First of, shouts out to Wale . He’s had quite a career, from doing songs with Lady Gaga (yes, Lady Gaga) to getting dropped off a major label and then getting on MMG. Numerous features, solo/compilation albums and mixtapes have followed since then. Lyrically, Wale is more poetic than most of his peers, just listen to lines like on Ross’s ‘Diced Pineapples’ and more. However, he could be a fine line around what J.Cole and K.Dot do. On his new album ‘Shine’ however and with features listed, it does appear Wale is evolving with the times. Features from G-Eazy Travis Scott, and even Major Lazer point to this.
But it is the fact that he then makes a bold move to feature Wizkid, whose ‘One Dance’ success with Drake last year was a major breakthrough for Nigerian music and its continued penetration of the mainstream America music terrain. Wizzy is on the same song as Major Lazer and Dua Lipa, and that says it all about how international the sound is expected to be.
He also goes on to make an even bolder move featuring Olamide and Davido on the song ‘Fine Girl’. Davido’s prior introduction to mainstream American music terrain did not go too well apparently and he, himself has alluded to that. Songs with MMG’s Meek Mill, Tinashe and even a yet-to-be-released collaboration with Young Thug and Rae Sremmund were done and/or mooted. However, David(yes, David) has retraced his steps like the Psalmist and his ‘Back to Basics’ mantra along with a tour to boot is in the works.
On the other hand, the Olamide move is the boldest. This guy is Sarkodie-like with rap, rappers who are at home with their ‘lingua franca’ and struggle quite a bit otherwise. Although, Wale has done songs with Olamide before, the output from this collaboration should be huge for both parties. His embrace of his Nigerian roots and the growth of Nigerian music across Africa, nay the world is something he could easily ride on. The pay off for the Nigerian acts and indeed the industry is also plain to see.
Egbon Wale, thank you for letting Nigerian acts ‘Shine’ on your album.