Listening to “That’s Wot’s Up” off Wande Coal’s 2008 album, M2M , today, means you will come to terms with how much progress Nigerian music has made with sound mixing and engineering. It also means you will be forced to admit Wande Coal is a rare breed class act and talent, and “That’s Wot’s Up”, is perhaps earliest proof of an eternal reign he affirmed on his latest radio-hit, “Iskaba”.
“Nobody be like Wande, Nobody be like Wande Coal” – Wande Coal, “Iskaba”, 2016
In terms of production, “That’s Wot’s Up” is admittedly one of Don Jazzy’s near-misses on M2M. Don Jazzy starts off well with a melody set on alternating electronic guitars and hard rhythms on the drums. But it all quickly melds with high pitched electronic synths on Wande’s auto-tuned intro and bass drums bounce underlying already loud drums. It’s built to fail and too busy to take in all at once, yet Wande Coal waxes a strong melody, taking reigns of every kick, drum and clap without missing a note.
“That’s Wot’s Up” is your walk-in-the-park Afropop-R&B and Hip-Hop fusion. Wande Coal lays hard brags with the cheery optimism of an emerging newcomer, affirming status of wealth, popularity and his place as one-third of the MoHits crew — who were unarguably the strongest proponents of modern Nigerian music at the time. The sheer wonder of “That’s Wot’s Up”, is not only in the casual manner Wande Coal discusses the details of his new found celebrity, it’s in how he accentuates every element of the instrumental with a matching harmony and (occasionally corny) punchlines. No matter how distracting the instrumental gets, the message is clear: Wande Coal is going to keep winning and records will keep selling.
It’s a cheeky way to assert yourself as ‘in-style’, but when you remember Wande Coal took an eight year leave period from making projects, released a mediocre sophomore and still manages to edge a sleeper hit like ”Iskaba” into the charts, you’re also immediately aware Wande Coal will probably always be ‘wot’s up’ .
Listen to Wande Coal’s “That’s Wot’s Up” below
Featured Image: YouTube/WandeCoalVEVO