The excellent and Grammy-nominated fourth album from Wizkid, the pioneer of Afrobeats, can make you forget that the suave singer excels at getting the party started with passionate, fast-paced music. With songs like “Caro,” “African Bad Gyal,” and “Pakurumo,” Wizkid has dance floor fire whereas the majority of Suited in Lagos is made for slow whines and chilling out. In reality, his 2011 debut, Superstar, is an upbeat electronic track with an African edge that was probably influenced by EDM at the time.
Wizkid attempts to break out of the recent beautiful and sensual rut he’s been in by tackling the dance sound that is beginning to characterize this era in African music: Amapiano, on his first release of 2022 as the lead artist. The song “Bad to Me” was produced by P2J (the executive producer of Made in Lagos and a go-to beat-maker for Afro-excellence for many stars). It starts off with a four-count that sounds a bit like Pharrell but soon transitions into electrifying percussion with shekere and deep drums. Bright keys add some romance to the song as Wizkid enters with his first stanza, honoring yet another awful gyal and her spinning figure: “This kind of body don dey cause a migraine,” he goes.
The gentle image Wizkid has been cultivating over the past few years is combined with this club-focused moment to create the instantly appealing “Bad to Me.” From the log drum to the call-and-response outro’s echo (a la Asake or “Finesse”), it is obvious that the Starboy team is aware of the trends in world music. The release of “Bad to Me” has sparked an internet discussion on the origins of South African style’s effect on Nigerian music, however many Afrobeats artists have been exploring Amapiano as well.
When a Davido fanatic attempted to discredit Wizkid’s work by claiming that it was the result of Davido’s forays into Amapiano (such as the remix of “Ke Star,” “Champion Sound,” and “Watawi” with South African star Focalistic), DJ Maphorisa, a major figure in the genre, referred them to his collaborations with Wizkid and Burna Boy with Kabza De Small on “Sponono Others have attempted to stake a claim for themselves and their favorite Nigerian artists’ works using Amapiano components after Maphorisa’s remarks. But rather than claiming ownership of the hybrids, Maphorisa’s reaction to the Davido fan seemed to promote a deeper understanding of them. “No one owns amapiano anyone can do it n win,” he wrote.
Wizkid’s MLLE (More Love Less Ego) Album Will Be Released On the 29th Of October, 2022.