Grammy-nominated Nigerian singer, Burna Boy, released his anticipated fifth studio album, TWICE AS TALL, on Friday.
The album was produced by Telz, P2J, Timbaland, Leriq, Rexxie, Skread, Andre Harris, Jae5, Mike Dean, and many more.
Burna Boy, his mum cum manager, Bosede Ogulu, and Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, were the executive producers.
It also features guest appearances from Naughty by Nature, the Kenyan band Sauti Sol, Senegal’s musical titan, Youssou N’Dour, and Chris Martin of Coldplay.
In his words, “Twice As Tall is the album about a period of time in my life. It’s the album about the struggle for freedom. It’s the album about life in general, real life, good times, bad times, happy times, sad times, great times”.
Whilst he addressed what he described as “Nigeria’s colonial history and inveterate corruption” in his last album ‘African Giant’, his latest album sees Burna Boy make music as a citizen of the world, lashing out at racism, exploitation and the general widespread fallacies about Africa.
Alongside the album, Burna Boy has also introduced his official comic book ‘The Secret Flame’.
Narrated by his grandfather Benson Idonije (veteran broadcaster/journalist/music critic and former band manager of the legendary Fela Kuti), the animated comic, follows the singer through a spiritual journey of discovering oneself while highlighting the very moments that brought him to where he’s standing tall today.
Most of the songs on this album stand out.
The singer described, “Level Up,” as “the brooding-to-triumphant song that opens the “Twice as Tall’’ album”. Not only does it celebrate Burna Boy’s own achievements, but it also notes life’s harsh realities in the lyrics: “Some of my guys might never see the sun/some of them still peddle drugs.”
‘Time flies’ featuring Sauti Sol is a heavenly reminder of simpler times. The melodic arrangement of the Nigerian vernacular and Swahili in this song, appended to the beautiful vocal variety of the Kenyan group Sauti Sol, gives this track a guileless intimacy, fervency, soul, and depth.
In the poignant song “The Monsters You Made,’ his management said Burna exposes an indictment of miseducation, historical injustice, and systemic racism, delivered in clear English with mounting fury.
Burna said, “That song comes from a lot of anger and pain and me having to witness firsthand what my people go through and how my people see themselves. I see how many people are deceived and confused. I just try to blend all of that in and make it understood that we’re all going through the same problems. We just speak different languages”.
”Other tracks to look out for on the ‘Twice As Tall’ album are ‘Onyeka’ produced by Telz, ‘Bebo’ produced by Rexxie, ‘Comma’ produced by Rexxie, ‘23’ produced by Skread, ‘Bank on it’ produced by Jae5, ‘No fit vex’ produced by LeriQ and ‘Way too big’ produced by LeriQ, Mike Dean and DIDDY.
Called the African Giant, Burna Boy speaks pensively: ’’Music is a spiritual thing. I’ve never picked up a pen and paper and written down a song in my life. It all just comes, like someone is standing there and telling me what to say. It’s all according to the spirits. Some of us are put on this earth to do what we do.”
The ‘’TWICE AS TALL album is now available for download on all music platforms.