Album Review: Burna Boy – L.I.F.E


L.I.F.E (Leaving an Impact for Eternity)

RECORD LABEL: Aristokrat Records
YEAR: 2013

When an artiste consistently drops three hit singles back to back, his forthcoming album becomes the most anticipated album of the year. The suspense for the release of this album was over on the 10th of august 2013 when Burnaboy officially released his debut album. Though he had earlier released other LP’s in form of mixtapes, L.I.F.E is Burna boy’s debut Album. L.I.F.E is an acronym for ‘Leaving an Impact for Eternity‘.

Damini Ogulu is a Rivers State born artiste who has been influenced by different genres of music ranging from Jazz, 90’s R&B, Afrobeat, Dance hall and reggae. The album cover depicts little Burna Boy holding a microphone with background images of the late Afrobeat legend Fela Akinulapo-Kuti, Reggae icon Bob Marley as well as Juju legend King Sunny Ade and veteran Jamaican singer Sizzla Kalonji. This album art cover summarizes the style of the album which is a baby of the fusion of Jazz, reggae, dance-hall and afrobeat.

Track Review

1. There was no better way to kick start the album than an introduction by burna boy’s Grandad, Benson Idonije who was the late Fela’s first manager. Music seems to be a Legacy in the Ogulu family.

2. No No No
“ No think say because I dey blow grammar, I no be Ahaoda boy”
On this track he tries to correct the misconceptions about him and clears the air about his roots. Burna also states that he comes from the streets and this song does well for his core fans repping him from PH.

3. Say So

This one no be party na rave, you have every right to misbehave, you fit behave the way you like to behave. If anybody ask you tell them Burna boy say so.” A groovy party like jam with saxophone by Josiah Baguda. He calls out his crew Leriq, Pucado, Peedi Picass and Gambo.

4. Abeg Abeg (Remix) feat Tuface & Timaya

A conscious party Jam featuring Tubaba and Timaya though tuface tries to own the song by serenading it with his vocals and phrases form his mother tongue, Burnaboy sounded confident while Timaya fell short in both lyrics and vocals.

5. Roses (Na so e suppose be)

This is a typical Leriq production. Dancehall mixed with 90’s R&B. The lyrics preaches love and happiness.

6. Run my race
A fusion of Afrobeat & hiphop without a saxophone. The track parades a heavy beat and is already enjoying massive airplay in clubs,parties and radio nationwide. It emphasizes that he has not had it easy and he now enjoys the fruit of his hardwork.

7. Boom Boom Boom
With snippets from Fela’s song, Boom Boom Boom is a pulsating upbeat with a blend of dancehall and Naija hip-hop. Burnaboy proclaims himself as a ladies man who is not a gentleman especially in close doors. A groovy song too.

8. Yawa Dey.
Here Burnaboy proves that his style is very dynamic and unpredictable. It is true talent for a botty artist to venture into creating kpalangolo music a.k.a ajegunle music and come out with a street tune. The lyrics explains it all: “ You never see Landlord, Yawa dey! This song is fit for galala and Suo dance steps. Daddy Showkey will be proud of this one.

9. Ma loada Ma motto
This is probably the weakest song on this album. It starts with a snippet from Fela though upbeat and funky.

10. Tonight
Another radio hit with a smoothjazzylow tempo feel. Switching from Igbo to Yoruba lyrics and still deliveringon point. This song proves that there is no certain way to make a naija hit song.
11. Like to Party

This is the first single to hit airwaves, this track alone pummeled Burna Boy to the limelight. A certified harmonious 90’s r&b inspired melody. This track will rejuvenate any tired leg on a dance floor.

12. Smooth Sailing

It’s the kind of music you listen to on your way back from the club or work. You are not necessarily interested in the lyrics, what matters is that you get home safe. Song Produced by Leriq

13. Don’t Run feat Reminisce & Olamide
A song with Olamide and Reminisce is definitely a battle ground to determine the best in Yoruba hip-hop artiste. Though the verses were short we will let you be the judge here. Resonating vibe for Yoruba hip hop heads.

14. Jah’s Love is True ft Wizkid
At this point you start to think the album will get boring but Wizzy does what he knows how to do best which are catchy hooks. A very Energetic giddy sound by Leriq emphasizes the fact that both musicians are here to stay. They address critics who now salute them after calling them such names as mixtape wonder. They re-iterate that its Jah’s Love for them that made them who they are.

15. Outro: Remember Me

Very stimulating beat, a good way to end this excellent album. Oluwa Burna as he is fondly called by fans mentions his roots where he was raised which is PH city. His top notch vocals are well rendered on this track.

Burna boy is a multi-talented musician with a unique sound and he is ever willing to take risks. This was made obvious in the L.I.F.E project. Though this album was solely produced by aristocrat record’s official producer Leriq (call the paramedics) the album never became monotonous. This project is in an extraordinary class of its own. Creativity cannot be measured on a mainstream scale. If you are looking for an album to cop this summer, you cant go wrong with this album.

Rating: 8.5/10


Reviewed by Ayo Alloh