Album Review: Burna Boy's "I Told Them" Album

[Image: Instagram]

Writer: Uwem Brown

Get Your Gospel Mixes On Mdundo

“An Afro-fusion album, burgeoning sounds hunched on Hiphop, Afrobeats, Flamenco and Salsa together.

With GZA, 21 Savage, Dave, Virgil, Seyi Vibez, RZA, J. Cole, and Bryson Messiah all making it as guests; Burna Boy Blends His Future & Past Together With A Predicted Backstory.

Edging in with a closer look at the central theme, the below cover,  magazine news-styled representation canvasses Burna Boy on a Blue matching jacket, escorted with a black commando cap, posing for a shot - Buffers the central theme off the record. Hindsight to the left, the main message peaks; —Don’t Complain, —Don’t Explain, —Just Believe.

Down on the right, is a call to action on other exciting content to enjoy. An adaptation of the late Virgin Abloh’s suggestions on track 7; a circle of Virgil’s recorded thoughts, laying emphasis on the concept, message, and how the ‘Aha’ moment on the album should be conveyed.

Virgil’s forward is queued in a one-directional theme with "Big 7", listing a listening comfort, which is an embrace of Burna’s achievements and worth. “‘Big 7’ is a melodic tribute to embracing new heights in my musical journey,” Burna Boy explained in a statement. “The title represents a symbolic aspiration to reach greater horizons, with the number seven embodying an attainable and harmonious growth.” Burna Boy echoes. 

The same reference he has built on "Big 7" is repeated on “Sittin’ on Top of The World” with 21 Savage, rapping up a line: “I can help you shit on anybody you ever hated.” A bragado on Burna Boy’s burgeoning success. The chillin’ like a Big Boys moment.

“City Boys” conjures’s instrumental from Jeremih’s “Birthday Sex”, where Burna Boy decorates himself with chest-thumping medals gotten from the feel-good lifestyles, crowned from the streets. A critical acclaim to who he is. The City Boy.

On “Giza” Burna Boy recruits Seyi Vibez to shine. A Cosign for the vernacular singing Yoruba artist.
An outlier of melancholic-dark art starter blended with a Japanese soundtrack flute, which pollinates a cosmopolitan sound off the Nigerian street pop from Seyi, with a balance of Burna’s gravel-like husky vocals delivery. This is where Burna Boy draws in Afrobeats lovers, a veritable tune to relate with, away from the Hip Hop schemes he has employed on the album.

Burna embossed vulnerability on “If I’m Lying”, as he performed with weakness and warmth on a ballad artlike expressive sound, submerged with strings of striking chords.

However, he bore all the sentiments in his heart against Nigerians on “Thanks” with J. Cole. He feels underappreciated, and goes in very vexed on the lyrics with “They say my mama dance for Fela, "They say I no get baby mama, "They say I shoot person for Cubana, because I want collect person this the motherfucking thanks I get? For making my people proud, every chance I get.", to give J. Cole the entrances he needed to shit at, punch hard and knock off Burna’s haters.

“On Form” he forms a music affair between Afrobeats and Flamenco. A sexcapade of cultures, tailored in filth, and mortised in love as a joint. This is where Afrofusion lives in submission to Burna’s claims of his genre establishment. A brilliant satire to one of Burna's classic collections. Excellently initiated.

An unclear interpolation lies within the emotionally revealing “I Told Them”. A semblance of R. Kelly’s 2000 hit song “I Wish” reflects.

The Salsa sound, blistered with fade-out strings falls off the Spanish Caribbean, allowing Burna to comfortably deep dive his recap, account his achievements to mock off his detractors.

“I Told Them” is an Afro-fusion album, anathematizing and burgeoning sounds hunched on Hiphop, Afrobeats, Flamenco and Salsa together, blending Burna Boy’s future and present with a backstory.
The production hones Burna Boy’s sprawling influences into music that feels punchy, inimitable and impressively streamlines: from Afrobeats, to UK Rap, the latter finding expression merely in a sparkling feature from Dave on “Cheat on Me”, but Wiley's lyrics and UK drill slang that Burna interpolates into “Big 7”.


Leave your comment