Sometimes in 2010, eLDee tweeted about Wizkid saying: “if you don’t know this dude, you know nothing about the future of naija music. You be dinosaur!”
Accurate! More than ten years later and we are already living that future.
I mean, an Ojuelegba boy who used to be signed to Banky W, is now the biggest pop sensation, out of Africa. Unequivocally. There’s no question about his superstar status. Since we got Wizkid, in 2010, he’s never failed to live up to the standard. He even set the standard so high, many others of his colleagues fail to get that status. Nigeria can always count on him.
No doubt, he has so many hits. Some old, some new. One thing is sure, Wizzy has got so many hits Nigeria won’t ever forget.
Quickly, these are 10 of the most important songs from the “Made in Lagos” singer.
10. Azonto (2012)
Azonto is a viral Ghanaian dance that was very popular around 2012. Wizkid’s freestyle on some Azonto type of beat, actually named “Azonto,” went viral, too. And it helped popularize the dance. Even before Fuse ODG took it to the UK. It was released on January 28, 2012, and it was really a hit.
Even at 11, I could sing the whole song word for word. And, so can many Nigerians, young and old. “Gbe sókè, ko mó lè,” it was a big banger. That, even now, if a DJ plays it at any party, it’ll still turn people on. It was produced by the Legendury Beatz duo.
9. Caro (2013)
“Caro” was a hit, once it dropped. It was a Starboy project which featured his the new signee, L.A.X. The song is bang! Fast-tempo and upbeat.
“Caro” later became a brand, and Wizkid can just get on a song, and the intro is “Caro.” You know it’s him. Can never be mistaken for “Talk to me Caro.” That’s Wizkid for you.
8. Pakurumo (2011)
“Pakurumo” is now a pop classic, just like almost all the songs on the album, and it was the fifth single off his 2011 debut, “Superstar.”
The song has a star-studded video, and it featured cameo appearances from Pasuma, Ali Baba, Tiwa Savage, Funke Akindele (Funke, pakurumo), Ice Prince, Banky W and Davido (yeah, the same OBO!)
7. Come Closer (2017)
Arguably, his most commercial (aka best-selling) song to date, he released this song at the height of his international success. And, it featured, none other but Canadian rapper, Drake. It was off his Sony debut, “Sounds From The Other Side.”
It was some Island-influenced production by Sarz, and melodic flow by Wizkid, and Drake. One thing is, no matter how Nigerian you are, you can always still catch the vibe, even though it totally has a foreign feel.
The video, shot by Daps (popular for his work on Migos’ “Bad and Boujee”) is a masterpiece, but Drake was absent anyway.
6. On Top Your Matter (2014)
The first day I heard this song, sometimes in 2013 (I was in SS1), it was at a Barber’s shop. Was just passing, and a girl was dancing to it. I knew it was Wizkid. I slowed down to catch the vibe, and that vibe stayed with me, years after.
So catchy, everyone could sing the hook, verse, everything. Even the “Lisa, MonaLisa” part. It was produced by “Mad Over You” co-producer, Del B.
5 . Baba Nla (2015)
Released in late 2015, when Wizkid started his international campaign, the song which is also known as “Final,” but renowned as “Baba Nla,” is one of the best songs of 2016. For that song alone, Wizkid packed all the awards home, that year.
Produced by Legendury, it is one of those early songs that were being tuned into “pon pon pon” style. And, it’s one of his bests.
4. Ojuelegba (2014)
It’s one of Wizkid’s classic records. A story about his hustle, it quickly registered in our minds, as every Nigerian (and African) has the hustle spirit.
The original was off the “Ayo” album, and somehow UK rapper, Skepta and Toronto rapper, Drake, hopped on the jam in 2015, and a remix happened. And yeah, that was God’s Plan!
3. Fever (2018)
Wizkid’s 2018 hit, “Fever” is one of his most-hated songs of all time. In retrospect, it was his biggest song in 2018. “Fever” which is four minutes of what people refer to as the new Afrobeats sound, is one of the earliest jams that had the sound everyone is currently on now. It was also the first song to have its video hit one million views on YouTube within 24 hours.
2. Joro (2019)
Wizkid announced “Made in Lagos” officially and released “Joro” in 2019. The song was a summer jam that year and is a sleeper hit that is actually one of the most commercially successful Wizkid songs of all time.
“Joro” is a mad jam, let’s be honest. The song became a TikTok hit and became popular amongst a Spanish audience who fell in love with the vibe. The video currently has over 140 million views on YouTube.
1. Essence (2020)
Three months ago, nobody knew “Essence” will turn out to be what it is today. But look at it now. Top 50 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song which is being hailed as “Song of the Summer” has single-handedly put “Made in Lagos” back into the Billboard Hot 200 Albums.
“Essence” might not be his best performance ever, but owing to its unrivalled commercial success, it’s safe to say it is Wizkid’s important jam.
Which Song Do You Think We Missed Out?
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