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Grab some tissues because the Sad Boy era of Nigerian music is here.

What exactly makes a sad song sad? Is it slow-tempo music like Darey Art Alade’s Not The Girl or lyrics about heartbreak and pain like P-Omoge Square’s Mi? You are entirely correct if you said both.

Although it’s nothing new for men to make sad boy music, there’s something particularly depressing about 2022’s releases that’s also really danceable.

Burna Boy

Burna Boy

“E don cast,” This year, the Burna Boy song “Last last, na everybody go chop breakfast” has been played at sold-out concerts as well as weddings. Last Last is a song that has become everyone’s obsession and is similar to his 2018 hit, Ye. But in reality, we’ve turned two of Odogwu’s darkest eras into dance music performed while smoking shisha and red cups.

According to rumors, Last Last mentions two incidents: Burna Boy’s breakup with British rapper Stefflon Don (“Maybe another time, maybe another life, you’d be wife, and we’d do it right” and “Now, you crash your Ferrari for Lekki, Burna”) and a February 2022 accident. It could have been everywhere, only a minor thing remains. For this song, Burna Boy went into his vulnerable side, taking a break from his ego-driven successes, and it definitely paid off.

However, Love Damini, his latest album, contains more depressing music than Last Last. Burna worries if anything he accomplishes on It’s Plenty will ever be enough despite the deceptive dance beat. How Bad Could It Be? contains lyrics about his battles with mental health and getting out of a bad place. In addition, he fully embraces self-doubt on the album’s outro, Love Damini, where he discusses his anger management problems and his lack of communication with the people in his life.

Love Damini, Burna’s latest album, may be his most intimate work to date. It is also the song that gave rise to the sad boy movement in music this year.

Omah Lay

Omah Lay

Omah Lay’s music is one thing we haven’t forgotten about since the Covid-19-induced lockdown of 2020, unlike preparing banana bread and donning masks.

Omah Lay became well-known in the same year when singers like Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, and Burna Boy all released albums that would define their careers thanks to his Get Layd EP and singles, Bad Influence and Damn, which had a fresh trap and R&B-influenced sound. Although his EP showed a musician who was genuinely in touch with his emotions, it wasn’t until 2021’s Understand, which contained lyrics like, “I thought we in this together. Please accept my necklace charm. Give you my last card; you’re on your own. It got real when he said, “I show you my best friend, you friend am.

When Omah Lay’s debut album, Boy Alone (omo, even the title tells it all), was released, it was obvious he had entered a full emo period.

Omah Lay tries to convince himself that he was created for stardom in the album’s first tune, Recognize. The central theme of I’m a Mess is the use of alcohol as a means of escaping loneliness and imposter syndrome. Omah Lay has experienced heartache, loss, and redemption by the time Purple Song, the album’s closing track, begins to play.

More melancholy boy music is necessary.

I enjoyed these albums and respected the musicians’ choice to be as open-minded as possible because I thrive on melancholy music. It’s like reading entries from their journals when you listen to these tunes.

I’m hoping for more sad boy music as 2022 comes to a conclusion. I’m not a masochist, no. No matter how gloomy they may be, I simply adore being in my feelings.

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