Home Reviews ALBUM REVIEW: “I TOLD THEM” BY BURNA BOY.

ALBUM REVIEW: “I TOLD THEM” BY BURNA BOY.

by 234 Homeboy

Nigerian Atlantic Records artist Burna Boy has announced his new album 2023 titled “I Told Them”, with a release date of 25 August 2023. “I Told Them” is a 15-track album that features artists such as; Byron Messia, 21 Savage, Dave, Seyi Vibez, and J. Cole.

Infusing his daring pan-African pop with recollections of 1990s hip-hop, advise from Virgil Abloh, Burna Boy’s seventh album takes in the view from the top. Before his historic London Stadium show, Burna Boy told Ebro, “There’s nothing I’m doing now that I didn’t tell them.” Just a few days before the release of his seventh album, “I Told Them,” he expressed this attitude to Zane Lowe once more.

As an opening salvo, “I told them I’m a genius” is short and imposing, and Burna Boy is nothing if not imposing. I Told Them…, the Nigerian superstar’s seventh album, opens with this line, which refers to a remark he made in June, when he played for 60,000 fans at London Stadium, making history as the first African solo artist to sell out a venue of that size in the UK. The lyric puts him as both a giant and an underdog: an artist who only needed to achieve in order to prove he could. It also suggests either a cunning album tease or rapid work producing the next song. “I told them I’m the most genuine… For some reason they didn’t believe it, but here we are,” he sighs contentedly over a glissando of guitar and congas.

I Told Them… is an artistically produced Afropop album full of show off moments that seem less like gloating than like the fulfillment of a promise made. Here, Burna makes it quite obvious that he is living up to the hype that he has created for himself, and he wants everyone to see it, including his doubters (both real and made-up). The samba-inspired “I Told Them,” the album’s opening tune, features Burna bragging over gentle guitar picking and moderate drumbeats. For whatever reason, he sings, “I told them I was the realest, but they didn’t believe it/I told them they were gonna see this, but they didn’t believe it.

Every region of the world has been affected by his music, and the breadth of ODG’s influence is what keeps him thinking about this endeavor. The lyrics of I Told Them… are witty, but occasionally also compassionate, striking a balance between somberness and lighter moments. In his song “Cheat on Me,” which features Nigerian UK raised rapper Dave, Burna expresses concern for the lack of progress experienced by his people in Nigeria. He promotes their success and even takes time to critique the politics around international visas. He sings, “Make embassy no deny my people visas.”

In the song “Normal”, the artist sings about doing all sorts to please oneself without paying attention to whatever people may say about his actions. Also stating that if you want to have access to him you need to have the luxury lifestyle and riches “to be le gbemidebe, only the money fit gbemidebe”. He also mentions, You can sleep with someone else’s lover, get money whichever way you like without minding what people would say. This is depicted in his lyrics “Monogamy, it’s overratеd, Once in a year try to dey knack somebody girlfriend”, “naira kobo owo ni koko”. He says it is normal for people to always talk, whether you do good or bad. The African Giant created a club banger with this song

The album’s majority of tracks have the feel of re-recorded older songs. Hip Hop and Afro hybrids can be heard on tracks like “Big 7,” “Dey Play,” and “City Boys,” but they also use melodies, techniques, and delivery that are eerily similar.
When Burna Boy makes straightforward Pop-driven (topically and sonically) records, he produces some of the album’s best songs. It’s fun to listen to songs like “Tested, Approved & Trusted,” “Giza,” with Seyi Vibez, and “Talibans II,” with Byron Messia, because of their pleasing tones and laid-back nature.
A tribute to the late creative design legend Virgil Abloh and the late rapper Sidhu is just one of the album’s parts that feel particularly personal. Furthermore, in the song “If I’m Lying,” where he appears to open up completely, which sounds like the “Alone” track on the Black Panther Album. Burna Boy emotional range is a big part of his appeal—that he can move convincingly from gbedu to spiritual deliverance, as on the acoustic-guitar devotional “Every day, I just dey give thanks for life,” he says. “Know how to move’ cause I know how to sacrifice.” You can also hear similar chants which was also incorporated in his old song “If People Must Die”.

On “Thanks,” an Afropop song that is undoubtedly , he accuses Nigerians of being unappreciative for what he has done to improve the image of the nation. He chastises his countrymen for calling attention to his numerous rumored transgressions, which include claims that his bodyguards opened fire at a man whose wife rebuffed his advances at a well-known club in Lagos, his appalling treatment of the fans who come to his concerts in Nigeria, his mother Bose Ogulu being a stage dancer for Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti and his most recent assertions about the Afrobeats genre. “12 Jewels,” in which RZA, a longtime Five Percenter, lists the life precepts to which a man should aim.

Burna Boy has more than established himself; I Told Them is a risky pledge that he will not become complacent. He must learn that prophets are selfless individuals who promote the cause of their people and intercede for them rather than condescend and insult them at every opportunity.

Ratings: /10

  • 0-1.9: Flop
  • 2.0-3.9: Near fall
  • 4.0-5.9: Average
  • 6.0-7.9: Victory
  • 8.0-10: Champion

234HB Rating: /10
Album Sequencing: 1.5/2
Songwriting, Themes, and Delivery: 2/2
Production: 2/2
Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 1.5/2
Execution: 1.5/2
Total: 8.5 – Champion

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