The 30 Best Wizkid Songs

The 30 Best Wizkid Songs

rewrite this content and keep HTML tags Wizkid is one of Afrobeats’ most important voices. Like 2Face Idibia and P-Square before him, the Lagos-born superstar has soundtracked the genre’s great moments for close to fifteen years, evolving his sound to match the changing preferences of each generation. To properly capture the depth in Wizkid’s catalog, there’s a necessary need to return to his several phases: first, from the teenage electricity of his Superstar era when Wiz gave popular representation to the preoccupations of Nigerian youngsters in a way no one else had before him. When his third album Ayocame around, his colorful pop bangers relayed the confidence of a man who had earned continental reverence. Sounds from the Other Side was the precedent to his global excursions, although his minting of diasporan sounds was better actualized years later, on the classic Made in Lagos album. This list of 30 Essential Wizkid Songs digs into his rich crater of music. From his most popular hits to album deep cuts and standout features, OkayAfrica undertakes the important mission of curation so that you don’t have to. “Holla At Your Boy” Wizkid’s introduction came with this cherry pop record. An assured recognition of his celebrity, he sang with the familiarity of the teenager next door. “If you see me drive by,” goes the easy admonition of its famous chorus, “Holla at your boy.” With its memorable visuals set in a high school, Ayodeji Balogun aligned his ascension with the trajectory of youngsters like him. Ask any Nigerian now in their 20s when they first loved Wiz, and this song would likely be their answer. “Tease Me” Dance floors are Wizkid’s favorite and it’s quite telling that early into his career he was making records like “Tease Me.” A sensual entry into his superstar lifestyle, this was the song that demonstrated how much of a bad boy Wizkid was. The girls and boys couldn’t get enough, reveling in the production’s instantly memorable bounce. His shoutout to celebrity friends was echoed in the star-studded video, a reminder for any doubters that Wizkid was really about that life. “Pakurumo” Fuji remains a sonic backbone of Afropop. The genre which peaked in southwestern Nigeria during the ’70s is known for its vivid percussion and praise singing, which were tapped into by Wiz on “Pakurumo”. A party-starter created for the most festive celebrations, it’s an effervescent song that never grows old. Coaxing sweet lyrics inviting ladies to dance, Wizkid won the hearts of the older generation with this one. “Jaiye Jaiye” ft. Femi Kuti A song with taps from Afrobeat’s rich material, “Jaiye Jaiye” featured the legendary Femi Kuti. More than a homage to Fela’s pioneering sound, Femi blends colorful trumpet-playing with Wizkid’s ever-serenading delivery. The younger musician dazzles with his turns of phrases, his Yoruba-spiced lyrics, his pairing of religious awareness and popstar sexiness. A classic in every sense, Wizkid’s scholarship in traditional genres proves essential to his artistry. “Sweet Love” For many Wizkid fans, “Lagos Vibes” is his quintessential deep cut but “Sweet Love” is also a good shout. Unattended by the immediate popularity most of his records enjoy, it has grown into a mellow ode for cherished intimate moments. A groovy bounce is weaned from the beat, but unlike a fully realized banger the energy is left to simmer, a slow burn emerging through Wizkid’s patient delivery. “Ojuelegba” The sprawling city of Surulere has been frequently shouted out by Wiz. More than his birthplace, it’s also where he tutored under the legendary OJB Jezreel, meeting icons like 2Face Idibia whose creative process he witnessed up close. “Ojuelegba” is a spiritual ode to his hood, recalling the early days in a way that foreshadowed his imminent global stardom. With the likes of Sarkodie, Skepta, Drake and countless others recording their own takes on the Legendury Beatz production, Wizkid’s leader role in the canon of Afrobeats was solidified. “Come Closer” ft. Drake Drake and Wizkid go way back. When the Canadian and veteran British MC Skepta united on the remix of “Ojuelegba,” it brought attention to how easily Afrobeats could blend into other genres. Drake would later tap Wiz for “One Dance” and returned the favor on “Come Closer,” a chill R&B cut with fine touches of Afropop’s bounce. Wizkid