wizkid • made in lagos (2020)

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we’ve been patient, very, very patient, but it has arrived at long last: Wizkid’s Fifth, after Superstar (2011), Ayo (2014), Sounds From The Other Side (2017), and last year’s SoundMan Vol. 1 EP.

https://i1.wp.com/gramng.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Wizkid-2.jpg?resize=686%2C688
https://bonnewshaiti.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Wizkid-unveils-official-artwork-and-tracklist-for-Made-In-Lagos.jpg

let’s talk about it here.

I will be checking in again tomorrow after I’ve actually listened to the album myself
but if it turns out to be Just A Disillusion I might do a Twice as Tall and ghost on this thread!

Welcome to Nonrock (breastcrawl), Friday, 30 October 2020 00:29 (one month ago) link

Loving the first 2 mins lol

― rob, vrijdag 30 oktober 2020 0:17

Welcome to Nonrock (breastcrawl), Friday, 30 October 2020 00:34 (one month ago) link

really like this on first listen, great vibes with sax everywhere

ufo, Friday, 30 October 2020 06:21 (one month ago) link

just a sublime album

"true love" sheesh... "essence" and "grace" as well

J0rdan S., Friday, 30 October 2020 07:24 (one month ago) link

Sounds really good, yeah.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Friday, 30 October 2020 15:09 (one month ago) link

I keep getting interrupted before getting all the way through, but so far this is absolutely SLICK in the best way.

rob, Friday, 30 October 2020 15:23 (one month ago) link

s(l)ick

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Friday, 30 October 2020 15:26 (one month ago) link

heh yes that too

rob, Friday, 30 October 2020 15:49 (one month ago) link

album really starts to kick into gear with the damian marley song imo... it’s pretty enjoyable before that but it really locks into that perfect laid back, lush, slight twist on reggae/dancehall groove after that. from “no stress” on it’s just crazy good

J0rdan S., Saturday, 31 October 2020 06:45 (one month ago) link

i think my favourite section is "true love" through to "essence" which is just sublime but it's great the whole way through

ufo, Saturday, 31 October 2020 07:16 (one month ago) link

i can't get over how good both of those are

J0rdan S., Saturday, 31 October 2020 07:17 (one month ago) link

finally listening to this on speakers, drinking some special rum, and J0rdan otm: the back 2/3 of this is just right, I want to hibernate in this sound (and tbc there's not a bad track here—Reckless is a perfect opener, Ginger is maybe not the tour de force I would have liked from that combination but it's good)

rob, Saturday, 31 October 2020 23:28 (one month ago) link

Very consistent vibes, Wizkid's performance outshines most of the feats, except H.E.R and Ella Mai. Highlights definitely include Reckless, Piece of Me, True Love and Sweet One besides the two songs that were known. The last third is less obvious to me, it's maybe very slightly in automatic mode, except for Grace which is a beautiful closer.

Nabozo, Sunday, 1 November 2020 14:26 (one month ago) link

There's a real satisfying thickness to the sound of this, I've not even especially engaged with the songs themselves yet but there's this soft but firm bass sound that you can just sink into like a really good chair.

Matt DC, Sunday, 1 November 2020 14:28 (one month ago) link

Exactly. I think Nabozo's "automatic mode" for me is more like "hits a sweet spot and luxuriates in it". "Consistent" was definitely my overwhelming first impression too.

RE the features: I'm not v familiar with Tay Iwar, but his voice is a huge part of "True Love" for me and Projexx adds the perfect garnish. It's nice to hear Ella Mai, but that song might be the one I find the least interesting musically. H.E.R./"Smile" sound great in context, but I liked that song a lot already and was puzzled by the "meh" consensus on other threads. Tems' hook on "Essence" is also crucial, and I predict "you don't need no other body" will be the bit from this album most stuck in my head in days to come.

rob, Sunday, 1 November 2020 14:49 (one month ago) link

It's a testament to how deep this thing is that I'm only just noticing how good the more traditional (so to speak) afrobeats of "Roma" is.

rob, Sunday, 1 November 2020 14:55 (one month ago) link

Haven’t had the opportunity yet to *really* delve into this album, but I’m appreciating it more and more with every play. I wasn’t sold right away, which had a lot to do with my expectations for this - and there’s all sorts of expectations you build up when a project has been dangled in front of you for three years.

(here’s a timeline - note: the year in the first paragraph after the intro is incorrect, it should be Feb 18, 2017 - also lol at the Soundman EP assessment)

My expectations were heavily coloured by knowing there was a ready-for-release Made in Lagos (2019) with dominant input by Killertunes and Northboi (hello, “Joro”!) - but it (and they) were sidelined, and we might never hear it (including the Northboi-produced tracks with Teni and Buju Banton), which is a crying shame.

