The Shuffle: Revisit the peak of modern Afropop of the 2000s with eLDee’s “Big Boy”

And that legendary Banky W verse

After the ominous intro by Olu Mantain, eLDee’s “Big Boy” kicks in with an auto-tuned chant, allowing loud drums set in with the ambient type of synths common place with today’s trap music. You would have bopped your head to the rhythm that results for a few minutes before you realise the song you’re listening to was recorded over eight years ago and so much has changed since then.

Eventually dated references, tiring length and corny materialism give away “Boy Boy” but it doesn’t change much about the relevance of the single for its time and era. “Big Boy” was released in the later parts of eLDee’s career, after a considerable time spent in the United States. The single came in 2008, a golden era where all affirming status as a ‘big boy’ took was a show of taste in the finest things.

Of course that didn’t mean even back then such a bawdy claim can come from just anyone. To solidify his self-proclaimed status, eLDee features Olu Maintain, who was fresh off his Yahooze success from the previous year and newly signed Etisalat ambassador (the first ever actually), Banky W. From hard brags to a bouncy beat, there is very little that doesn’t work on “Big Boy”. And it gets even better with Banky W’s final verse, where he highlights celebrity realities while giving the first hint of what became a career penchant for killing hip-hop instrumentals.

There are probably a thousand and one songs from Atlanta (where eLDee was based in America at the time), that sound like “Big Boy”, but the single holds evidence of peak modern Nigerian music as the 2000s began to come to an end. And of eLDee’s place as one of the few veterans from the early noughties who pointed to the direction of where the sound was going.

Stream eLDee’s “Big Boy” via Apple Music below

Listen to the song picked as the Best New Music for this week