Before he became known as “Black Diamond”, or gave us hits like So Mi So, Iskaba and the TikTok-resuscitated, Gentility, Wande Coal was WC, Mo’Hit’s not-so-secret weapon and the name behind one of the best Afropop albums of all time, 2009’s Mushin 2 Mo’Hits.
At the time Mushin 2 Mo’Hits dropped, Don Jazzy was the most in-demand Nigerian producer — and back-up singer, if he liked you — with Wande Coal coming in as the label’s latest addition poised to continue its growing legacy of back-to-back hits. The duo ended up being infectious, and every time we heard, “It’s WC. Na who do the beat o? Don Baba J”, we knew it was going to be a banger.
We’d all heard albums about love and romance before, but most of them were shy about sex. Sure, we’d also gotten songs about sex, shoutout to P-Square for Do Me, but on Mushin 2 Mo’Hits, Wande Coal masterfully conveyed the sexual awakening that came with falling in love. His idea of love wasn’t PG, but it wasn’t R18, either. It comfortably sat in a seductive space between “I’m in love with you” and “You make me horny.” And as a young teen going through the motions of puberty, this album was perfect for me.
Now, 13 years after making it into Discmans and iPod playlists, Wande Coal’s magnum opus is finally available on streaming apps. Since I’ve been begging for the album at odd hours of the morning:
It’s only fitting to revisit it for myself and the culture.
Wande Coal kicks things off by exploring his inner Christian Grey with the album opener, I Know You Like It, and its follow-up, You Bad. Singing about making you beg for it while you scream his name, we’re introduced to an artist who can seduce you with a masterful mix of Yoruba, pidgin and unmatched vocals. These two tracks lay the groundwork for a sexy album, proving Wande was a Yoruba demon before we even knew what the term meant.
For the compulsory song about social justice and Nigerian wahala, Wande Coal’s synth-heavy, Se Na Like This? is as poignant now as it was in 2009, especially when you realise $1 was going for ₦148. I love this song, but it’s a cruel reminder that we’re no longer knee-deep in the trenches. At this point, we’ve been submerged by it.
We all lost our shit this year  because of how much Wande Coal sounded like Michael Jackson in his collab with Olamide, Hate Me.
But listening to his badass falsettos on Kiss Your Hands with Ikechukwu, especially around the 2:29 mark where he belts out MJ’s signature “He-he”, I feel stupid for being shocked by Hate Me. Wande Jackson has always been a thing.
Confused, another banger on the album, finds Wande Coal ignoring all the red flags to be with the person he loves. He even goes as far as singing, “Wo l’ashewo ni e, but emi o boda,” and honestly, I can’t help but stan a king who supports sex work.
Every Nigerian artist has that one random gospel song on their album to appease their mothers and choir instructors. Wande doesn’t disappoint, giving us two: Se Ope, which reminds me of the suffer-head “some have food” song from boarding house, and Jehovah, a song that talks about his literal journey from Mushin to Mo’Hits.
Bumper to Bumper is Wande Coal announcing he’s deep in his bag and no one can stop him. It was the first single off the album and a song that still reminds me of secondary school birthday parties, bootcut jeans and Axe body spray. Good times.
Two features that work are Bananas with Dr Sid and Who Born The Maga with Kayswitch. Bananas is the more romantic older brother of D’Prince’s Take Banana (a banger, by the way), while Who Born The Maga finds Wande confident in something more than his sex game, his talent. Random thought, but when did we decide to stop using the word, “Maga”? I don’t get it.
It’s impossible to do a top 10 of the most iconic Nigerian love songs of all time and not mention Wande Coal’s Ololufe. While his other songs talk about love in their own way, Ololufe reveals a more vulnerable Wande Coal as he tries to reassure his lover that their love is real. It’s equal parts joyful and heartbreaking, which I now appreciate as an adult who finally understands the complexities of navigating love.
Now It’s All Gone, which features label mate D’Prince, is the first underwhelming song on the album. It sounds a lot like Omarion’s IceBox, and not in a good way. Other forgettable tracks include That’s Wats Up and My Grind. They’re not bad songs. It’s just, they fail to hold their own when compared to the others.
My best song on Mushin 2 Mo’Hits has to be Taboo. The production of this song is insane. But my favourite part is the casual switch from the mellow “Even if dem say na taboo” to the crowd call and response, “Ki le leyi? Ileke”. It sounds so simple, yet incredibly well thought out, making Taboo one of the best Afropop songs of all time.
People say “way ahead of its time” loosely, but it’s like the perfect way to describe Mushin 2 Mo’Hits. From the synth-heavy production to sexy lyrics and melodies, this album has influenced everything from Wizkid’s 2011 Superstar to Fireboy DML’s 2021 hit, Peru — I’m not the only one who thought Wande was the one singing the second verse.
Wande Coal and Don Jazzy created something special with Mushin 2 Mo’Hits. Revisiting it all these years later makes it an even more profound body of work. Wande has been and will always be the GOAT. Period.
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