via instagram/wizkidayo

Review: Made in Lagos

4.9

Three years in the making, Nigeria’s star boy finally released his highly anticipated project, Made in Lagos. 

Despite a delay in the release of the star’s fourth studio album ordered by Wizkid in solidarity with the #ENDSARS protests against police brutality in Nigeria, the tape showcases just how far the superstar has come as an artiste. Made In Lagos as a body of work rides in a new direction. Serving as a capsule for Wizkid’s career, MIL highlights the star’s sonic journey via the blend of old and new sound trademarks. MIL reaffirms Wizkid as an OG but reminds us that he is capable of reinventing himself.

via instagram/wizkidayo

On a project that spans 52 minutes with fourteen songs, the singer starts his journey with “Reckless”, a song that highlights the life of an artiste: the come up, the bad days and the good ones, all in the form of a melodic sermon thriving on quality production.

The tracklist cuts across several genres, from hip-hop to proper afro beats, R&B/soul to dancehall. On the second song “Ginger”, Wizkid calls on the African Giant, Burna who steers the chorus giving the song that extra “gbedu” energy. Feature-wise, we’ve always wanted another Skepta/Wizkid joint after 2018’s hit “Bad Energy”, and Wizkid provided that again, harnessing that same energy and vibe to “Longtime”, whilst Skepta ties the song together with a smooth verse.  

The superstar features go on and one of the most faultless songs on the album, my personal favourite, “Blessed” is everything Wizkid and more. A smooth, soothing spiritual awakening, and if anyone was going to add the final piece, it had to be Damien Marley. The crooner who delivers a sermon-like feature, feasting on the drums and trumpet laced production. whew, give thanks and praises. 

Things get a little more groovy on “Mighty Wine”, a dutty wine song that boasts Caribbean-esque and Afrobeats elements, with Wizkid delivering his signature hypnotic vocals as usual. Halfway into the album and Naira Marley/Zlatan fans may feel some type of way as there’s barely a leg work anthem to break their ankles to. However, the lead single “No Stress” comes close. “No Stress” is the kind of song you get a lap dance to in the VIP section of the club. “True Love” sees Wizkid welcoming the new era of African music into his world by leading a fire production by Juls.

“Smile” which was released as a single hoards happiness and bright sonic vibes, with H.E.R’s voice as refreshing as ever, she rides the beat with ease. Deeper into the R&B/soul section of the tape, Ella Mai’s performance on “Piece of Me” accompanied by Wizkid, is pure black excellence, as the duo explores romance as an interior experience.

Songs like “Essence” create a window of opportunity grabbed thoroughly by none other than Nigeria’s buoyant singer Tems, who dominates the beat with her ever heavenly voice whilst Wizkid sums the song up with classic weezy boy seasoning. “Roma” is potentially for the leg breakers, and with StarBoy signee “Terri” on it, its default Nigerian Afrobeats vibes make it one for the energetic ones. “Gyrate” is as smooth as every Wizkid song. Warm, dynamic vocals with detailed storytelling capable of suiting any mood. It’s almost the same on “Grace” which acts as a realization of how far Wizkid has come in his journey to the top. 

via instagram/wizkidayo

Overall, the album’s production style is what cements it as a top project. Wizkid’s writing is class alongside quality crafting results in a tape that is pure magic. Made in Lagos comes with songs that reveal every influence the Ojuelegba hitmaker has had in his career concentrating everything in the city where he came from; Lagos.

Listen to MIL here

4.9

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