Given the political situation on the ground in Nigeria for WizKid to deliver such a bright and potent album feels timely. A smooth jazzy saxophone seems to narrate the body of work equally as much as WizKid’s effortless melodic patterns. The album makes you want to zone in with a partner and have a wifed-up Sunday with lovemaking and cooking good food.
The immediate feel that is sustained throughout is WizKid’s more reserved and contained spirit. Previously we’ve heard the elite Afro-beat crooner reach for notes with more of a range of energy. It seems for Made In Lagos, WizKid intentionally sits directly in an ease filled pocket for the entirety. For the opening track “Reckless,” he does a fluctuating call and response with the saxophone mentioned above as he sings, “Don’t know why dem pray on my downfall. But we nah dem go play on my banjo.” WizKid’s dismissive demeanor on the hope for his failure seems to inspire the tone he maintains.
A clear standout single with seductive guitar strums is the second track, “Ginger” feat. Burna Boy. The first collaboration between the two powerhouse African artists feels essential. The tone that WizKid has adopted for the project taps directly into Burna’s strengths. The ending of the song even leaves space for Burna to sing out a bit on a bright beat switch, while WizKid stays in his same reserved pocket.
On another standout meant to evoke dance moves in “Mighty Wine,” WizKid maintains his silky feel vocally. He sings, “Girl, when you rotate so many things wey dey cross my mind,” as he is mesmerized by the hip twists of a potential muse. The sax on this track feels like it represents WizKid’s underlying fuel and desire. On later features by the illustrious Ella Mai and H.E.R., you feel like you hear the voices of the objects of his passion.
Towards the end, to counteract the sax with a different horn sound on “Gyrate,” you hear an explosive trumpet. We hear WizKid beam brightness on this track, so the new horn feels clever. It’s the proper feeling of release to counteract the cool control that is otherwise displayed. WizKid’s composure directly opposes the tension of the circumstance of his home; he named his album after. On his closing track, he sings, to sum up his mood, “And I stand, real tall, no matter what man face.”