Afro-fusion artiste, Damini Ogulu also known as Burna Boy, was born on 2nd July, 1991. A ferocious talent as many have observed, his music is a child of many genres, chief among them afrobeats, reggae/dancehall, and pop.
The year 2018 and 2019 was a point of rebirth for him after years of flying on the wings of his successful debut track “Like to party” when he was still signed to Aristocrat records.
Since then, his songs have been widely accepted by many as a means to preach about social consciousness and the act of revolutionary movement.
Although many Burna Boy’s songs are accepted across the invisible lines and borders of listenership, some have been made consciously with some selected audience in mind.
These, we call anthems by a legendary musician.
Listed below, in no particular order, are five of Burna Boy’s best songs. That is, anthems which, in their moments of freshness and clout, captured the world and its inhabitants.
Even when past their prime days, these songs reveal why Burna Boy is called ” Odogwu” and have such a cult following, a generation of listeners who, having discarded the notion of just listening to them, will pull up at any venue and sing their hearts out.
In no particular order, these are Burna Boy’s top five songs every music lover should have on his playlist:
This music, in its activist element, emphasized the need for job creation in the Nigerian society and then followed the lives of ordinary Nigerians, starting from their lives at home with their struggle in the streets.
Burna Boy attempts to tell a story on behalf of Nigerians about how the scarcity of proper jobs and other sociopolitical challenges, including police brutality stifle the people and force them to do whatever it takes to just survive.
It creates the perception of hard work, determination, and the resilient spirit of the common man.
The song has been a source of inspiration to a lot of people due to its consciousness of the culture of hard work and perseverance.
- Run my race
Another street–influenced pop song, Run My Race, epitomizes Burna Boy at his brash and blunt best. He sings of his success, speaking of, in Nigerian term, “eye service agents”, who want to feast with him on the sunny days.
He enjoins the people to run his race. That is, follow him and support him on the journey to stardom.
Optimism, because of its inherent place in the life of every Nigerian, (and perhaps African) even when musicians weren’t yet ‘blown’, they believed they will in no time.
And when that time comes, they didn’t want new gang members, only day ones. For them, you had to run their race to partake in the victory lap.
- On the low
The Kel P- produced single became a smash hit in Nigeria and has since amassed over 103 million views on YouTube.
On March 8, 2020, Burna Boy accepted a gold plaque for his 2018 single, ‘On The Low.’
The gold plaque is for selling 100,000 (or more) copies of the single. A gold plaque could also be handed to an artist whose single has been streamed 15 million times in the country.
‘On The Low’ was released on November 16, 2018 as the second single off Burna Boy’s 7th studio album, African Giant.
Although many listeners came to the song by mistake, (they actually were searching for a Kanye West album with the same title) when they did, they found out that Burna Boy represented their best interests of survival.
Delivered eloquently in Pidgin, the song samples Fela and like the great revolutionary musician, Burna Boy taps into the spirit of the age to serve up one of the most popular and best songs of his career.
- Like to Party
Before Burna Boy became the African Giant, (and all the PR and image-branding that comes with it) he was but an Afro-wearing artiste who had claimed ownership over a set of fashionable sun shades.
In 2012, on his breakout single “Like to Party”, Burna Boy had the cool, stunning, and R ‘n’ B vibe that reminded one of the early 2000s summer-themed American songs. https://youtu.be/t7tc1o43soM
“Like to Party” is a classic anthem, and understandably so. For many, it was the introduction to Burna Boy but beyond that, its music and that video which perfectly suited it was, simply put, a vibe.
For those who still don’t know, Burna Boy released the ‘Ultimate Summer Song of 2012’ in Like to Party.