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2.12.15

Single: Burna Boy X Wande Coal - On A Very Good Day #OAS

Burna Boy X Wande Coal - On A Very Good Day #OAS | Ses Rêveries

So in the last year, my little brother has gone from religiously stalking my Sound Cloud stream, likes and reposts without my knowledge to giving me pretty good recommendations and pointing out just how much I've fallen from grace.*

One such recommendation was Burna Boy's twenty-track sophomore album On A Spaceship. Ordinarily I would go so far as to say I am a Burna Boy fan; as I've mentioned before, I'm 100% biased to everyone who comes out of Port Harcourt (even Duncan Mighty, but let's keep that between us) but his music is usually fairly critical in its approach to quality, he has pretty much perfected the dancehall-driven sound he's dubbed Afro-Fusion and that voice of his is pretty darn good.

But I scoffed at Suji on this occasion. I'd already seen the cover art for On A Spaceship and immediately dismissed it. I have many, many bones to pick with the choices made with regards to cover art in the Nigerian industry (especially the overfiltered selfies). But while the inspiration for this one is pretty obvious and therefore justifiable, the result just didn't quite hit the mark. Do bear in mind that mixed media is a pretty contentious topic for me, but I simply feel that if a child can get his or her hands on an astronaut costume for Halloween, Burna Boy's management have no excuse for the above. Judging books by their covers is usually a pretty good rule of thumb when it comes to Nigerian music so this was really disappointing.

However, I was pleasantly surprised when I finally gave On A Very Good Day a listen, after much coaxing. The subject matter is trivial and exhausted; the lyrics, crude and predictable. But that's not enough of a reason to write off African music or it'd be pretty depressing thinking of how much irrelevant, unintelligible crap such a successful industry spews out on such a regular basis. What matters is the production, phonics, cadences, attitude - the peripherals. On A Very Good Day ticks all those boxes thanks to a euphonious blend of Yoruba and Pidgin English and J Fem's deep understanding of what club-goers want to hear. So, despite the shade storm going on in this post, it's two thumbs up from me.

Without a doubt, Wande Coal overshadowed Burna Boy but that's always a pretty high risk when it comes to bringing Coal onto your track. To top it off, he thrives on bouncy, bass-heavy tracks like this so it's hardly surprising. This used to be the case with a Wizkid feature but I've also given the sixth track on the album Single a listen, and that's certainly not true anymore. People fall off all the time and bounce back even better though so I'm rooting for you, Wizkid.

I'm slowly working my way through the rest of the album, and you can too by purchasing it on iTunes here, but you can stream and download On A Very Good Day below via NJO and let me know what you think.




*I'd actually like to apologise to everyone over the age of twenty-five I've made feel like they're "so out of the loop, like, where have [they] even been, omg." Having been on the receiving end one too many times in the past couple of months, I now know how old you must have felt. It doesn't help that my twenty-first birthday is a month away (fml, pass the hair dye and stroller).
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