After multiple postponements and three years of teasers, legendary Nigerian Grammy-winner, Wizkid released his groundbreaking fourth studio album and fifth solo body of work, ‘Made In Lagos.
The 14-track album came after an uncertain run for Wizkid, which included the poor Soundman Vol. 1. Many listeners didn’t know what to expect, but ‘Smile’ featuring H.E.R, a risque choice for a single, offered some respite and hope.
When the album finally dropped on October 30, 2020, certain cynics and members of rival stan bases were desperate to label it ‘trash’ instead of ‘different.’
But in reality, Made In Lagos was – and still is – a good album. Critically, it didn’t tick all the boxes that distinguish great albums. For example, Wizkid’s songwriting was markedly improved, but it was still defined by vibes.
But sonically, ‘Made In Lagos’ is an excellently A&Red body of work, which deftly played on and amplified Wizkid’s strengths as a 10-year veteran of the African music industry, with influences from across the global black musical landscape, without taking unnecessary creative/sonic risks that could expose certain artistic flaws.
The sonic excellence of the album made optimists overlook its flaws and over the past 10 months, ‘Made In Lagos’ has undoubtedly become Africa’s No. 1 album, with no competition in sight. This run has also propelled Wizkid onto record-breaking, chart-topping stratospheres.
Essence’ currently sits at No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100, thanks to proper creative marketing by RCA and a timely remix, featuring Justin Bieber, after the record had reached No. 54 by itself.
The album also aligns with Wizkid’s rebrand in his ‘graceful years.’ 10 months post-release and perhaps a little belatedly, Wizkid released a deluxe version to the album, on August 27, 2020. It features Justin Bieber and Buju. It was also meant to feature Bella Shmurda, but reported label issues prevented that from happening.
Here are three thoughts on why a ‘Made In Lagos Deluxe’ makes sense;
3 Reasons Why Wizkid’s ‘Made In Lagos (Deluxe)’ Makes Sense As A Plan Of Action.
1.) Wizkid had to do something with all the songs he recorded
Before and after Wizkid released ‘Made In Lagos,’ he took out a space in London and then Ghana, where everybody who matters in Nigerian music – artists and producers – paid him a visit and worked with him. Several sources have revealed to Pulse that ‘Made In Lagos’ era is also the first time that Wizkid has been significantly open to creative help and rightly so.
When Sarz visited Loose Talk Podcast in 2017, he told Osagie Alonge, Ayomide Tayo and Steve Dede that Wizkid has a stash of songs that his crew calls “Hard drive records.” Great records that might never see the light of day. In London and Ghana, Wizkid expanded his hard drive collection so incredibly that some claim that Big Wiz could produce an Amapiano album and another project with Burna Boy without breaking a sweat.
As is peculiar to Wizkid, he has continued to record with the hunger of a rookie. Coming from nothing, it feels like Wizkid’s fear of going back to nothing is his greatest inspiration. That’s why he works harder than anything
2.) Consolidating the home front
When Burna Boy launched onto the big stage in 2018 with Outside, he came back to the home front with ‘Killin Dem,’ ‘On The Low’ and ‘Gbona,’ which became major hits. But by 2019 and then 2020, when he released Twice As Tall, he neglected the home front to remain laser focused on winning the Grammy, which he won.
But while he was away, people were doing major things on the home front. He didn’t realize it, but there’s a reason why ‘Kilometer,’ a certified party-starter, has so far failed to really become a smash hit. In 2021, Wizkid has risen once again in European and American reckoning. Every week between March and July 2021, ‘Made In Lagos’ got an endorsement tweet from a major American celebrity.