Burna Boy – ‘African Giant’ review

Score

This globe-trotting collection sees the Nigerian megastar scale even dizzier heights than before

With his fourth album ‘African Giant’, Burna Boy has become the foremost face of Nigeria’s pop scene, migrating to the UK music scene with tracks including the smash-hit ‘Ye’.  With colossal singles such as ‘On the Low’ and ‘Dangote’, Burna Boy proves once again that he is a force to reckon with.

28-year-old Damini Ogulu understands the power with his music and his voice; this is evident on the track ‘Collateral Damage’ – a song all about how his people are governed by fear. The contagious, guitar-assisted instrumental, paired with serious lyrics about the corruption within Africa (“Ambassador go dey chop / And Governor go dey chop / And President go dey chop”) is Burna Boy being the voice of the people. He is honest about the attitudes of African civilians: “My people serve, they fear too much / We fear the thing we no see”. Burna Boy is trying to educate the world of ‘Another Story’, as he selects an informative narrative about how corrupt British colonisation really was. With his global voice, he is being awareness to the problems at home.

There is a global feel to Burna Boy’s new record. We fly over to the UK as the megastar, Jorja Smith, aids Burna Boy on the love ballad ‘Gum Body’, which fuses R&B and Afro-beats (usually called Afro-swing). Then we sail over to Jamaica, where he draws influences from dancehall and reggae for ‘Omo‘. He interpolates an old reggae classic, I-Wayne’s ‘Can’t Satisfy Her’, as he sings, “no other girl can satisfy me” on the slow and infectious track ‘Omo’. Lastly, we travel up to the US, where Burna Boy goes toe-to-toe with rap heavyweight Future, rapping on ‘Show and Tell’ – and more than matching the master’s work.

With this new album, Burna Boy deserves even greater respect than he already command, using his profile to raise awareness for a better Africa. He empowers all to be ‘African Giants’ on an all-over entertaining album, demonstrating that he’s one for his people.

Details

Release date: July 25
Record label: Bad Habit/On A Spaceship/Atlantic