Starboy's 'Hush up the silence' with Drake shows he is no longer 'Nigerian'
Sorry music patriots, Wizkid is not doing it the way you think he will. He isn’t chasing the ‘Nigerian’ sound’ that you had high hopes that he will.
He isn’t doing ‘Tungba’ music either. What he is chasing is totally different from the sounds that many Nigerians expect him to push. Instead he is going the way of the Caribbean, and creating music that is cool experimentation of their dancehall template.
We saw this happen in ‘One Dance’, where Drake appropriated Dancehall for profit, and Wizkid played multi-faceted role in it. Then he pulled it off with Tinie Tempah on ‘Mamacita’. Before flirting with Justine Skye in a way that is totally not Nigerian on ‘U don’t know’.
But it is ‘Daddy Yo’, his single from 2016, that should have set the alarm bells ringing, or rather, hit you with the resignation in the fact that Wizkid is chasing a different route with his quest for ‘international exposure’. Wizkid relies on the classic Reggaeton beat as a base, before layering it with a melody that is both forward and immersive. Then there’s the chorus taken by Efya.
On newly leaked song with Drake ‘Hush up the silence’, the Caribbean vibe is on again, with Wizkid owning the riddims from the moment he opens up his mouth.
“Came into the game, no one replace me/Mi love mine and she straight with no chaser/I love my guys, know mi all about mi paper/Mi got mi girls all around me, mi no chaser, yah/Starboy, call me number one/When mi tune drop, the girls, they bounce along/Mi no like nothing come between me and mi paper/So when mi come inna di place, mi undertaker,” he rhymes.
Drake too continues where he left off on the “Views” album. He is all reggaeton and chill on the record. “Too mix up in drama to go outside/Too mix up in drama to free my mind/Jealous people around me, I need to change my life/I just turn colder every time I try/What would I do without you, my chargi?/I don’t feel that way with anybody/Tell me your secrets, I’m not messy/Steady it for me, girl, hold steady,” he spits.
Drizzy and Wizzy continue their chemistry from the smash hit single “One Dance” off Views, which went four times platinum and was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for 12 consecutive weeks. And it shows that Wizkid is working on a ‘Caribbean’ strategy to win the US market that he so desperately wants to operate in.
While doing that, he slowly loses the sounds that are closer to home, and comes through as a Nigerian artiste who is embracing the Caribbean template, and giving off his own redefinition of it. That’s a strategy that provides international audiences with a vibe that is both recognisable and proven to work. Only this time, its coming from a different vessel – The 'AS Daddy Ayo Balogun'.
Wiz is currently working on his forthcoming LP Sounds From the Other Side. And has already promised 4 mixtapes in 2017 to set him up for a prolific output. But he continues to embrace the Caribbean for inspiration, rather than the sounds closer to home.