totally bosses the record, painting fine images verse after verse. His feature merely complements the song’s finesse, while Sarz on the beat does a madness as usual. “Daddy Yo” Popstar Wizkid is prime Wizkid. Even though he’s constantly traveled the terrain of sound throughout his career, there’s a great feeling that comes from hearing Wiz on homebound sounds. “Daddy Yo” was an instant hit: unleashed by Efya’s teasing chorus, Wizkid indeed makes the world dance, floating over the reggaeton-tinged beat with gleeful mastery. His language steeped in Afropop’s conventions, he creates a song that undeniably ranks among his most exuberant. “Caro” ft. L.A.X While the focus of Wizkid’s sound rested in Nigeria, few records were as penetrating as “Caro.” The production was reminiscent of Fela’s incandescent Afrobeat, an upbeat energy which inspired memorable performances from both Wizkid and his then-signee L.A.X. Their search for the titular character takes them towards different terrains, relating past intimacies with suggestive undertones while narrating the present with the required longing. Like some select records on his catalog, this was also a cross-generational song, appealing to vastly different demographics. “Ginger” ft. Burna Boy Longtime collaborators, Wizkid and Burna Boy united for the first time as global superstars on “Ginger.” The Made in Lagos cut taps from Afropop’s sonic conventions, a vivid percussive pattern and shiny embellishments to go with it. Voices in perfect harmony, the svelte ease of Wizkid meets Burna’s gruff tone, creating a cathartic pleasure released throughout the song’s run time. “Blessed” ft. Damian Marley Years after sampling Elder Marley, Wizkid features his mercurial son Damian on a record. “Blessed” sounds like two kindred spirits meeting: honing on its spirituality doesn’t do justice to its earthy quality, a song which recognizes the bustle of life as part of one’s journey. Taking the role of conductor, Wiz delivers the unforgettable assurance of the chorus while Jr. Gong rides the production with signature wisdom. “Go for the big leagues, no relegation,” he sings, reiterating the inspirational ethos of the song. “Smile” ft. H.E.R. Made in Lagos set very high expectations for Wizkid, partly because he’d teased the album for over two years before it finally arrived in 2020. Before then Wizkid delivered stellar records like Soundman Vol.1 working from Afropop’s sonic tradition, but “Smile” was a sharp turn away from that direction. Set by bass-y rock-reggae production, Wiz approached a gentler sound, lulling as much as he sang. It was an ode to one’s beloveds, and the choice of H.E.R also proved beautiful, as the American sensation polished its appeal with her intimate energy. “Essence” ft. Tems Snagging the keenly contested Song of the Summer a year after its release, “Essence” was an important record for Wizkid. Finally, after years attempting to capture the zeitgeist of America’s pop culture, he had done so and with so much ease. It was also a breakout moment for Tems, whose strong vocals provided the song’s memorable sections, including the now-classic line, “You don’t need no other body.” “True Love” ft. Tay Iwar, Projexx In the early years of his career, Wizkid preferred to handle things by himself. He featured artists but only sparingly, claiming the song’s most tantalizing moments for himself. Wizkid has now evolved in his approach, comfortable with letting guests impress their distinct styles. “True Love” benefits from that choice: Nigeria’s alt-soul prince Tay Iwar is the heart of the record, the first voice you hear. Wizkid delivers good with his verse and Projexx closes out with a risque verse, the Jamaican’s spritzy energy achieving stellar pacing. “Bad To Me” Wizkid isn’t one to follow trends. His catalog manages a pristine originality, an indication of the artist’s spiritual connection with the sonic base of Afropop. “Bad To Me” was a fitting way to incorporate the earth-shaking log drums of amapiano. As the first piece in the More Love, Less Ego puzzle, it’s an hypnotic track where Wiz showcases his expanding vocal range, sketching with refreshing candor the lust-dripping narratives he’s painted for the better part of two decades. “Roma” ft. Terri This is perhaps the most underappreciated record in Wizkid’s catalog. Uniting with…

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