Burna Boy's 15 Best International Collaborations
As the African Giant gears up for the release of his new album, Twice As Tall, we compile the 15 Best Burna Boy Songs from his plethora of international collaborations.
Burna Boy has always been big on international collaborations. From the early days of his career till this time, he's always reached across genres and eras for his musical collaborators.
This list is therefore dedicated to that part of him, but especially on the international front (on features), where he's often tapped on account of his talent and versatility.
In the event of Twice As Tall which drops in three days, these are some of the finest Burna Boy collaborations from beyond Africa.
Sam Smith ft. Burna Boy – My Oasis (2020)
In the thick of a lockdown, British singer Sam Smith released a slow burning love record, featuring Burna Boy. Written with Jimmy Napes, both artists combine their unique vocals to deliver a timeless record.
“This track has been a beautiful release of emotions for me during this time,” Sam Smith said in a statement. “I’ve been a fan of for years now and am so happy to have a tune with him.”
Dave ft. Burna Boy – Location (2019)
A classic Summer anthem, Dave's "Location" is the lightest song off his 2019 opus Psychodrama, filled with technical rap show and vivid imagery steeped in uncomfortable real-life experiences.
Burna Boy brings some Afro Pop credence to Dave's party-themed bars and "Location," given its replay value, has become perhaps the most memorable Dave record.
Stormzy Ft. Ed Sheeran & Burna Boy – Own It (2019)
Set to appear on "Real Life" off Twice As Tall, Stormzy enjoys a great relationship with Burna Boy, although "Own It" is the first song between both.
A Summer classic, "Own It" followed the massive success of Burna's fourth album African Giant and also served as the first single off Stormzy's own project, Heavy Is The Head.
Pop Smoke ft. Burna Boy – Enjoy Yourself [Remix] (2020)
American Drill superstar Pop Smoke passed at the age of 20, ending a life and career that was headed for greatness.
However, family and friends have made efforts to immortalize him, and one of such is the release of his first posthumous album Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon which featured iconic artists and buzzing names like 50 Cent and Roddy Ricch. On the deluxe, Nigerian stars Davido and Burna Boy feature, the latter putting in an impressive shift with his rapping on "Enjoy Yourself," a chill bop driven by the baritones of Pop and Burna.
Jorja Smith ft. Burna Boy – Be Honest (2019)
British R&B and Pop artist Jorja Smith collaborated on African Giant's "Gum Body," a fan favorite which flexed Burna's prowess with romantic bops.
The favor was then returned on (again, a love duet) "Be Honest," released weeks after AG. It was the singer's first single after the Grammy-nominated album Lost & Found (2018). In June, the song went platinum in France, hours after it was announced that Burna Boy had topped Billboard's list of 15 Sub-Saharan African artists, based on global views.
Major Lazer ft. Burna Boy – All My Life (2018)
Major Lazer has long revealed an interest in the sounds coming out of Africa. Two years ago, they concretized this with the release of Africa Is The Future, a tape which featured some of the best artists from Africa.
Burna Boy –who since then has featured on Beyoncé's tape similarly, on a track of his own– featured on that tape, on "All My Life," a gritty record which espoused on his unique life experiences ("before I turned twenty one I was already savaged out), sung authoritatively over the electronic flourishes of Major Lazer.
Mahalia ft. Burna Boy – Simmer (2019)
Off UK singer Mahalia's debut EP Love and Compromise came "Simmer," a song that's been described as "effortlessly infectious, diaphanous, and iridescent." Over a warm production with splashes of Reggaeton and Reggae, Mahalia and Burna Boy play opposite ends of a lover duo, detailing a relationship that will be less than ideal if more's demanded than given.
J Hus ft. Burna Boy – Play Play (2020)
When J Hus came out of prison to release an album, that body of work was ostensibly personal, packing minutes of introspection via Hus' trademark delivery. Although a marked difference from his earlier fusions with Afro Pop, J Hus still teamed with collaborator and friend Burna Boy for "Play Play," a record which, as the title suggests, is a breezy fun record held down by two of the most commanding musical voices we know.
DJ Snake ft. Burna Boy– No Option (2019)
Rihanna might have wanted the beat for DJ Snake's "No Option" (from Carte Blanche) but there's no doubt Burna Boy rode the production perfectly. No doubt Reggae is a most influential genre to Burna and over a thumping Dubstyle beat with visceral drums and bass, the Nigerian superstar excites, talking his sh*t as usual.
DADJU ft. Burna Boy – Donne-moi l'accord
Late 2019, French singer and songwriter DADJU put out a record with Burna Boy, off his Poison album. "Donne-moi l'accord" is produced by Kel P and on the bouncy beat, both artists trade braggadocio lines, a narrative held on the video. For context, the French title loosely translates to "give me the agreement."
Lily Allen - Your Choice ft. Burna Boy
While the unexpected collaboration on Heaven's Gate wowed us at the start of 2018 as the final single before the album "Outside" dropped, Burna Boy and Lily Allen made an arguably better song later in the year titled "Your Choice."
Abra Cadabra - Lemme At Em ft. Burna Boy, Jelani Blackman & Fred
Straight outta the UK Grime scene came this heavy 2017 Hip-Hop cut "Lemme At Em" by Mobo Award winner, Abra Cadabra featuring Burna Boy, Jelani Blackman & Fred.
Literally everyone came korrect on this joint.
Rita Ora ft. Burna Boy - Your Song (TeamSalut Remix)
Rita Ora got Burna on the remix to her 2017 hit "Your Song", with British production outfit, Team Salut, giving the joint a fresh Afrobeats twist.
Vybz Kartel ft. Burna Boy - Personally (Remix)
In January 2017, a Vybz Kartel & Burna Boy collaboration leaked online across the Jamaican and African blogosphere. Later in March, the joint was officially released by the World Boss' camp as "Personally (Remix)" alongside Burna Boy & Kalado.
Fall Out Boy ft. Burna Boy - Sunshine Riptide
Now, this is one collaboration that stunned virtually everyone. I mean... Fall Out Boy... and Burna Boy...? It turns out Pete Wentz (band vocalist and bassist) was a Burna fan. In an interview with HMV.com, Pete explained: "I'm a big fan of the scene that's happening with hip-hop in Lagos, with him and Mr Eazi. So we hit him up and just let him know that we are fans. The rest came together pretty easily."
Article Contributors: Emmanuel Esomnofu and Ovie Ofugara.