6 things we know about Burna Boy 'I Told Them' album
The Grammy-award-winning act has always been project-minded, and in a decade of officially releasing music, he has churned out six studio albums, alongside other mixtapes and EPs.
The heavyweight Nigerian singer, songwriter, and performer born Damini Ogulu, popularly known as Burna Boy, in his quest to continue his showmanship at the highest level, is about to roll out a seventh studio album.
Right in front of the "Afrobeats to the World" movement, the 32-year-old Grammy-winner, whose 2022 and 2023 have duly earned the right to be called the biggest export from Africa right now, has sold out countless arenas and stadiums around the world, including becoming the first African artist to headline a stadium concert in the UK, selling out the 60,000-capacity London Stadium, and also selling out the 41,000-capacity Citi Field stadium in New York.
Over the years, Burna Boy's artistry has grown, making him one of the most complete Afro-fusion artistes the world will ever see. The African Giant's pen game matches his song delivery as well as his stagecraft. A thematic and sonically pleasing musician who isn't afraid to use his talent as a voice that speaks about anything and everything, political, socio-cultural, and mind consciousness included.
His first studio album, L.I.F.E., was released as far back as 2013 and officially kicked off his career as an artiste and he has gone on to churn out five more albums since then, including two Grammy-nominated and winning albums. As the tides of the Afro-fusion hip-hop artiste continue, a seventh project is about to be launched.
Slated for release tomorrow, August 25, 2023, the singer, songwriter, and performer held a private listening session for his ' I Told Them' project at the popular Jazzhole music and book store in Ikoyi, Lagos, and here are six things that we have confirmed about the project:
A perfect blend of hip-hop and Afro-fusion
There has been some sort of concern from a sizable number of Burna Boy's local fans based on his recent exploration of intense pop sounds. Of course, it's nothing new due to how versatile Burna Boy has been, but his recently released projects were largely centered on African rhythm, melody, and style. Hence, songs like Big 7 and Sitting on Top of the World, which were highly inspired by American pop sounds and styles, "did not enter" to a sizeable number of local fans.
However, fans should expect the perfect blend of pop, hip-hop, and afro-fusion sounds and styles on the project. Burna Boy explored the album like he wanted but still stayed true to his African identity. Therefore, there are enough songs to cater to both worlds—international and local.
Music listeners who are familiar with Burna Boy can attest to his beast-mode level of versatility, a quality that he has honed over the years based on not being afraid to experiment with sounds. Although 'I Told Them' is largely a hip-hop and Afro-fusion project, the singer was able to sneak in an acoustic song on the album, making it a soul-stirring moment in the project.
Burna Boy addressed the public
Known to be involved in a lot of controversies over the years, Burna Boy is the sort of artiste who would clap back at a user on social media, but interestingly, these days, when one expects him to respond to some news about him on social media, he does. Burna has just seen all the news about him and decided to address it on the project. He addressed issues like the club shooting and his mum being rumoured to have danced for Fela, among other things.
Song with J. Cole
One of the biggest and most highly anticipated songs off the album, due to Burna Boy's recent quest to explore more of a hip-hop sound, one would have expected the J.Cole collab to be a hardcore hip-hop song like his song with American rapper Polo G, Want it all. Interestingly, the song was a blend of hip-hop and Afro-fusion, which was relatively new territory for J. Cole. Did he come through with his verse? There is only one way to find out.
After the tracklist was unveiled, J.Cole as a guest was a mind-blower, and Seyi Vibez on the project to a length was not expected that soon. Of course, there have been clips that point out that both acts have some sort of relationship, but one would have expected the feature to have Seyi Vine as the primary artiste and not the other way around. However, when it was announced, it further showed Burna Boy's intentionality when he comes with people he collaborates with, and often, it reflects in the quality of the music. To an extent, all the guests came through on the project.
Comparison with the previous album 'Love, Damini'
Although it might be too early to take a stance, considering how underwhelming Burna Boy's sixth album Love, Damini was, the quality of the new album 'I Told You is better than the former and might easily compete with Burna Boy's top albums such as African Giant, Twice as Tall, and Outside.