here comes the AFRICAN GIANT / Burna Boy (2019)

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What's your favorite track on this afropop masterpiece?

Poll Results

Anybody 7
Killin Dem (f. Zlatan) 2
Secret (f. Jeremih & Serani) 2
On the Low 2
Blak Ryno (Skit) 1
Dangote 1
Gum Body (f. Jorja Smith) 1
Pull Up 1
African Giant 0
Gbona 0
Show & Tell (f. Future) 0
This Side (f. YG) 0
Different (f. Damian Marley & Angelique Kidjo) 0
Destiny 0
Another Story (f. M.anifest) 0
Collateral Damage 0
Omo 0
Wetin Man Go Do 0
Spiritual 0

rob, Sunday, 1 December 2019 15:46 (two years ago) link

This album deserves its own thread, plus I'm genuinely curious what will win here--I have no idea what I'll be voting for.

rob, Sunday, 1 December 2019 15:48 (two years ago) link

too hard. AotY

tony blair electric chair (||||||||), Sunday, 1 December 2019 16:15 (two years ago) link

otm x2

rob, Sunday, 1 December 2019 16:21 (two years ago) link

"on the low" is still my favourite

ufo, Monday, 2 December 2019 00:07 (two years ago) link

impossible, but my gut is leaning towards the obvious here (anybody)

jacquees, full of cobras (voodoo chili), Monday, 2 December 2019 00:10 (two years ago) link

Probably not voting for it but I was surprised no one mentioned Destiny in the other thread

Heez, Monday, 2 December 2019 01:07 (two years ago) link

gotta go with 'anybody'

de-mamba mentality (Spottie), Monday, 2 December 2019 05:56 (two years ago) link

Anybody is pretty undeniable. A few months ago Secret would have been my immediate choice. Tempted by Dangote and after the npr tiny desk thing I have Wetin Man Go Do stuck in my head bad

rob, Monday, 2 December 2019 14:11 (two years ago) link

anybody is my real answer but i’m voting for gum body

american bradass (BradNelson), Monday, 2 December 2019 14:13 (two years ago) link

this whole album is fantastic, but anybody is the best song of the year.

jacquees, full of cobras (voodoo chili), Monday, 2 December 2019 20:56 (two years ago) link

next five after nobody something like this

gum body
killen dem
pull up

de-mamba mentality (Spottie), Monday, 2 December 2019 23:48 (two years ago) link

title track is dope too

jacquees, full of cobras (voodoo chili), Monday, 2 December 2019 23:51 (two years ago) link

Jorja Smith f. Burna “Be Honest” has really grown on me too

rob, Tuesday, 3 December 2019 02:22 (two years ago) link

every time one of these tracks comes up on my playlist it's the best track, "Gum Body" takes some beating but then yeah the title track

éminence rose et jaune (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 7 December 2019 16:01 (two years ago) link

on the low is one of my favs still

ILX’s bad boy (D-40), Saturday, 7 December 2019 22:15 (two years ago) link

The real answer is Gbona but it came out so much time before the album that it feels previously released (that's the digital age for you), so as a 2019 release I would still say the one with which I discovered the album, namely Killin Dem, because it begins so raw and grows so hypnotic. But I don't disagree with my fellow voters, there are many highlights in these 19 tracks.

Nabozo, Sunday, 8 December 2019 16:09 (two years ago) link

I voted for Anybody, but this is easily my album of the year.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Sunday, 8 December 2019 19:00 (two years ago) link

between this and kehlani's for me

tony blair electric chair (||||||||), Monday, 9 December 2019 22:48 (two years ago) link

voted for Dangote as it sounds like Anybody is sure to win and I love getting the Dangote lyrics (or my fucked up mental approximation of them) in my head

rob, Tuesday, 10 December 2019 14:07 (two years ago) link

I learnt at work yesterday that Dangote is a Nigerian company that sold everything from groceries and clothing to now moving to cement and oil production in the Delta, and that mister Dangote is now the richest man in Africa.

Nabozo, Tuesday, 10 December 2019 19:38 (two years ago) link

Their commercials are all over CNN!

breastcrawl, Tuesday, 10 December 2019 19:57 (two years ago) link

dangote is my favourite too

tony blair electric chair (||||||||), Tuesday, 10 December 2019 20:21 (two years ago) link

Voting deadline fast approaching and I still haven’t made up my mind.

