For African music lovers and critics alike, the 14th of August can not come any sooner.
The question on the mind of many is “Can Burna Boy outdo himself and deliver an album that finally clinches him the Grammy award, after going so close with ‘African Giant’?”
While there appears to be popular optimism among teeming fans, and the added advantage of an already grown fanbase, coupled with impressive features home and broad, there still remains questionable doubt about the potential of the album he titles ‘Twice As Tall’.
Having lost the Grammy award for best world album to Beninnoise Angelique Kidjo, Burna announced a comeback, and it is this comeback that makes August 14th all the more significant.
Here we examine some factors that could aid or cripple the Afrobeat powerhouse in his second push for the coveted prize.
– Streaming Numbers –
If this article had been written three years ago, it would definitely be difficult to put Burna Boy in a comparative argument for streaming numbers, but fast forward to 2020 and he is one of the most streamed African artistes in the world, even posing better numbers than Wizkid and Davido over the past year.
Burna recently announced that his AG album surpassed 800 million streams and was well on its way to one billon, indicating he already has a massive number of waiting ears for his coming album, a factor that was inexistent before AG dropped.
– Diddy’s Influence –
It is no longer news that the TAT album is executively produced by American Hip Hop heavyweight, Diddy.
Diddy shared the news on his verified Twitter account, and expressed optimism about the project. In the post he said Burna intended to tell a story and he wanted to help him tell it.
Diddy is one of the most successful entertainment moguls in the United States, and having him on the project already scores a point for ‘Odogwu’
– Message –
Quite a number of people can argue that Burna Boy’s AG album success as rooted on telling the African story. The narrative of a segregated and misunderstood people was the driving force for the album, along with some danceable songs.
With this message already passed, what then could be different? Will Burna stick to the same message and harp on it more aggressively, or is there a different message we remain unaware of?
– Kanye West –
It is easy to ignore the fact that Kanye West had a hand in the success of the AG album by merely releasing content before Burna.
Burna’s global hit song, ‘Ye’ was dubbed from the iconic rapper’s album title which has now become his official Twitter cover name.
The song’s video has over 97 million YouTube views and is poised to hit 100 million before the year runs out, making Burna one of only two Nigerian artistes with two songs hitting 100 million YouTube views.
– Headline songs –
The biggest factor may just be Headline songs. Prior to the release of AG, Burna Boy had released successful singles such as ‘Gbona’, ‘On the low’, ‘Killin dem’, and ‘Dangote’, songs he later added to the album after doing well individually.
With these heavyweights, it wasn’t difficult to comprehend the success of the album. Twice As Tall, on the other hand, has only ‘Wonderful’ released before the album drops, indicating a different approach to the process for Burna.
– COVID-19 –
These days it is a lot easier to find entities that have not been affected by the pandemic than to find those which have been.
The uncertainty of the pandemic leaves many plans up in the air and makes a potential world tour all the more difficult.
Digital sales may also be affected as global income has taken a hit.
With the many challenges that stare the African Giant in the eye, can he weather the storm, or will he fall? The journey begins on Friday for ‘Twice As Tall’
By Daniel Ojukwu