Audio

Burna Boy's Album Debut 'L.I.F.E'

Debut album from Nigerian rapper Burna Boy L.I.F.E (Leaving an Impact For Eternity).


They call him Burna Boy and he's back again. This time not with a throwaway single, but his full length debut L.I.F.E (Leaving an Impact For Eternity). We've taken note of Burna's rise, which has been a few years in the making. He's gained a nationwide following in Nigeria whilst simultaneously shunning trends and establishing a unique voice. It seems he fits in by being pointedly different, thereby creating a mainstream niche for himself. With the quality of his prior Burn Identity mixtape and subsequent singles, it would be an understatement to say his debut LP was highly anticipated.

L.I.F.E is led by singles "Run my Race," "Tonight" and "Like to Party," whose lyrics, tempo and delivery reveal everything you need to know about Burna's message. He's a young man having the time of his life, but after all, he's earned the right through struggle and sacrifice.

The partnership between Burna and producer LeriQ is something quite special and unusual in this day and age. When a producer guides an entire album, as LeriQ does on L.I.F.E, he transforms from a mere beatmaker to a thematic and musical co-director. We've seen such partnership prosper in the past in multiple instances — Michael Jackson/Quincy JonesTimbaland/Jay Z and so many more.

Burna navigates through multiple musical styles with his combination of Jamaican toasting and Nigerian sharp delivery and flow. The intrinsically Fuji feel on "Ma Loda Ma Motto" transforms into a radio friendly track with Burna's touch. The EDM tempo and rhythm of "Always Love You" almost tricks listeners into believing it's a Guetta construct, but alas it's Burna again with his easily recognisable voice over the track.

The Fela-esque chant ("I Never Tell You Finish") at the start of "Boom Boom Boom" is Burna's attempt to channel the late great through social commentary. Album peak, "My Cry," features Chocolate City royalty M.I Abaga on Burna's sobering account of the state of Nigerian affairs. For a gratifying moment, party rhetoric tones down and in its place arises a discussion of social issues — a specially crucial element of music in a country with issues as deep-rooted as they are in Nigeria. If just for one track, Burna lives up to the responsibility of using his stature and relevance as an artist to speak out on injustice.

Burna Boy's L.I.F.E - Leaving an Impact for Eternity is out now via Aristokrat Records.

Audio
Photo: Hugo Glendinning & Gavin Rodgers.

The 10 Best Nigerian Songs of the Month

Featuring Rema, Niniola x Femi Kuti, Tony Allen, 2Baba, Olamide, Burna Boy, Fireboy DML and more

Here are the best tracks that came out of the buzzing Nigerian scene in February.

Follow our NAIJA HITS playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Keep reading...
popular
Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

The 19 Best South African Songs of the Month

Featuring Kabza De Small & DJ Maphorisa, The Big Hash, Nduduzo Makhathini and more.

Our list of the best South African songs of the month includes new singles that dropped in October, alongside those that were highlighted by getting the music video treatment.

Keep reading...
popular
'Fantasy' single art.

Listen to Niniola's New Song 'Fantasy,' Featuring Femi Kuti

The Nigerian 'Queen of Afro-house' links with the legendary musician on an infectious new banger.

Nigerian singer and songwriter Niniola shares her latest single "Fantasy," featuring the legendary Femi Kuti.

The track is the singer's latest since the release of "Omo Rapala" last month. On "Fantasy," the singer delivers her usual crisp vocals atop a pulsating beat and smooth saxophone riffs from Kuti. It's an infectious song through and through, and the two make for a memorable duo.

Ahead of the song's release on Thursday, Niniola took to socials to share a story about performing with Kuti 2 years ago, and reflected on what it means to now have her very own song with the celebrated Nigerian musician.

Keep reading...
popular

Listen to 2Baba's New 13-Track Album 'Warriors'

2Baba's new album features Burna Boy, Olamide, Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Peruzzi and more.

2Baba has just dropped his much-anticipated album titled Warriors.

The album is a follow-up to the artist's last project Ascension which was released in 2014. Warriors features music heavyweights including Burna Boy, Olamide, Tiwa Savage, Wizkid, AJ, Peruzzi, Syemca and HI Idibia.

Keep reading...

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.