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In the eight years since D’banj first crossed the pond and made a splash on the UK Charts with “Oliver Twist”, collaborations between Nigerian musicians and their foreign counterparts have gradually become commonplace.
Wizkid has been arguably the biggest ambassador of Afrobeats in that period. In that role, he joins forces with US rapper Goldlink, on “No Lie”, from the latter’s just-released debut album “Diaspora”. You may remember Goldlink for his 2017 mega-hit “Crew”.
As the name suggests, “Diaspora” touches on diverse black and Latino music from different corners of the world. It makes Wizkid’s presence a no-brainer but what he does here is quite different from what you may have come to expect from the man who made “Fever” and “Come Closer”.
Wizkid literally raps on this song. Yup. You read that right.
The song starts like just another soul-drenched rap track, as Wizkid preaches his credentials, “I do this thing for real. Got a couple of guys and girls wey go die for me“. If you were waiting for the stereotypical gbedu to kick in, you might be disappointed, but in a good way. Wizkid treats this as what it is, a straight-up hip-hop track. The beat is sparse and dreamy, like the feeling of a drunken walk home from the club with the guys.
Goldlink’s melodic raps sit perfectly alongside Wizkid’s assured delivery. The subject matter is familiar; Goldlink’s verses sound like a campaign speech – “Goldlink is a good example for the assholes and the adolescents“, he raps.
The second half of the song goes a notch higher. Melodies kick in heavily – Wizkid takes a backseat here – and Goldlink doubles down on his big-boy-talk – “I understand how my plug talk, I got my Cuban in my pocket“.
If nothing else, the result is proof of the two artists’ flexibility. For Wizkid’s fans and doubters alike, it’s an introduction to Goldlink and evidence that Ayo Balogun has many pockets, and he can pull a few tricks when he’s in the mood.
Stream Goldlink & Wizkid’s “No Lie” here.