I definitely wasn’t expecting a whole album of Loverman Wizzy, and much as I love him in that particular mode, it took some adjusting on my part. My first impression was, yes, it sounds great, it’s a whole mood, but perhaps a bit too... tasteful?, also, the songs/melodies aren’t quite there, plus a definite lack of bangers. The great number of features felt like a weakness to me too, a lack of confidence, focusing too much on the crossover, instead of the ‘made in Lagos’ concept.

But I’m close to 180’ing on all that now (not quite there yet tho). The album really works as a mood piece, and soundwise it really is of a *piece*, with P2J (co)producing 11 of the 14 tracks as well as being the executive producer. I haven’t had an on-speakers-with-special-rum moment with this yet (envying you, rob!), but it does sound extremely good and yes, consistent and *thick* on headphones. “Roma”, as the only real afro jam, actually feels a bit out of place here.

What strikes me most now in the features is Wizzy’s generosity there, often having his partner setting the scene for a whole minute or more before he enters the track. This doesn’t work with Skepta, but it does with Tems, and Tay Iwar is sensationally good on “True Love”. Agree with everyone here that this is the clear highlight, and it’s also the most collaborative track (noteworthy that it’s the only Juls-produced one).

Still feel the album values mood over melody, but this is mainly a problem on “Longtime” and “Mighty Wine” in the first section. (Those Wine/Whyne songs are becoming a running gag btw, he’s had one on each of his four albums now - you’d think he’s doing it on purpose!)

As for the singles, released and potential: I’m underwhelmed by the Burna collabo, “Smile” sounds *great* coming in after “Blessed” (it also feels less stodgy in the album context), and man, “No Stress”, that song only gets better and better. It has a video now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veIK9yEabNc

Welcome to Nonrock (breastcrawl), Sunday, 1 November 2020 17:25 (one month ago) link

Moka made an interesting point with regard to the new Ariana Grande album, which is also very low-key and intimate and has a notable lack of bangers, where she ascribed the choice for a stay-at-home, stay-in-bed vibe to the pandemic situation, where touring (and I might add clubbing) won’t be possible in the foreseeable future.
I feel this might have been a factor in the way Made in Lagos ultimately turned out as well.

Welcome to Nonrock (breastcrawl), Sunday, 1 November 2020 19:11 (one month ago) link

Ah that is interesting. Also helps me understand why, for example, I initially thought the Jessie Ware album was thrilling AOTY material, but then didn't feel much of an urge to return to it after the first few excited spins, it felt incongruous stuck in my apt.

Anyway, good post! I'm kind of glad I didn't really know those details about the 2019 version of the album (Buju? oof). As usual you've reminded me that I should check out the producer credits.

FWIW, while the rum was special, the speakers were just a portable bluetooth device. I think it mostly helped to listen to it with someone else in the room rather than listening intently on headphones solo while trying to work out my ~opinion~ lol

rob, Sunday, 1 November 2020 20:01 (one month ago) link

I hear you, breastcrawl, but to me, at least, this particular mood is where I’m at right now. And I even have a job where I get to dj once a week in spite of the pandemic. This album lets me breathe, and I’m thankful for it. Also, No Stress is such a jam. And Smile sounds way better in the context of the album.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Sunday, 1 November 2020 20:56 (one month ago) link

I wasn’t complaining tho! As I wrote in my post, I’m close to 180’ing on my initial impression.

Welcome to Nonrock (breastcrawl), Sunday, 1 November 2020 21:11 (one month ago) link

(also, the Ariana album sounded very good to me)

Welcome to Nonrock (breastcrawl), Sunday, 1 November 2020 21:15 (one month ago) link

feeling “Grace” this morning. It and”Reckless” are a perfect pair of bookends.

also “Roma” 👌🏼

good album this, no?

Welcome to Nonrock (breastcrawl), Monday, 2 November 2020 08:45 (one month ago) link

the smoothness of it all is a huge bonus for me

ufo, Monday, 2 November 2020 09:24 (one month ago) link

“Smile” sounds *great* coming in after “Blessed” (it also feels less stodgy in the album context)

very otm, was surprised by how much i enjoyed it.

i've listened to this about three times already, mostly as a whole so i don't have much to say about individual songs. it's just a vibe--confident, laid-back, with some creamy bass sounds.

glengarry gary beers (voodoo chili), Monday, 2 November 2020 15:23 (one month ago) link

great use of *that* Loleatta Holloway sample in “Essence”

Welcome to Nonrock (breastcrawl), Tuesday, 3 November 2020 15:10 (one month ago) link

Coming back to the first songs:
The percussion and bass in Reckless make for a splendid arrangement underneath his flow, it's very subtle and organic, the tropical flourishes are almost distracting from it.
Ginger feels incomplete and it's so strange to have featured Burna Boy on the chorus and Wizkid on the verse rather than the rather obvious opposite.
Wizkid's on his near-best on the second part of Longtime. Those percussions are so right again.
I don't get Blessed more than I get Mighty Wine, tedious song.

