burna Boy & Konshens • Play Am

breastcrawl, Saturday, 2 March 2019 17:26 (one year ago) link

Dangote is really nice! I listened to Play Am the other day and didn't care for it, but now I can't remember why

rob, Saturday, 2 March 2019 21:22 (one year ago) link

yeah "dangote" is great

ufo, Sunday, 3 March 2019 02:49 (one year ago) link

two weeks pass...

Video for “Dangote”:

Read all about it.

breastcrawl, Friday, 22 March 2019 08:13 (one year ago) link

...and a brand new EP with US producer duo DJDS, out today:


breastcrawl, Friday, 22 March 2019 08:14 (one year ago) link

Hm I only really liked "Darko" off that. The first two tracks are generic/dark, and "Thuggin" could grow on me, but it doesn't exactly alleviate the sluggish feeling of those openers

rob, Friday, 22 March 2019 13:32 (one year ago) link

Yeah, I wasn’t feeling that at all on a first listen.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Friday, 22 March 2019 16:32 (one year ago) link

Same here - and a few listens in already.

I think I would be a lot more interested in US/UK/etc (r&b/rap) artists working with African producers. (I think Legendury Beatz have done some work in the UK, but instead of bringing something new to the table they have played it very safe in order to blend in iirc)

breastcrawl, Friday, 22 March 2019 16:55 (one year ago) link

(instead of the other way around, if that wasn’t clear)

breastcrawl, Friday, 22 March 2019 17:01 (one year ago) link

yeah I agree with that--Burna's not bad on it or anything but the gloomy setting makes him sound like an off-brand Future. I listened to Dangote afterwards and the production with the guitars and sax was immediately so much more appealing

rob, Friday, 22 March 2019 17:19 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

Double-posting with the Rolling Afropop thread:

Burna Boy • Anybody

(the low-key lush production is by Rexxie, who’s moving up a level here)

(video is top notch too)

breastcrawl, Friday, 14 June 2019 22:07 (one year ago) link

three weeks pass...

New album African Giant out on July 26th.

breastcrawl, Wednesday, 10 July 2019 20:09 (one year ago) link

"anybody" is awesome, he has such great taste in production

J0rdan S., Wednesday, 10 July 2019 22:53 (one year ago) link

Great news! (though I’m majorly behind on the afrothread)

Anybody is superb. Dangote has become a big favorite over the course of the year

rob, Wednesday, 10 July 2019 23:39 (one year ago) link

album will reportedly include "Anybody", "On The Low", "Gbona", and "Dangote" so sounds promising

ufo, Thursday, 11 July 2019 02:03 (one year ago) link

incredible album. tho also made me more certain that 'outside' was aiiiiite

ILX’s bad boy (D-40), Tuesday, 30 July 2019 09:27 (one year ago) link

makes it seem more like a stepping stone yeah.

big city slam (Spottie), Tuesday, 30 July 2019 16:03 (one year ago) link

It's a good thing he's crossing over with this one and not with the lily allen single, even though that was actually a good song.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Tuesday, 30 July 2019 16:24 (one year ago) link

every layer of production in "secret" is exquisite

american bradass (BradNelson), Tuesday, 30 July 2019 16:40 (one year ago) link

I agree with the consensus that AG is more confident & cohesive, and it's exciting that this more-rooted-in-the-local album represents such a leveling up and is getting attention. But, idk it's a little premature to reevaluate Outside, no? It's likely I'll end up agreeing that AG>>>Outside, but I'm barely familiar with the non-singles yet.

that said, I do hope this creates some space for Wizkid to put out an equally uncompromised album

rob, Tuesday, 30 July 2019 16:42 (one year ago) link

If the accounts I’ve seen about Made in Lagos are to be believed, he will. (The endless postponing is getting me nervous tho.)

breastcrawl, Tuesday, 30 July 2019 16:50 (one year ago) link

i don't know if the superlative chill of african giant is really compatible with the pre-existing level of stress i am planning on maintaining in my day-to-day existence this year

j., Wednesday, 31 July 2019 04:57 (one year ago) link

Listening to the song w Future is making me think that perhaps the way Future uses his voice might have set an example for Burna and been instrumental in allowing him to slow down, open up and relax more and more over the past five years. I remember thinking that there was a slight constriction to his voice and subject matter (so many songs about how his enemies were trying to hold him back on that first album!) when I started listening to him around 2013-14 that... well... held him back a little. He was always great but he sings with so much more authority now than he used to do. There are obviously other things going on w regards to this point of a more local nature (plus, he got older), and also some very big differences between the two, but once I heard it I couldn't quite unhear it either.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Wednesday, 31 July 2019 13:16 (one year ago) link

On the one hand, I can hear that, especially on the slower tracks and yes, in terms of subject matter at times. On the other, I think Future sounds out of place on his track--maybe I'll come around with a few more listens, but I think a Jamaican or UK artist would have fit in better (might also be influenced by it being Dre Skull and possibly Popcaan saying "woi-yo").