I was lucky enough to see Burna live in Amsterdam in October (in the biggest venue for an Afropop act so far) and can confirm: literally all of these tracks are anthems. The crowd lapped it up, and he was all smiles all the time. Nothing Tiny Desk about it at all!

So I’m more or less following Nabozo’s reasoning: “Gbona” and “On The Low” (no matter how gigantic they are still) are out, they were 2018 EOY material. So another one of the 9 (!) tracks that have had the video treatment so far? “Anybody”, “Gum Body”, and yes!!!! “Killin Dem” (again, yes!!!) are all worthy. And then there’s “Spiritual”, still my favourite of the deep cuts.

Still some time left...

breastcrawl, Monday, 16 December 2019 20:04 (two years ago) link

(and yes, AOTY, no question)

breastcrawl, Monday, 16 December 2019 20:05 (two years ago) link

voted Anybody but so many of these tracks are better than a lot of other stuff i was into this year.

(•̪●) (carne asada), Monday, 16 December 2019 20:36 (two years ago) link

Spiritual is awesome. I might have already said this on the other thread, but I love how Outside ends with that line about his mother worrying about him ending up like Vybz Kartel, and then this one ends with a clip of her accepting a BET award for him

rob, Monday, 16 December 2019 20:47 (two years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Tuesday, 17 December 2019 00:01 (two years ago) link

was just getting into this and he drops a history lesson :D

wasn't sure about the first few tracks but there's a shift in mood to something more melancholy and rounded about 1/3 of the way in ('gum body' might be that moment), and i really dig the more guitar-led stuff

imago, Tuesday, 17 December 2019 20:16 (two years ago) link

it is a little funny to have learned about Unilever's colonial history from this album

rob, Tuesday, 17 December 2019 20:20 (two years ago) link

it sort of feels like he had to frontload a few more conventional bangers before getting into the deeper message of what he wanted to say - is this a fair criticism? maybe it's just taken a few tracks for me to get in the mood lol

imago, Tuesday, 17 December 2019 20:23 (two years ago) link

I'd be a little surprised if that impression continued for multiple listens, if for no other reason than Anybody seems close to the consensus favorite around here. Also, Wetin Man Go Do has that same vibe if I'm understanding your take. For me this album is 100% killer with one exception: "This Side" and only because of YG).

Agreed on the guitar though--I've been idly thinking about starting a thread for guitar in contemporary non-rock production. I feel like a surprisingly large number of my favorite tracks this year have guitar in them. Part of it is the highlife/afrobeat legacy resurfacing in Nigerian and Nigerian-influenced stuff, but it's still remarkable imo

rob, Tuesday, 17 December 2019 20:30 (two years ago) link

yeah start that thread! there's some really lovely work here.

oh look here's future, guess the spell's broken ;)

based on almost the whole album, will vote for one of the tracks in that run from 'gum body', or 'different'

imago, Tuesday, 17 December 2019 20:35 (two years ago) link

Yes to the highlife-y guitar, it's integrated so beautifully, production-wise. Always makes me happy cos I love that sound.

a very powerful woman in the dog world (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 17 December 2019 20:42 (two years ago) link

yeah i'm voting 'secret', that song is magical

imago, Tuesday, 17 December 2019 21:02 (two years ago) link

but 'different' was a close second

imago, Tuesday, 17 December 2019 21:03 (two years ago) link

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

System, Wednesday, 18 December 2019 00:01 (two years ago) link

<3 whoever voted for Blak Ryno

rob, Wednesday, 18 December 2019 13:38 (two years ago) link

Those are not the results I saw in my dream last night! There every song had received at least one vote, though I can’t tell you who came out on top. Voted for “Killin Dem” in the end myself.

Now treat yourselves to the Wizkid EP perhaps? It has Kel-P, and guitars!

breastcrawl, Wednesday, 18 December 2019 17:25 (two years ago) link

More Burna, more Kel-P, plus de... Dadju:
“Donne moi l’accord”

breastcrawl, Monday, 23 December 2019 21:27 (two years ago) link

I wasn’t aware of this afrobeat track, from Queen & Slim: The Soundtrack that came out last month:
Burna Boy • My Money, My Baby

But in somewhat bigger news: a brand new single for Christmas with a distinctly different sound:
Burna Boy • Money Play

breastcrawl, Tuesday, 24 December 2019 22:53 (two years ago) link

dig all three of these.

championship winning vibration (Spottie), Friday, 27 December 2019 03:41 (two years ago) link

four weeks pass...

