From Ojuelegba To The World: We put together a Wizkid album so you don’t have to
Here's a Wizkid starter pack
Here's a Wizkid starter pack
If “Video Killed The Radio Star” as The Buggles famously declared in the late 70s, then Playlists Killed The Album Star. With the music industry taken over by the “Streaming Wars” of the last two years, all within the industry have had to adapt. RIAA and Billboard adapted in their own way: they added streams to record classifications, a fair update to an outdated system. More importantly, recording artists have had to adapt: singles are now infinitely more important (and profitable) than albums, thus artists such as Drake, Chance The Rapper and Lil Uzi Vert have seen success by simply releasing singles at regular intervals, with no album in sight. Purchasing music is dying a slow death, and so are traditional album cycles.
This singles-orientated market may be relatively foreign in the US, but this has been the state-of-play in Nigeria for quite some time. Due to the well-documented royalty issues for artists, they have been forced to simply keep making hit singles in order to get corporate endorsements and show bookings – the two largest sources of income for most mainstream artists.
Few have played this game better than Ojuelegba’s Own. Wizkid has been one of the hottest artists since his debut Superstar dropped in 2011, and he’s currently one of the poster-boys for the AfroPop revolution. Despite only dropping two albums in six years, Wizkid has released over 60 songs in that time: some mega-hits, some street-heaters, some misses. This strategy has allowed him to gauge reactions to certain sounds and vibes he may be looking to delve into, whilst not giving up a coveted space on an album. The NATIVE has dug deep into the Wizkid vaults, and here we present to you: From Ojuelegba To The World – an album composed of the Lagos artist’s stray songs from over the years. Rather than ordering it chronologically, we decided to sequence it like a real album. Spanning five years, with production from the likes of Sarz and Maleek Berry, From Ojuelegba To The World is the perfect Wizkid primer for his newer fans. And for the day 1 Starboy fans, reminisce over some old gems before we get Sounds From The Other Side.
1. Final (Baba Nla) (2015)
Arguably one of Wizkid’s greatest songs, it is a true tragedy this did not end on any of his albums. “Final (Baba Nla)” works simultaneously as a declaration of calibre and glimpse into the future of Afropop as we know it now. A fitting intro to our album.
2. Beat Of Life (2012)
A mellow/mid-tempo opener means the energy levels must be sustained with an ice breaker second track that literally explodes in your ears and ripples through the rest of your body. Sarz’ “Beat Of Life” races at nearly blitz speed with fast drums and electronic sounds lined along the instrumentation.
3. Good Times (Wizkid Version) (2016)
If anybody was going to pull of a cover of Kiss Daniel’s 2015 Afro-jazz hit, “Good Time”, as succinctly as the original, it can and will only be Wizkid.
4. Ghetto Youth (2017)
This Fela-inspired ode to the ghetto youth is a reminder of just how well versed Wizkid is when it comes to riding the neo-Afrobeat wave he has pioneered since 2014’s chart-topping “Jaiye Jaiye”.
5. Shabba (feat. Chris Brown, Trey Songz, French Montana) (2016)
This lone single is perhaps Wizkid’s most honest attempt at Afrotrap. Throw in a couple of heavy international features (we could have done without Chris Brown here) and you have a straight club smash.
6. Drop (feat. Wale) (2013)
Watch out for Wale as he intertwines Yoruba with his DC rap style, while Wizkid does what Wizkid does. One of the biggest hits of 2013.
7. Dance For Me (2012)
This is another elemental collaboration between Wizkid and Sarz with all the markings of their sonic bromance: synths, Afrodrums and a fast-paced dance groove. Taken from the EME compilation album in 2012.
8. Like This (feat. DJ Henry) (2016)
Album mid-points connect the beginning of a record to where the rest of the project concludes. This is why “Like This” is both a thematic and sonic balance of the electronics that make up neo-Afropop and the frenetic energy of Sarz inspired production so far.
9. Sound It (2015)
After a climax like DJ Henry’s “Like This”, Wizkid returns to basics with “Sound It”, another Sarz produced track with loud drums and an Afro-inspired baseline.
10. Wonder (2014)
This Fela-inspired number by Wizkid is rather disjointed at first listen, but what you really hear is Wizkid, imploring an African woman to distract him with the magic of her body, so he can forget some of the pressures of his life.
11. Talk (2013)
Behind every great artist are haters who wish his circumstance was reversed, as such it should come as no surprise that Wiz has a whole song dedicated to those that snicker and jeer at him on his way to the top. Wiz is often commended these days for his modesty when it comes to “haters”, but there’s nothing wrong with a bit of venting.
12. Lagos to Soweto (2013)
Here Wizkid’s penchant for sub-romantic music meets his equally layered need to affirm his own pan-African celebrity-hood with the giddiness of a man who hasn’t quite come to terms with the fact that he’s the biggest artist on the continent.
13. Outro (Love Music) (2013)
Wizkid has said repeatedly that his dedication is only to making music. This allegiance to the sound is re-affirmed on this track which was allegedly the original album closer on his sophomore album. For a man who has made music to cause women all over the world to sway at his breath, we’re reminded that ultimately his greatest drive is an obsession for building melody and painting audio images.
Bonus: Ojuelegba Remix (feat Drake & Skepta) (2015)
The song that really started the journey. Bless Skepta for making this happen.
Listen to From Ojuelegba To The World below: