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Here are 3 reasons why Wizkid’s ‘Made In Lagos (Deluxe)’ makes sense as a strategy [Pulse Album Review]

After multiple postponements and three years of teasers, legendary Nigerian Grammy-winner, Wizkid released his groundbreaking fourth studio album and fifth solo body of work, ‘Made In Lagos.’

Wizkid - Made In Lagos Deluxe. (SONY/RCA/STARBOY)

The 14-track album came after an uncertain run for Wizkid, which included the poor Soundman Vol. 1Many listeners didn’t know what to expect, but ‘Smile’ featuring H.E.R, a risque choice for a single, offered some respite and hope.

When the album finally dropped on October 30, 2020, certain cynics and members of rival stan bases were desperate to label it ‘trash’ instead of ‘different.’

But in reality, Made In Lagoswas – and still is – a good album. Critically, it didn’t tick all the boxes that distinguish great albums. For example, Wizkid’s songwriting was markedly improved, but it was still defined by vibes.

But sonically, ‘Made In Lagos’ is an excellently A&Red body of work, which deftly played on and amplified Wizkid’s strengths as a 10-year veteran of the African music industry, with influences from across the global black musical landscape, without taking unnecessary creative/sonic risks that could expose certain artistic flaws.

The sonic excellence of the album made optimists overlook its flaws and over the past 10 months, ‘Made In Lagos’ has undoubtedly become Africa’s No. 1 album, with no competition in sight. This run has also propelled Wizkid onto record-breaking, chart-topping stratospheres.

‘Essence’ currently sits at No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100, thanks to proper creative marketing by RCA and a timely remix, featuring Justin Bieber, after the record had reached No. 54 by itself.

The album also aligns with Wizkid’s rebrand in his ‘graceful years.’ 10 months post-release and perhaps a little belatedly, Wizkid released a deluxe version to the album, on August 27, 2020. It features Justin Bieber and Buju. It was also meant to feature Bella Shmurda, but reported label issues prevented that from happening.

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