WizKid might the King of Afrobeats in his home state – Davido the artist with impressive outreach in North America, but Burna Boy is the closest thing Nigeria’s music scene has to a “smooth assassin” whose arranging skills continuously to defy all reason.
On his latest single “Dangote,” premiering on Friday, Burna Boy counts a Saxophone arrangement among his prerequisites, in a pleasing manner similar to his 2015 single “Soke,” a record many in the industry consider quintessential listening in the nascent Afrobeats genre.
As gifted as Burna Boy might be, in yielding results out of unusual instrumental arrangements, he doesn’t have to go at it alone. “Dangote” is the brain trust of Burna and producer Kel P, with whom he shares great reverence for Nigeria’s musical past, namely Fela Anikulapo Kuti, who laid the foundation for the modern blueprint that is being used to this day.
To those who might be asking what in God’s name is Dangote, the song’s inspirational focus. It just so happens that “Dangote” or Aliko Dangote if you will, is an implicit reference to Africa’s richest man – a Nigerian entrepreneur whose estimated fortune falls just short of the $10 billion mark – and though Burna Boy’s first inclination would be to choose affection over a dollar amount, a reference to “Dangote” is both a symbol of African strength, and a word imbued with metaphorical properties, check ‘er out.
Oni lati lowo o
Odi don don
Ori iyami o bi mo doyo
Is it because I dey do I fall off
If I get cash I go jaiye lokpo
I go give you cash, I go be your sponsor