Best New Music: Reekado Banks Breathes New Life Into “Ozumba Mbadiwe” with a Fireboy DML remix
Best New Music: Reekado Banks Breathes New Life Into “Ozumba Mbadiwe” with a Fireboy DML remix

Best New Music: Reekado Banks Breathes New Life Into “Ozumba Mbadiwe” with a Fireboy DML remix

Extending the popularity of a well-known song

There are very few dates that will live on in the collective psyche of young Nigerians like 20/10/20. The massacre that took place at the Lekki Toll Plaza and other places across Nigeria was a painful reminder of the Nigerian government’s remorseless capability to deploy brute military force to silence the legitimate requests of its citizens. 

On the one-year anniversary of that dark day, the pain was not any easier to work through but Reekado Bank’s “Ozumba Mbadiwe” —  named after the expressway that leads to Lekki Tollgate in Lagos — served as both salve and vociferous response to the government after months of cover-up and obfuscation. In the months since then, the song has become one of the most ubiquitous tracks around and reignited the ever-burning career of Reekado Banks.

The truth of the matter is that Ozumba Mbadiwe,” despite its famous 20/10/20-remembering tagline and all its conscious leanings, is not strictly a protest anthem. It is steeped in the delectable Afropop melodies that entertain and inform, just as much as it draws us to dance. The Fireboy DML-featuring remix of “Ozumba Mbadiwe” takes inspiration from the introspective air of the original track while keeping the sonic structure of the original. 

In the three years since coming to widespread attention via “Jealous,” Fireboy DML has become one of the most important artists of his generation and his verse references that status with him singing, “Since 2019 when I don blow, I’ve been on the road if you don’t know and I no get time for your convo.” Currently, in the thick of a United States of America tour, Fireboy DML’S own Ed Sheran-featuring remix of his 2021 smash hit, “Peru,” recently cracked the billboard top 100, debuting at number 79, and on the back-end of the track, he admits that he’s motivated by providing for himself and his loved ones. 

All said, the success of the “Peru (Remix)” hints at the utility of collaboration in the streaming world and this catchy remix of Ozumba Mbadiwe” could be following the same path in bringing more visibility — particularly internationally — to an already successful song. Plans are underway to spread the reach of the single across Africa with a star-studded ‘Ozumba Mbadiwe’ Remix EP set to feature  Ghanaian pop star KIDI, Tanzanian singer, Rayvanny, and award-winning Ivorian rap artist Elow’n, and South African amapiano frontliner, Lady Du.

Listen Ozumba Mbadiwe (Remix)” here.