There’s so much music out there that it’s hard for even the most loyal fans to stay up with their favourite artists or what’s new and hot right now. That’s why we’ve created #BumpThis – a daily series that features the one song you need to listen to, every day. Don’t say we never did anything for you.
One of the more common responses to Burna Boy’s infamous response to the Coachella 2019 promotional material was the question of exactly what the singer meant by the term, “African Giant”.
“Another Day”, off his recently-released fourth studio album, does a better job of explaining than he has in interviews. The song, which features Ghanaian rapper, M.anifest expresses the social stagnancy and political wheeling-and-dealing that has defined Africa through the decades.
The song opens with an excerpt of Jide Olanrewaju’s “A History Of Nigeria” in which he describes how the British bought the area now known as Nigeria, for commercial purposes, at the beginning of the 20th century.
Burna Boy reinforces this theme of struggle by interpolating lyrics from two classic Nigerian protest songs; “E Be Like Say” by 2baba and Original Stereoman’s “E Dey Pain Me”. M.anifest’s laid-back verse is a perfect condiment; it offers a more recent, relatable perspective to the song’s theme.
The effect is two-fold; the sampled classics are a reminder that the problems they speak off are old. But this also points to a bigger issue; that songs about Africa’s social & political issues are rare – the exception, not the norm as you would expect given the influence that African pop stars wield among their listeners.
The beat, a reggae-inspired groove by Kel-P, now Burna’s go-to collaborator, is more celebratory than you’d expect. It makes ‘Another Day’ sound like a campaign for change rather than yet another sob story.