While WizKid has long since established his status as the undisputed frontrunner in his native Africa throughout, the Nigerian superstar reaped dividends in 2016 with a crossover of Drake’s stamp of approval with the “One Dance” feature.
Since then, the Afrobeat giant has spent the past four years weaving a duality as he battles using the commercial catapult that serves as the basis for his RCA Records contract while also maintaining his A stronghold for African natives and the diaspora market. In the three years since his big label debut, voice from the other sideWizkid seems to be quietly leaning toward the latter, with an eye toward massive expansion through clips like “Fever,” “Ghetto Love,” and “Joro,” slowly fusing afrobeat, highlife, and dancehall themes to build a defined sound.
Still, WizKid has yet to prove its ability to resonate with a more unfamiliar market, which has been neatly addressed by releasing a full oeuvre under his Starboy imprint and collaborating with a number of producers on their own celebrated cuts, with no label obligations. these complex issues. However, when he arrived with his fourth professional album, Made in LagosWizKid has finally conquered the balance rope, proudly presenting the sound of a decade of success.
At first glance, the star power of selected collaborators across 14 tracks marks the most obvious step in this multi-pronged approach pulling Wizkid in the direction of global conquest.those who pay attention will find Made in Lagos Has a continuation of the vocal success found on Starboy SoundMan Vol. 1 output.
However, this time, Wizkid successfully crossed borders and achieved efficient compounding. On “Smile,” a Caribbean soundscape adorns the catalog, while label partner HER provides smooth vocals in a duet that instantly captivates stateside fans. African giants Burna Boy traded star power in “Ginger,” and the two engaged in a friendly battle for command in a dynamic clip. On select tracks like “Piece Of Me” and “Essence,” singers Ella Mai and Tems each give breathless performances, highlighting Wizkid’s own penchant for crafting sexy songs that resonate with the market. All the while, no single presence was enough to push the project past whatever threshold Wiz himself had set.
He made room for a proper check on the one-man outing made in Lagos. For example, “Mighty Wine,” “No Stress,” and “Gyrate” found elements of Wizkid, cutting sensual anthems into late-night raves and more.
He, on the other hand, leads with brisk braggadocio on tracks like project opener “Reckless” and Damian Marley-assisted “Blessed.”
“I know they’ll pray for my downfall/I’m still a winner,” he declared (“reckless”), setting the bar for his own expectations. As Wizkd comfortably steps into his auditory sweet spot, it strikes a firm tone. In 2020, his legacy was secured. He’s less concerned with the popularity of his product and is very focused on expansion.
In this spirit, Made in Lagos, first delayed due to violence brewing in the rear as WizKid suspended joining the #ENDSARS movement in solidarity with the #ENDSARS movement, it will be interesting to see how Wiz begins strategically phasing into the rest of the world to his credit. While the effort doesn’t sonically push the boundaries that Wizkid has been crafting over the past few years, it does mark a safe formula that could finally cement his status as the undisputed heavyweight in the rest of the world. status.