Video #10 is for “Secret”:

Dedicating it to longneck.

breastcrawl, Saturday, 25 January 2020 19:00 (two years ago) link

||||||||, Saturday, 25 January 2020 19:58 (two years ago) link

^^^ oh hey i coengine33red this song! recorded b3urna's ho3ok a cpl months ago. happy to see it released so soon

lumen (esby), Saturday, 25 January 2020 20:48 (two years ago) link

This song is apparently a month old but I only heard it today. It's an absolute banger.

Nappy & Burna Boy - Aye

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Saturday, 1 February 2020 23:22 (two years ago) link

that's awesome, esby, good work!


love the nappy track. such a bop - burna can do no wrong rn

||||||||, Monday, 3 February 2020 21:53 (two years ago) link

three weeks pass...

Hardly any discussion here about the “Money Play” single Burna dropped last Xmas. It has definitely grown on me, but it still feels like a bit of a hiccup in his imperial phase.

breastcrawl, Wednesday, 26 February 2020 22:29 (two years ago) link

Anyway, I made a pseudo-pan-African-pop/not-pop playlist for the rolling afro 2020 thread and all Afro-adjacent threads, generously defined. It’s already 108 tracks deep, so enjoy!

ILM rolling✳️all-inclusive✳️afro 2020

breastcrawl, Wednesday, 26 February 2020 22:30 (two years ago) link

Taking back part of what I said, I've warmed up to Last Last, I like the chilled inertia, urgency, focus

Nabozo, Thursday, 26 May 2022 14:19 (four months ago) link

one month passes...

new one is out now!

in places all over the world, real stuff be happening (voodoo chili), Friday, 8 July 2022 00:41 (two months ago) link

Sounds really strong so far.

aphoristical, Friday, 8 July 2022 01:03 (two months ago) link

i'm very late to the party; saw him at Glstonbury and damn, he was great!

stirmonster, Friday, 8 July 2022 01:06 (two months ago) link

watched his show this past weekend, seconding that he was great

luxuriating in his weapons-grade charisma

yes, that's correct

trippie redd's privat chef uh is it medium purple aww (gaudio), Friday, 8 July 2022 10:00 (two months ago) link

this seems a fair bit better than the last one

ufo, Friday, 8 July 2022 10:07 (two months ago) link

Looking forward to listening to this in the afternoon. That's a lot of features !

Nabozo, Friday, 8 July 2022 10:31 (two months ago) link

This sounded great on first listen! will need a while to unpack but compared to TaT it's a triumph of consistency if nothing else

rob, Friday, 8 July 2022 14:04 (two months ago) link

on hearing the first half this morning: very solid, if generally unspectacular sort-of-return to African Giant (hi there Kel-P!)

on hearing the second half just now after work: most of these crossover tracks are underwhelming (including the Popcaan one). the Balvin one works thanks to its solid, if unspectacular sort-of-return to the “On The Low” beat (hi there… Skread?)

apart from the two killer singles, (the) keepers on first listen are “Science”, “It’s Plenty” (very Sound of 2022), “Jagele” (with Burna sliding into his higher register) and “Different Size” (with naijapiano’s secret vocal weapon Victony)

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Friday, 8 July 2022 18:22 (two months ago) link

wanted to get this perhaps premature (re)view on the ILM record after my almost complete no show here regarding TaT, which remained a musically traumatic experience no matter how many chances I gave it (although I did ultimately realize that “Onyeka (Baby)” at least is a pearl)

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Friday, 8 July 2022 18:23 (two months ago) link

yes very excited about the return of kel-p. i was a little nervous after hearing the first track, which is a hodgepodge, but the rest is pretty great! even the ed sheeran track is fine.

in places all over the world, real stuff be happening (voodoo chili), Friday, 8 July 2022 18:34 (two months ago) link

i'll second "science" as an instant fav, with "whiskey" and "vanilla" joining as my initial non-single highlights

in places all over the world, real stuff be happening (voodoo chili), Friday, 8 July 2022 18:35 (two months ago) link

Kel-P tangent: had never this track from 2020 before - it’s superb:
Jujuboy Star • I Dey There

