Wizkid O Wizkid....

Wizkid is on the path to legendary status (Michael Tubes )

The petite singer stood as a pop giant at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall and performed his many border-transcending hits. Two days before the show, the concert was sold out. Not bad for a man who hails from one of the grittiest cities in the world, Lagos.

Social media is a double-edged sword. JAY-Z said it best on the Coldplay song 'Lost'. "With the same sword, they knight you they gon' good-night you with" raps Hip-Hop greatest legend.

After the congratulatory tweets from Wizkid's fans and admirers, a bomb was thrown into the mix. Some dared equate Wizkid's music achievements to that of Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.

Fela is dear to the hearts of Nigerians and the assumption of Wizkid's legendary status got shut down. An argument ensued and well...you know how it goes on Twitter NG.

The word 'legend' is thrown around so easily these days that anyone is given the status. Some things should not be taken or given so lightly and one of them is legendary status.

Who is a legend?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a legend as someone "person or thing that inspires." This definition is too fickle for the subject at hand. Some people might find Young Thug inspiring but is he a legend? Nope.

For this article permit me to use this definition of mine. A music legend is an individual who has immensely influenced his genre of music with exceptional bodies of work over a lengthy period of time.

With regards to 'exceptional bodies of work,' at least a widely regarded classic album should be in the mix. And as for lengthy period, a decade more or less is the best fit.

Now with this definition and explanation is Wizkid a legend? No, but he is on his way. The pop megastar has three solo albums to his credit and none of them can be considered classics.

His adorable fans will point at 'Superstar' as his classic but this isn't true. Superstar was moulded from a true classic 'Mushin 2 Mo' Hits'. The content, theme and rhythmic styles of Superstar were based on Wande Coal's first solo effort.

Wizkid and Wande Coal at the Royal Albert Hall concert (Michael Tubes )

The chubby pop singer rewrote contemporary music in Nigeria and M2M is still unmatched in the canon of pop albums. The two albums that come close are Superstar and Davido's debut and only album 'O.B.O: The Genesis'.

Both albums are heavily influenced by Wande Coal's LP blueprint. The Don Jazzy produced album had enough banging beats for years which Wande Coal destroyed easily. Almost every pop singer after him has fashioned his album in that manner.

You can literally connect the dots and see how Wande Coal fashioned a new style of pop styles with his debut album. 8 years after, #M2M is one of the crown jewels of Nigerian pop music of our generation.

The seminal pop album 'Mushin 2 Mo' Hits' released by Wande Coal in 2009 (Mo' Hits )

Superstar was a fantastic album but Wande Coal brought about the new school. It is still influential till today. Everyone from Wizzy to Orezi has used his style over and over again.

This is not to take anything away from Wizkid's first album. It was well put together by Samklef and has most likely sold more than 2 million copies in Alaba.

The only flaw on the album is that it brought nothing new to the table which can be said on all of his albums (which have been successful by the way).

For you to be considered a legend, you must have at least rewritten the rules of your genre at least once. 2face Idibia did it twice with his first two albums. Asa dropped an instant classic and introduced soul genre to the mainstream with her first album. M.I altered the way we rapped in 2008 with 'Talk About It'.

2Baba's “Grass 2 Grace” album was released under Kennis Music. (Nairaland)

Let's not even talk about Fela. The man basically invented a genre of music and from the 70s to the 80s dropped classic tune after classic tune. Legends turn the game upside down and bring about new ways of doing music.

Fela Anikulapo Kuti and his Saxophone (Tumblr)

Let's get back to Wizkid. This man has a clear shot at attaining legendary status. At this point, with all he has achieved, Wizkid just has to produce one genre-defining album that captures the spirit of the age we live in.

He has to expand his work to go beyond the surface love/lust tunes and twerking anthems. His music is glossy but sometimes it lacks soul, the presence of a greater being at work, a man who captures the hopes and dreams of a generation.

There is a reason why 'Ojuelegba' is his most famous and greatest work. Wizkid cracked a higher realm on that song. It narrated his underdog to top dog story with a soulful instrumental produced by Legendury Beatz. The song practically made him an international sensation. Ojuelegba blew up for a reason. It added a much-needed layer to Wizkid's pop narrative.

Ojuelegba cracked the door. For Wizkid to get into the revered hall of legends, his music must not only reflect his materialistic leanings but show his journey as a man and a father.

Wizkid has made so many legendary achievements over the last two years that it is easy to call him a legend. And he isn't the only one to fall into this category.

We are in an era when music stars have ditched the obligatory classic album for legendary moments. Rapper Olamide is the best example. With no clear-cut classic LP in his lengthy discography, many have bestowed upon him the legendary status.

Olamide performing at OLIC2 (Instagram)

We are in an era where the kids are rewriting the rules. What's a classic album when you have classic moments? The problem with legendary moments like filling up Eko Hotel annually or selling out Royal Albert Hall is that it does not reflect the quality of music nor the generational impact it has made.

To be a legend, you must walk the path of legends. Wizkid is on that path. Yes, many Nigerian acts have been darlings of the American music industry but how many have scored a number one hit?

Ayotunde Ibrahim Balogun is in rarefied air right now. All he has to do to sit among the gods of Nigeria's music Mount Olympus is to open his heart and let the inner god in him drop that classic that will rewrite everything.

He is on his way to greatness and greatness cannot be rushed. At 27 he still has a lot of time to become a legend. Fela was 33 when he scored his first hit 'Chop and Quench'.
Wizkid O Wizkid.... Wizkid O Wizkid.... Reviewed by Ty on 11:48:00 Rating: 5

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