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Album Review: Made in Lagos Deluxe Edition by Wizkid 

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ALBUM REVIEW
(Written by Sam George Mac)

The deluxe version of any album is an upgrade to the previous version aimed at introducing new tracks that are not originally part of the album when it was first released. Made in Lagos was released on 30th October 2020, a year severely plagued by a novel pandemic that took the world by storm. The album originally contains fourteen tracks, some of which Burna Boy, Skepta, Damian Marley, H.E.R, Ella Mai, Tay Iwar, Projexx, Tems, and Terri feature prominently.

Stream Made in Lagos Deluxe Edition by Wizkid here

 

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Made in Lagos is a title that draws its origin from Wizkid’s roots as a Lagos-born artiste whose musical craft started in the abso-bloody-lutely industrial State located in South Western Nigeria. The singer had previously told this story on a 2016 single titled Ojuelegba.

Although, Made in Lagos had debuted at No. 2 on the World Albums chart last November, however, Made in Lagos did not break many boundaries until few months into 2021 when Essence, a song off Made in Lagos, the singer’s fifth studio project, is a collection of four studio albums and one Extended Playlist, cracked the Billboard Hot 100 Chart in July 2021, after enjoying much radio airplay and streaming, both home and abroad, giving Wizkid his third appearance on the Billboard Hot 100, immediately after One Dance from Drake and Brown Skin Girl from Beyonce.

These somewhat sudden developments helped push Wizkid and Tems, the featured artiste on Essence, to break some outstanding records which include Tems appearing on the Billboard for the first time, Tems meeting Drake and finally featuring on his newly released album, Certified Lover Boy, meeting the world richest female singer, Rihanna, and dropping her third studio project If Orange Was A Place which is currently doing great numbers across many streaming platforms.

For Wizkid, the records are quite numerous and heavy, including topping a total of 17 foreign music charts across the world as found on the Wikipedia page created for the song, resulting in Wizkid selling out the historic O2 Arena in two minutes, followed by two more sold-outs of the venue. Attracting a feature from Canadian singer, Justin Bieber, Essence was included in Spotify’s Song of the Summer playlist in June 2021, and in Barack Obama’s favorite songs of 2020 playlist, and got Gold and Silver Certifications in the US and UK respectively.

However, both Essence and the Made in Lagos album, most recently, have won Wizkid six award nominations in the just-announced AFRIMA list of nominees, while Made in Lagos itself, equals a record set by the late Afrobeat pioneer, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, of being the longest-running album on Billboard World Albums Chart, spending a total of 45 weeks on the chart.

Surprisingly, while he is still basking in the glory of his novel international successes and the request from Justin Bieber to jump on Essence for a remix, Wizkid announced the release of a Deluxe Version of Made in Lagos, an extension which was soon released on 27th August 2021, about a month ago, directly followed by kicking off his ongoing Made in Lagos Tour abroad.

Made in Lagos Deluxe houses three new tracks which were not readily part of the original version of the album, and the remix of Essence featuring Tems and Justin Bieber, making it a total of four songs on the deluxe album.

The extended version of Wizkid’s classic album opens with Anoti. Anoti, an Afrobeats vibe, explores the theme of pleasure, something that is not totally alien to the artistry of Starboy. While drumkicks and deep basslines characterize the instrumentals of Anoti, P Prime, the producer, flourishes on the lead guitar which is melodically strummed to blend with Wizkid’s rather alliterative but rhythmic chorus.

The outcome is the singer talking about a “she” extensively. Sadly, Bella Shmurda’s impact is restricted on this song, not because he is not capable of taking a verse, but rather because of his recent saga with the record label under which he was signed. The label had accused him of breaching the contractual agreement he signed with them and therefore had forbidden him from taking collaborations amidst other restrictions. This is why Bella Shmurda’s contributions to Anoti are limited to backup singing and ad-libs.

Buju has had quite a number of outstanding performances on featured songs so far in 2021, with his otherworldly bird-like vocals, hence, the evidence backing the media claims to portray him as “the rave of the moment”. Buju, as expected, takes the chorus of Mood with enthusiasm and professionalism.

 

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Wizkid and Buju use Mood to foreground the belief of lovers of relationships and romance that being with one’s partner relieves pressure, “stress” etc, especially sexual intercourse, hugs, kisses. No wonder Wizkid says “na only you fit cool my body… all night I go dey rock your body”.

These lines lend supports to the scientific fact that states that sex reduces stress while being with one’s partner causes the body to release oxytocin, a chemical known to relieve humans of stress, most especially female humans.

As a matter of fact, the slow-calm tempo of the Afrobeats melody represents the kind of mood a tired Nigerian, either tired as a result of working tirelessly throughout the day or tired, hinging on the current weakening socio-economic situations of the country, wants; “a big mood” of relaxation and serenity. P2J, a Nigerian UK-based producer who is one of the brains behind the production of Essence, holds credits for the production of Mood too.

Instrumental-wise, Steady, track three, is closely related to Blessed, a song off the original version of Made in Lagos, featuring Damian Marley. Steady, produced by P2J, is an ode to a lover. Wizkid praises his lover to the extent that he exclaims “that’s my baby!” at the sight of her. He does make it known that all he needs from his lover is “something steady”; he wants the relationship to be stable too. Here, the saxophone is used on the deluxe album for the first time.

Technically, P2J adopts a female singer to take the post-chorus of Steady. We saw something almost similar from the 2018 Phantom-produced track titled Ye. A female singer sings “oh baby your body is on fire” everywhere underneath Burna Boy’s chants of “ye”. This is a great technicality from P2J in the case of Steady by Wizkid.

Essence (remix) thematically continues the request made by Wizkid on Mood as Tems declares that “you don’t need no other body”. This is the same message passed on Mood, track two. Justin Bieber does bring on the RnB feel with him on the song, something the listeners of the original Essence are not already familiar with.

The instrumentals are extraterrestrial, it is not shocking though: what do you expect from the legendary Legendury Beats collaborating with the masterclass P2J on a production work? You may expect something else, but nothing less.

 

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Wizkid’s tranquil delivery and Tems’ unique Alternative Rock delivery is what Made in Lagos, both the original version and the deluxe, need to create a bang across several nations of Europe and America. The influence of Justin Bieber too cannot be overlooked though.

With Made in Lagos, Wizkid has proven the reason why collaborations are a necessary tool in the making of music, especially for older artists; the fact that collaborations, especially with the younger generation of singers, introduce uniqueness to one’s old sounds which music users are already familiar with, and may already be getting tired of.

 

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Wizkid realizes this with the breakthrough of Essence, this is why he puts Buju and Bella Shmurda on Made in Lagos Deluxe Version. A great insight that is from him! Olamide realized this long ago, as seen on Carpe Diem and UY Scuti, his last two albums, where he featured many new artists like Omah Lay, Bad Boy Tims, Bella Shmurda, etc, and underground artists like Fave, Jaywillz, Layydoe, etc, respectively.

Stream Made in Lagos Deluxe Edition by Wizkid here

ALBUM REVIEW
Made in Lagos Deluxe Version by Wizkid
(Written by Sam George Mac)

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