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Friday, 8 July 2022 19:09 (two months ago) link

i like this a lot. african giant feels increasingly like one of the monumental albums of the last 10 years to me so i hesitate to compare anything else he does to that, it's prob not fair, that was just a lightning strike moment in a few ways. but this does feel like it leans more in that direction -- both in quality & style -- than twice as tall.

i actually like some of the collaborations? there's a bit of a karaoke feel to them, like the blxst song sounds exactly like a blxst song. the ed sheeran one is very much in the vein of his pop singles. but idk, i dig them. burna is just such a compelling vocalist... i love hearing him over the misty soft rock of the sheeran collab. i think the blxst one finds a throughline between their respective sounds even if the songwriting sorta transparently leans in blxst's direction. i also like the j balvin one, he coaxes a tenderness out of balvin that i love but hasn't been present in a lot of his recent music. the khalid one is way too mawkish i'd trash that one & the popcaan one isn't bad but feels forgettable. as a brief diversion into western radio music i enjoy that section of the album... they might even be a bit better than the future & YG tracks on african giant

J0rdan S., Friday, 8 July 2022 19:56 (two months ago) link

I need to listen more but my undercooked & vague reaction was it reminded me a bit of Made In Lagos in terms of being extremely smooooth. I do wish the Popcaan feature has instead been the (apparently mythical) Koffee collaboration instead

And totally agree on African Giant being monumental. I don't want to think about this too hard, but it could be my favorite pop album of the 10s

rob, Friday, 8 July 2022 20:09 (two months ago) link

and oh yeah, the Khalid song was the only one I earmarked for future skipping: drowned in syrup

rob, Friday, 8 July 2022 20:10 (two months ago) link

produced and co-written by Jon Bellion, who Fireboy DML declared himself a fanboy of in his Apollo says. he must be so jealous (…) right now.

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Friday, 8 July 2022 20:18 (two months ago) link


big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Friday, 8 July 2022 20:18 (two months ago) link

I really like this too, buuuuuut Davido 1 - Burna 0 when it comes to Popcaan collabs. It’s not bad, just not risky enough.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Friday, 8 July 2022 20:49 (two months ago) link

I see what you did there

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Friday, 8 July 2022 21:40 (two months ago) link

I’m realizing that i like “science” so much because it feels like a sequel to “anybody,” forever my fav burna song

in places all over the world, real stuff be happening (voodoo chili), Friday, 8 July 2022 22:40 (two months ago) link

didnt really enjoy this, maybe being too hard on it, but it kinda just sloshed around for me. loved the big acoustic guitar ballad thing though

xheugy eddy (D-40), Saturday, 9 July 2022 00:25 (two months ago) link

He clearly went for feeling and a less expansive sound. It's all very pleasant and competent but he struggles to bring new things. For an afrobeats album it's very good, for a Burna Boy album it's lacking. By little at first, quite severely after. I may like 'Jagele' best, without being really impressed.

Nabozo, Saturday, 9 July 2022 21:08 (two months ago) link

it's not as strong as african giant but again, it's a big improvement over twice as tall

nice & breezy, hope he scores some crossover hits from this, as he's clearly aiming for

ufo, Monday, 11 July 2022 04:35 (two months ago) link

somehow making guest appearances on afrobeats singles does wonders for sheeran, "for my hand" here and fireboy dml's "peru" are the best he's ever sounded

ufo, Monday, 11 July 2022 05:26 (two months ago) link

very much agree. Sheeran is unbearable to me most times (smug, uninspired but oh so highly effective stuff like “Bad Habits” can feel like the Worst Music Ever on a bad day), but the first thing I liked of his was “Shape Of You”, in the shape of its Legendury Beatz (afropop) remix.
part of it is smart marketing I’m sure, but he clearly loves African pop: he joined Fuse ODG in Twi on his “Boa Me” single in 2017 and also did a highlife-inspired track with him on his own album. he also had an official amapiano remix of “Bad Habits” (!) made by Kooldrink (of Tyla’s “Getting Late” fame). and yes, his feature on “Peru” is my favourite thing he ever did.

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Monday, 11 July 2022 06:56 (two months ago) link

“Last Last” is shaping up to be Burna’s biggest hit btw, it’s currently at 12 in the UK and is doing well in several European countries, but also in places like New Zealand and Canada. the fact that it’s the biggest song in South Africa is also quite exceptional.