I'm reluctant to make this point because it's feels blinkered for a non-Nigerian to hear this, but the comparison that comes to my mind the most is Fela. Definitely not on every track, but when he gets throatier (not to mention political) it strikes me as the best possible kind of influence, not copying or paying homage, just tapping into how FK used his voice. For me, it's a noticeable part of the "authority" you mentioned.

rob, Wednesday, 31 July 2019 13:59 (one year ago) link

Yeah, that was mostly what I was referring to w "obviously other things going on w regards to this point of a more local nature" but I would add Fela filtered through the crossover success of Ojuelegba with its Fela leanings but also decidedly un-Fela vocals, lol. It's like a lane opened up for Burna and he decided to go for it. At least that's how I hear it.

And idk, I think Future sounds good on that track.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Wednesday, 31 July 2019 14:24 (one year ago) link

Both American rappers sound kind of incongruous to me, but ftr not "bad" just not as organic as the other features. That might be because they're at the end of the album though, and I haven't absorbed it yet--I could well come around.

rob, Wednesday, 31 July 2019 14:31 (one year ago) link

I don’t think it’s controversial to say Burna’s been influenced by Fela - case in point:

breastcrawl, Wednesday, 31 July 2019 14:34 (one year ago) link

Oh yeah didn't mean to imply it was controversial, more just a "listens to Nigerian music once" kinda observation to make

rob, Wednesday, 31 July 2019 14:36 (one year ago) link

And a review of the album by renowned Nigerian music writer Joey Akan for The FADER.

breastcrawl, Wednesday, 31 July 2019 14:37 (one year ago) link


breastcrawl, Wednesday, 31 July 2019 14:37 (one year ago) link

well, just a follow-up post really

breastcrawl, Wednesday, 31 July 2019 14:38 (one year ago) link

...once, twice, three times a Fela...

breastcrawl, Wednesday, 31 July 2019 14:39 (one year ago) link

wait, Skrillex produced Show & Tell? I swear I heard Dre Skull's producer tag on that. I cannot find a good source for credits for this though

rob, Wednesday, 31 July 2019 15:26 (one year ago) link

Def stepping into something I don't know enough about to comment on, but while I get Gaddafi is a much more complicated figure than the Western view of him would suggest, including him in a list of "greatest leaders" with Mandela and Fela is kind of wild, especially if you're going to question Burna's politics on the back of "Dangote".

rob, Wednesday, 31 July 2019 15:32 (one year ago) link

Lol, I didn't catch that! [DJ Drama] Proble-MATIC! [/DJ Drama]
That is definitely the sort of thing that an artist might get away with but a critic at the Fader shouldn't.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Wednesday, 31 July 2019 16:12 (one year ago) link

You’re both right:

New one for Burna and Future 🚀🚀 https://t.co/rYe7WW1KEs

— Dre Skull (@dreskull) July 25, 2019

breastcrawl, Wednesday, 31 July 2019 16:18 (one year ago) link


breastcrawl, Wednesday, 31 July 2019 16:18 (one year ago) link

ah-ha and thank you

rob, Wednesday, 31 July 2019 16:20 (one year ago) link

I’m having trouble finding/establishing the credits as well. “Destiny” was produced by DJDS apparently, of that Steel & Copper EP that dropped earlier this year.

breastcrawl, Wednesday, 31 July 2019 16:34 (one year ago) link

Both American rappers sound kind of incongruous to me, but ftr not "bad" just not as organic as the other features.

― rob, Wednesday, July 31, 2019 10:31 AM (two hours ago)

maybe worth noting that a big part of this is the...remarkable way YG pronounces bumbaclaat lmao

rob, Wednesday, 31 July 2019 16:47 (one year ago) link

Yg and future are kind of boring guests imo.. love the Jeremih /serani though

ILX’s bad boy (D-40), Wednesday, 31 July 2019 17:16 (one year ago) link

Yeah that one is rad, Jorja is good, Kidjo is awesome, Marley is fine if you don't listen too hard to the lyrics. As mentioned I love the Blak Ryno thing, Zlatan is great though that's not surprising since that was originally released as Zlatan f. Burna Boy. I'd never heard of M.anifest before but that song is excellent.

