Wizkid’s ‘More Love, Less Ego’ – a definitive track ranking
The African superstar’s follow-up to ‘Made in Lagos' is here and Rahel Aklilu has thoughts on every track
Friday 11 November By Rahel Aklilu
When Wizkid – born Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun – released his fourth studio album, Made In Lagos, in 2020, it was difficult to envision how he might be able to top its cultural and commercial success. The world was enthralled by this ode to his hometown – a slew of sold-out global tour dates, a Grammy nomination and the highest charting single of his career (not hurt by Justin Bieber jumping on a remix) followed. With all eyes on Lagos, Nigeria and Africa as the hottest musical incubators, what was next?
13. Frames (Who’s Gonna Know)
As stripped back as his voice is on this project, this one in particular feels the most intimate. Where the other tracks and declarations are seductive, this feels earnest – there is no one-night stand here, rather a compatible and safe love where one partner’s ‘picture fits the other one’s frame’. As intended, listening feels like overhearing a sweet conversation between two lovers, in the same way that ‘True Love’ did in Made In Lagos. It makes sense that it is the album’s closer, after a journey through the trials and tribulations of love and life.
12. Special (Ft Don Toliver)
A Juls-produced Wizkid song featuring Don Toliver may initially seem confusing, but the London producer’s signature mellow bounce provides the perfect blanket for Wizkid’s intimate voice and Don Toliver’s autotuned croon – an unexpected yet welcomed surprise.
11. Wow (Ft Naira Marley & Skepta)
What happens when a Marlian, a Chief and a Nigerian Eagle walk into a studio? Wow. Wiz calls in two other Nigerian heavyweights for some help and they each sprinkle their own magic on this bouncy number. It’s my favourite type of Wiz – braggadocious and flirty.
10. Plenty Loving
Fluttered with Yoruba and pidgin, the sounds of log drums dominate here, and Wiz’s declaration of love to a woman in his life sits perfectly.
9. Bad To Me
This unofficial jingle for Casamigos tequila is Wiz’s nod to the wildly popular South African amapiano sound that has taken over the continent, with artists such as fellow Nigerian Asake fusing the two heavyweights to fans’ delight. It’s the kind of track that makes you loosen your waist and empty your glass.
8. Slip N Slide, (Ft Skillibeng & Shenseea)
Taking his dancehall influences even further by featuring two of the genre’s biggest superstars, the addition of dulcet tones from Shenseea and raspy vocals from Skilibeng makes this the perfect cross-diaspora link-up. Wiz goes back and forth with Shenseea in a flirty exchange of promises, among them a 24-day-long bedroom session.
Another amapiano-infused number sees Wiz glide skilfully through its exquisite production to proclaim his love to the object of his affections.
Opening with a speech by Maya Angelou on the liberation that love brings, this track recognises the ups and downs of life. Fitting, when you consider Wiz’ track record for preaching the power of perseverance – always aided by a good time, a good drink and a beautiful woman, of course.
5. 2 Sugar (Ft Ayra Starr)
The Ayra Starr-assisted track is a nod to the new generation of Afrobeats artists. With one of the genre’s brightest stars on the hook, Wiz seems to take a bit of a backseat – although further reference to amapiano-style production is there to let us know his ears are still glued to the streets, no matter how mainstream he becomes.
The shortest song on the album, but without a doubt one of the sweetest – this one wouldn’t be out of place on a Lagos dancefloor in the 1980s or 1990s. It’s a subtle nod to Nigeria’s rich musical heritage of highlife funk, boogie, disco and jazz.
3. Flower Pad
More of Wiz in his loverboy element, reminiscent of Rema’s ‘Soundgasm’ in its sultry and seductive whispers. Taking it to other side of the world, there’s an added Spanish element in the form of an unnamed paramour promising to drive him as crazy as the things he makes her feel.
2. Money & Love
‘Big Bad Wiz’ allows the album’s stellar production to take centre stage on this, the opening track, and tells us of his pocket full of money and heart full of love. It sets the understated yet assertive tone he takes on for the album.
This is sexy, sax-assisted and soul-tinged Afrobeats from Wiz as we know and love him. He’s sticking to what works best and if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it.