Writer : Bidemi Blog
Following WizKid’s emergence as the winner of the collaboration of the year award at the recently held BET Award held in Los Angeles, we can’t but acknowledge the accomplishments of this “Small body Big engine” man from Surulere Shitta in bringing to reality to the “Afrobeat to the world” tag.
For someone whose emergence into the Nigeria musical scene was like a shock wave which sparkled and now make others dream, this is indeed a dream come through. Wizkid, whose full name is Ayodeji Balogun Ibrahim, has always been a pacesetter for his peers and also the next-gen artistes. His success has more often than not been a pace setting one for his colleagues in the music industry, beginning from his first headlined show in 2011 in the UK, to his emergence as the first African artist to win a major category of both the Grammy award and the BET award.
While many tag Wizkid’s success as “grace”, it will be wrong for anyone to overlook the amount of hardwork the Afrobeats legend put into his craft. Note that his most recent album Made in Lagos, which could easily be labeled as the biggest ever album to come out of Africa thanks to its never-ending achievements, was rumoured to have had three different versions. Wizkid is still being lauded for having one of the best albums out of the world in 2020, both in terms of production, lyrics and the good feeling which the album brings to its listeners. This shows how much attention to details Big Wiz put into his craft. But then, grace and luck is man’s explanation for success beyond comprehension. Such is Wizkid’s success that many have tagged it as product of grace, leading them to neglect many candle burning sessions the enigma has gone through to make his dreams come to existence.
Wizkid’s decision to call out the BET award organizers in 2015 was a catalyst for the worldwide acclaim of Afrobeats which is now being enjoyed by his colleagues now, from Burna Boy, Fireboy, to Davido and Tems. Since Wizkid called out BET for giving awards to African artist backstage, many of them have enjoyed their wins at the grand stage of the award ceremony, with Fireboy also becoming the first African artist to perform on the main stage of the award ceremony.
Does Wizkid’s decision to take risks and set the pace not come with a disadvantage for him? Some might ask, and of course, it does. Until his “Best Collaboration” win with Essence, Wizkid was often left out of BET nominations. However, it did nothing to hinder him. Perhaps his phrase “Be so good that they can’t ignore you” manifested itself when he released Essence, which is arguably the Afrobeats song with the most impact ever released. The song has since its release shattered all records which were unimaginable pre Made in Lagos era, and it has also garnered worldwide acclaim from many top and professional music critics.
Big Wiz is the leading light and the touch bearer of the “Afrobeats to the world” movement, and it does not look like he is stopping anytime soon. While we await his next album, More Love Less Ego, it is indeed time we give flowers to the greatest Afrobeats artist to ever come out of Africa, Wizkid!