Nabozo, Tuesday, 3 November 2020 20:50 (one month ago) link

album is flat incredible

J0rdan S., Tuesday, 10 November 2020 07:25 (three weeks ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMIlZFNX5Qc

interviewer doesn't really ask the most probing questions but wizkid comes off as very likable in this video and there is some interesting insight about each song

hearing the songs in this context actually gave me a real appreciation for "ginger" and "longtime" ... "ginger" in particular. this album is really about the final 2/3 for me but that song is pretty great

J0rdan S., Tuesday, 10 November 2020 07:27 (three weeks ago) link

I enjoyed that interview.

the super collaborativeness of “True Love” makes more sense now: it came about in a session for a Juls project, but Wizkid liked it so much that he pleaded with Juls to give the track to him.

kiss some penis reference (breastcrawl), Wednesday, 11 November 2020 08:23 (three weeks ago) link

Interesting--though that makes it even weirder that only Wizkid is credited (on streaming)

rob, Wednesday, 11 November 2020 14:48 (three weeks ago) link

I put this aside for a little while and right now it really does sound incredible. I'm at the phase of noticing the details deeper in the mix, and the opening third benefits quite a bit from it, e.g., I too like "Ginger"

rob, Wednesday, 11 November 2020 14:53 (three weeks ago) link

that’s been corrected - in stages: Tay Iwar first, and as of yesterday (?) Projexx is tagged as well

kiss some penis reference (breastcrawl), Wednesday, 11 November 2020 14:53 (three weeks ago) link

xp

kiss some penis reference (breastcrawl), Wednesday, 11 November 2020 14:54 (three weeks ago) link

Oh good!

rob, Wednesday, 11 November 2020 14:57 (three weeks ago) link

Justice for Tems too I see. Good news, that was def a sour note

rob, Wednesday, 11 November 2020 14:59 (three weeks ago) link

yeah, that was really sloppy, given that the artwork is crystal clear about it:

https://theinsyder.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/wizkid-made-in-lagos-tracklist-tgj-600x600-1.jpeg

kiss some penis reference (breastcrawl), Wednesday, 11 November 2020 16:01 (three weeks ago) link

i love this.

roma feat. terri is so good.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 11 November 2020 21:36 (three weeks ago) link

so this went out live last night on YouTube, as I discovered after the fact. have yet to watch it, but everybody seems to be raving about it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9knXaWFC-FQ

”a three-hour live-stream starring WizKid culminating in a full-on, live interactive performance”

that live performance is the last hour of the stream, it starts at 2h19

kiss some penis reference (breastcrawl), Friday, 20 November 2020 02:56 (one week ago) link

that set is **lush** as fuck

skip the first two hours and enjoy
(the vibes start at 2h01, not 2h19!)

tracklist:
2h01 intro
2h03 Smile
2h06 Jam
2h08 Mighty Wine
2h11 Grace
2h15 Blessed
2h18 Energy (Stay Far Away) with Skepta)
2h20 Longtime (with Skepta)
2h23 True Love
2h26 Naughty Ride
2h29 Gyrate
2h31 Piece Of Me
2h33 Joro
2h37 Soco
2h38 Ghetto Love
2h40 Ojuelegba
2h44 Ginger
2h47 Reckless
2h51 Come Closer
2h54 No Stress

kiss some penis reference (breastcrawl), Sunday, 22 November 2020 18:53 (one week ago) link

The Guardian is the first publication (AFAIK) that has Made In Lagos on its EOY list. They have it way too low obviously, but the write-up is pretty apt:

43. Wizkid – Made in Lagos
Nigerian pop continued to establish itself more firmly on the international stage in 2020 with successful albums by Burna Boy, Davido, Tiwa Savage, Tems and more. The best of them all was this lilting, versatile record by Wizkid. Guest stars from across the Black Atlantic – Skepta and Ella Mai from the UK, HER from the US, Damian Marley and Projexx from Jamaica – create the sense of a diasporic dialogue, where reggae, dancehall, rap and Afro-swing seamlessly and sensually intertwine.

fat ass deep state operative (breastcrawl), Wednesday, 2 December 2020 19:47 (yesterday) link


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