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Friends, foe and family, you will find very few who will deny Burna Boy's ingenuity and musical genius. Much of his debut album L.I.F.E is described as "Afro fusion" and it is what he does. Chiefly inspired by Afrobeat creator Fela Anikulapo Kuti for whom his grandfather worked as a manager. Damini Ogulu whom we all know as Burna Boy, born on this day in 1991, has however, fashioned a sound that his uniquely his. But following the complexity of his character, this sound isn't actually a sound. Burna Boy is a hard man to fit into little boxes of genres and these five songs I've brought up prove the point. 

Take note, these are neither his best songs or his most successful (since that can never be objective). These are simply, songs that don't sound like any other song on this list. 

1. DON GORGON: Released as a single in 2014, Don Gorgon assumes a bit of the boom bap of Hip Hop, but the song is braggadocio flossed over a laid back beat. The video, shot in South Africa features a flying balloon, carnival masks and the fanfare but the true beauty of the song is in the unfamiliarity with the sound of then, the subtlest of fuck - yous. 



2. YAWA DEY: This song is hands up one of Burna's best. It owes its appeal to the relativity of the lyrics, similarity apparent with Fela's Palaver. The sound is Ajegunle reggae, its drums frenetic and Burna Boy's baritone authoritative, never emphasizing, you just know if you live in Nigeria and you never see landlord, YAWA DEY!!! 


3. TONIGHT: Before Burna Boy became the problem child the industry needed to be strict with by denying him awards, there was Tonight, a fusion of R n B and Highlife. 


Released as a follow-up to the instant classic Like To Party, Tonight didn't fail in solidifying Burna Boy's talent as a real one. 

4. IF PEOPLE MUST DIE (dedicated to Gabriel "Gambo" Serunkuma): Off his On A Spaceship album which flopped terribly in part owing to his much publicized fall off with his beatmaker and friend LeriQ, If People Must Die is a haunting dirge to a friend, Gambo. 

Much of its lyrics is rendered in a slur of Jamaican patois and the pain so evident in Burna's voice that at first listen, I shed a tear. Remiscent of the earlier song Freedom, IPMD proves that there isn't anything Burna Boy can't make us feel with that voice of his. 


5. YE: This list will not be complete with the pop wave Ye, heavily marketed by Kanye West's album of the same title. Its lyrics interpolate Fela's Sorrow, Tears and Blood and it went on to become the highlight of Outside, a spectacular album by all means and measures. 

No review will ever do Ye justice. How do you explain the genius of its lyrics? The infectious nature of its beat? The electricity of its creator? 





 Happy Birthday Burna!!!!

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