Since one week of its release, Wizkid’s new album, Made In Lagos has been a cause for arguments in the music industry. There has been much ado about whether or not the project deserves critical or even popular acclaim because it has obviously not come out along the lines of many expectations.
Made In Lagos spans a period of 52 minutes over 14 songs, 7 of which Wizkid is assisted by fellow artistes and an unnamed vocalist as in the case of Essence.
The album is an attempt to dabble out of the usual Afrobeat to some pretty new sounds which makes use of steady-going and formulaic instrumentals and singing which is worked to fit into the rhythm.
The project has failed to stir the expected excitement. Having closely listened to the album and followed closely the reactions trailing it, it could be safe to say that Made in Lagos is an invention that does not sit well with a lot of people in the music industry as much as it has with many others. Whether or not, the invention is a work of genius or not, only time can tell.
Extraordinary artistes strive to create new art; to combine words, or visuals or sounds in a way they have never been combined before in order to create art that excites new emotion. With Made in Lagos, it is clear that Wizkid strives to create something new. But it is undecided yet if with this new sound, Wizkid had arrived at a hallmark from which a new sound in the music industry will proceed, or if Made in Lagos is a foundation upon which this new sound will be
The album doesn’t succeed on a large scale in showing many listeners whatever merit it has. Not to take away from the merit of songs like Ginger
(featuring Burna Boy), Blessed (featuring Damian Marley), Piece of Me (featuring Ella Mai), Smile (featuring H. E. R). In these songs, amidst the formulaic and easygoing instrumentals, Wizkid does well with the featured
artistes to produce songs that give the sense of easy-going groove and sensual, even in the case of Piece Of Me. The vocal in Essence is largely a success. It would seem in the album (and has often been the case) that Wizkid did better collaboration with other artistes than he does when solo. Wizkid manages to make more evident the success of this new experiment through the help of other artistes. It has been mentioned, even, in some quarters that the featured artistes did better than Wizkid in the songs because he dabbled out of his forte into their own fortes, therefore giving them the upper hand to outclass him in his own project.
The vocal is quite soothing. But ultimately, the combination of vocals, beats, and lyrics does not seem like the best that could be expected from an artiste of Wizkid’s standing. The album is flooded with songs about sex, partying without totally achieving in full sensuality or excitement expected of a project of that magnitude.
What Made in Lagos means for Wizkid’s career is at best speculative in the
moment. The artiste who is one of Nigeria’s biggest export who at just 21 was able to give a top-notch album as Superstar, has gone on to be more regular with dishing out hit singles and fantastic collaborations when featured by other artistes. It is a fair argument then that Wizkid has not quite succeeded in outdoing his prodigious self who announced himself to the limelight ten years ago with his unique vocals and combination of sounds which many people across Africa fell in love with.
Made in Lagos does not seem like a complete invention in itself. It is not readily easy to get the hang of it. Perhaps, there might be a Made In Lagos II to further build upon the legacy of this. Good art, after all, takes time to master. Wizkid took three years to give us this one. Perhaps, he might take a few years more if he wants to take another shot at giving us art that beyond reasonable doubt showcases his relatable genius.
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