This is Burna Boy distilled in a song. The Nigerian pop star, who in recent years has become Africa’s most successful, is smart, open-minded and unafraid in words and music.
Burna Boy however positioned African music in the 21st century by using contemporary sounds for traditional melodies and rhythms.
He knows that, in the age of the internet, global black music styles need to be embraced, not shied away from, and he’s willing to welcome most of them, providing they come in on his terms and know not to put their feet on the furniture.
He’s confident enough to spring more surprises on top of the Aidoo/Martin mashup.
The album opens with a worryingly lengthy snatch of Pat Boone singing a song called Twice as Tall, taken from the 1959 movie Journey to the Centre of the Earth, and it’s assumed there’s irony involved – former rock’n’roller Boone is now best known for his rightwing politics.
Then on the track Real Life, with the aid of a vocoder, he has Stormzy crooning in true R&B style. That Burna Boy for you. The great African Giant