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Monday, 11 July 2022 07:06 (two months ago) link

def one of the best songs on the project

xheugy eddy (D-40), Monday, 11 July 2022 18:33 (two months ago) link

i like this fine, its... pleasant. but im not finding it particularly dynamic. i think i like twice as tall more but prob too early to declare.

common person is the one i keep going back to, quite moving

Spottie, Tuesday, 12 July 2022 21:01 (two months ago) link

That guy is such a weird & bad writer

rob, Wednesday, 13 July 2022 19:08 (two months ago) link

I will say that piece and pitchfork's both correctly identify Cloak & Dagger as a highlight

rob, Wednesday, 13 July 2022 19:09 (two months ago) link

And I generally agree with the first half >> second half narrative of both reviews. I called this "extremely smooth" upthread but I think what I should have said was "extremely mellow," so these takes aren't very surprising. The album could use a bigger dose of the biting menace you get in Kilometre

rob, Wednesday, 13 July 2022 19:12 (two months ago) link

Pitchfork classifies it under… Rap?? what now??

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Wednesday, 13 July 2022 19:18 (two months ago) link

anyway, that review (the P’fork one) is generally on point

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Wednesday, 13 July 2022 19:25 (two months ago) link

Yeah agreed, the concluding paragraph is a v good summation, though the MLK handwringing is a bit much--not that that's a good line lol, but "extracting associative value" is silly in light of 6 decades of misuse & abuse of that speech

rob, Wednesday, 13 July 2022 19:34 (two months ago) link

yeah the first run of songs (before the non-j hus guests start showing up) is pretty flawless imo, but i haven't been returning to the second half beyond "common person," "vanilla," and the blxst/kehlani collab

in places all over the world, real stuff be happening (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 13 July 2022 19:51 (two months ago) link

agree that the first half is stronger & more interesting, but idk the only dud is the khalid track

ufo, Wednesday, 13 July 2022 21:24 (two months ago) link

here’s a Nigerian review that makes more sense than the Joey Akan one - although I don’t agree with some of the song assessments.

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Monday, 18 July 2022 09:18 (two months ago) link

meanwhile, it’s “Vanilla” that gets a video besides the Ed Sheeran collabo:

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Monday, 18 July 2022 09:33 (two months ago) link

It's pretty subtle but does the album mix of Kilometre sounds different to anyone else? Not just different but a little better/more banging if my ears can be trusted

rob, Monday, 18 July 2022 15:01 (two months ago) link

Yeah, I noticed it at once. Not sure if it needed it, but there’s more going on in the mix for sure.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Tuesday, 19 July 2022 10:38 (two months ago) link

more Burna chart stats - I know you love ‘em:

“Last Last” enters the Billboard Hot 100 at #86, his first US hit. it’s now #7 in the UK, where “For My Hand” debuts at #30 - making it the first amapiano-ish(-ish) track to go top 40, I think?

Love, Damini enters the UK (and Dutch) album charts at #2, and the Billboard 200 Albums at #14, highest peaks for an afropop/afrobeats album ever (for comparison, Made in Lagos debuted at #15 in the UK and #80 in the US (and #28 for the Deluxe Edition when “Essence” was blowing up)

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Thursday, 21 July 2022 20:06 (two months ago) link

listening to the album again today after a couple of days hiatus: first half remains very strong, of the second-half collabos I still like the J Balvin one, but turns out “Solid” ain’t bad either. the others tho… nah.

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Thursday, 21 July 2022 20:10 (two months ago) link

"common person" too ordinary? "vanilla" know?

in places all over the world, real stuff be happening (voodoo chili), Thursday, 21 July 2022 20:13 (two months ago) link

I was talking about the songs with features specifically. the rest of the second half is also weaker than the first, but “Common Person” in
particular stood out much more for me this time

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Thursday, 21 July 2022 20:31 (two months ago) link

“Wild Dreams” is more like a tame impala tho

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Thursday, 21 July 2022 20:32 (two months ago) link

xp ah missed the word "collabos" in there

in places all over the world, real stuff be happening (voodoo chili), Thursday, 21 July 2022 20:37 (two months ago) link

two months pass...

icymi, Last Last has been riddim-ized in JA

rob, Thursday, 22 September 2022 13:59 (four days ago) link

Gotta love Skilli's minimalism. Bay-be.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Thursday, 22 September 2022 19:45 (four days ago) link

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