Shabba: More Than The Music
In a world of only contemporary Nigerian music, there are only two types of legends; Folk Legend, where Tuface belongs as probably the greatest Nigerian musician of our time and Urban Legend where there used to be an unending argument on who the musical superpower is. Yes I said used to be.
Ayo Wizkid Balogun has successfully put an end to if we are all to be objective and unsentimental. Having proved in the past that he is a forerunner where musical exploration and global recognition is concerned, Wizkid has gone from being the first Nigerian to be featured on a billboard toping song to being the Nigerian artist with the most foreign collaborations on an original record and I’m not talking African foreign artists. Wholup just a moment there. Remember when Akon was heralded as the heir to Nate Dogg’s (God rest his soul) throne as the king of rap hooks and hip-hop choruses, featuring everybody from Eminem to Fat Joe and one of the kings of modern rap and poetry, Wale, (an argument for another day) have effectively Nigerian music household names where young up comers like Lil Kesh can have Wale on a song and nobody will make a fuss about it.
Not to say that these two individuals don’t hold their pedigrees as international acts but merely stating the obvious; that Wizkid has done more for the progressive acceptance of Nigerian music on a global stage than anybody has done in the past going back to 20years. It is self growth that has transcended his own world to affect us all. Wale is now viewed by many as just another artist and Akon has become something of a video vixen these days. What they both have in common is that each of their first forays into Nigerian music were features with Wizkid with “Drop” and “ “ respectively. H is not the first to get an international feature, neither is he the first to feature an international act but, he is the Nigerian that has made the most impact off of that and that is only testament to his god self management and business prowess.
Only makesit more comical that in 2013 a lot of people said Wizkid’s musical career was over when he left EME, but even Banky cannot honestly claim to have foreseen this level of exposure and the heights that Wizkid has taken his music to. He has gone from been featured alongside Skales to doing hooks for Tinnie Tempah, rubbing shoulders with Chris Brown and featuring French Montana and Trey Songz. This is no longer the Nigerian artist whose song Drake rapped on but the maverick that has us singing “Shabba” even when it’s a mediocre song. It’s just good business. Shabba is not a song that was released in my own opinion for the music but as a statement that I can get to the pinnacle by myself.
Shabba is much more than another African musician featuring foreign acts but that single that sends a message tolovers and haters alike “I don reach, their father”. Yes he has the occasional mishap or display of his lack of maturity at times and more often than not steps out of line and says the wrong thing or gets in a fight with the press and bloggers but in the eternal words of Eazy E, “there is no such thing as bad publicity”. Wizkid needs to show us that he has the seriousness to continue at this level which is something a lot of people will hope he doesn’t do. But what will be more interesting to see is how he copes with managing his new signings: Mr. Eazi, Efya and R2bees. But whatever his reasons for making the moves he is making. I hope it continues.
Written By @Yeye_King