Wizkid has been on a remarkable run, from releasing his incredibly impactful album “Made In Lagos”, to the incredible “madness” that was “Essence” to a successful North American tour, Big Wiz has been peerless in the last year, from scoring the first Nigerian Hot 100 record to smashing the Nigerian record peak on the Billboard 200 to scoring the first Nigerian platinum record, what Wizkid Made in Lagos has achieved is absolutely incredible, and what would be the icing on the cake, A Grammy.
It was almost too obvious that Made In Lagos would be submitted for Grammy consideration, its success simply couldn’t be ignored, a couple of weeks ago, news outlets broke the news that Made In Lagos and Essence have been submitted for Grammy consideration for Best Global music and Best Global Music Performance. The news followed that African Legend Angelique Kidjo also submitted her 2021 album “Mother Nature” for Grammy consideration, once again if Angelique and Wizkid bag nominations, she will be going toe to toe with another African Giant.
Truth is, Kidjo has hacked the academy, 9 Nominations 4 wins, Kidjo is the definition of the “African Grammy baby”, her albums are tailored exactly to what the academy thinks an African album should be created. In 2019, it was Kidjo vs Burna Boy’s “African Giant”, and despite African Giant’s incredible impact and success, she still bagged the win, even Burnaboy had to take private tutorials from her so he could score his Grammy win, so music heads and critics were not all that surprised to see Burna chanting like an ancient gorilla on Wonderful and Time Flies, it may be all about the vibes to a regular music lover, but that’s exactly what the academy thinks an African album should sound like. Its exactly why Burna would completely alienate the home front and promote a song like “Monsters You Made” which is socio-political and lashes out at Colonial masters, or a song like “Real Life” featuring Stormzy and dedicate the video to gang violence in the UK, or a nonsensical song like “wonderful” and chant in a forest with gorillas and what seems like ancients south African warriors. Twice as tall was made for the Grammy, that was the primary Target.
Made in Lagos
To be realistic, Made in Lagos is not a Grammy type of African album, the themes of Made In Lagos are Love, Sex, and Life. While a lot of music critics believe Twice as Tall is a better album than Made in Lagos, to the average music lover that may not be true, Made in Lagos is that album you will enjoy and be satisfied with after listening. Twice as Tall seems more “Heavier”.What are the markings of a Grammy-tailored album? There have to be Pan- Africanism, sociopolitical conversations, and the branding of the album.
Unfortunately Made in Lagos doesn’t quite tick all these boxes. That’s already a minus, now it’s going up against Angelique Kidjo’s “Mother Nature”, what makes it harder is Grammy operates a system of familiarity, Kidjo has scored 9 nominations and 4 wins, she is well known in the academy compared to Wiz who has scored two nominations, one of which was on his work on Drake’s album ” VIEWS”, and the other for his work on Beyonce’s “Brown Skin Girl”. The academy really does not know Wiz, sadly that’s 2 minuses.
The Other side of the story
Right now, Wizkid is the face of the Afrobeats to the world movement, a movement that can only get bigger from here. The major labels will be seeking their piece of the Afrobeats cake, Atlantic/Warner have bagged a Grammy win from an Afrobeats act in Burnaboy, Sony will definitely want one from their Afrobeats acts, Universal will also want one. Wizkid is signed to Rca Record/Sony Music, they could go hard to ensure that Wiz secures a win in that category.
Or they can choose an alternative route, “Essence” was also submitted for consideration for best Global Music Performance, which means Two of RCA’s artiste can score Grammy wins on the same night, Tems is signed to RCA too, and she was a featured artiste on the song meaning she would score a Grammy win too, that’s two birds with one stone which would be brilliant. Essence if nominated would be in pole position to win, let’s not forget Canadian giant Justin Bieber also collaborated on the song, even though he may not be credited for the Grammy nomination when Essence secures it. Plus essence has proven to be a stubborn record, even after major releases for Kanye and Drake, Essence still enters the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, it’s a platinum record already and 500 million units from double platinum. RCA may decide to go harder for this category and bag Grammy wins for two of their artiste.
So as it seems, Starboy is bagging a Grammy win in 2022 hopefully.
The question is, can Wizkid bag wins in both categories, Yes, he is Wizkid, only that the odds don’t favor him in one category, if he wins the album category, that would be a huge STEAL.