The Hannah Giorgis piece in the atlantic mentioned that BB loves Koffee so hopefully their mutual admiration will result in something soon. The Fader piece said he's dating Stefflon Don, which is news to me and I'm a little surprised they haven't collaborated if that is the case.

rob, Wednesday, 31 July 2019 17:34 (one year ago) link

I’m a bit surprised that Koffee collab didn’t happen in time for this album.

I love the track with M.anifest too (he’s a veteran in the GH rap scene, but I haven’t listened to him much).

breastcrawl, Wednesday, 31 July 2019 17:47 (one year ago) link

Not a collab, but “Spiritual” is one of my faves of the new tracks.

breastcrawl, Wednesday, 31 July 2019 17:49 (one year ago) link

the song w/ future is dope mostly bcuz it might be burna's best rapping on the album -- "rollie that's a bustdown it's full of diamonds / it don't tell the time but it's 80 thousand" -- but future feels patched in. i can't even remember anything about YG's part. one of the reasons this album is good is bcuz the token crossover guests are tacked onto already good songs in ways that feel superfluous at worst but not really detracting in any real way

J0rdan S., Wednesday, 31 July 2019 18:24 (one year ago) link

“Pull Up” has snuck up on me, it’s on autoplay in my head now.

Btw, it’s not even the first Kel P-produced “Pull Up” with Dilemma sample that Burna was involved in this year:

Timaya ft. Burna Boy • Pull Up

breastcrawl, Thursday, 1 August 2019 20:04 (one year ago) link

yeah my wife plays Pull Up a lot

(•̪●) (carne asada), Thursday, 1 August 2019 20:07 (one year ago) link

The album has entered the UK album charts at 16 this week, and the Dutch charts at 12. Some kind of milestone for sure.

breastcrawl, Sunday, 4 August 2019 14:44 (one year ago) link

i’m in the middle of the street
how did i ever let you leave oh no
why did i drink this hennessey

J0rdan S., Sunday, 4 August 2019 17:37 (one year ago) link

Relatable imo

Tim F, Sunday, 4 August 2019 22:08 (one year ago) link

two weeks pass...

i guess he and jorja swapped features

still listening to african giant m/l daily

big city slam (Spottie), Tuesday, 20 August 2019 19:01 (eleven months ago) link

visuals for Pull Up

big city slam (Spottie), Wednesday, 21 August 2019 16:26 (eleven months ago) link

This album rules. Serani on “Secret” makes me delirious

rob, Friday, 23 August 2019 00:06 (eleven months ago) link

yeah that hook is undeniable

big city slam (Spottie), Friday, 23 August 2019 00:34 (eleven months ago) link


jakey mo collier (voodoo chili), Friday, 30 August 2019 17:24 (eleven months ago) link

Another video, this time for “Gum Body” with Jorja Smitj:


breastcrawl, Tuesday, 10 September 2019 16:53 (ten months ago) link

best hook of the year

big city slam (Spottie), Tuesday, 10 September 2019 17:17 (ten months ago) link

three weeks pass...

Video for “Another Story” with M.anifest:


breastcrawl, Tuesday, 1 October 2019 14:58 (ten months ago) link

one month passes...

There's a sound in the 'Anybody" mix that sounds like a 'email sent' notification in outlook so whenever i listen i have a weird visceral reaction. still my fav song of the year tho

de-mamba mentality (Spottie), Friday, 15 November 2019 20:56 (eight months ago) link

so good

J0rdan S., Tuesday, 19 November 2019 06:51 (eight months ago) link

tiny desk up on YouTube now. so good

tony blair electric chair (||||||||), Tuesday, 26 November 2019 18:20 (eight months ago) link

he's pretty disengaged from the crowd, not even a nod or smile of acknowledgement. he still delivered tho. that backup singer is a star.

de-mamba mentality (Spottie), Tuesday, 26 November 2019 18:38 (eight months ago) link

HOLY SHIT this is amazing

rob, Sunday, 1 December 2019 15:35 (eight months ago) link

time for a dedicated thread:
here comes the AFRICAN GIANT / Burna Boy (2019)

rob, Sunday, 1 December 2019 15:48 (eight months ago) link

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