If anybody is still uncool about the little window given to Wizkid in Drake’s ‘One Dance’ citing the opportunity as a disrespect of his artistic prowess, let the latest hit Shabba put everything to rest. The star-studded song didn’t fall short of expectations as all the artists came with their ‘A’ game. The international appeal Wizkid had simultaneously been engineering has gradually been gravitating top international acts to a collaboration with him. What must be praised is his untempered African touch to the whole project. At the moment, Wizkid is arguably the hottest artist not only in Nigeria but in the African continent and ‘Shabba’ didn’t disappoint in its delivery.
Chris Brown’s subtle entrance as the beat’s tempo rises is typical of him. He croons about his success with the females he’s been taking to The Lobsters and dressing in Givenchy and Versace because they knew he’s something special – fresh out the boat is how he likes his international flavours. Chris Breezy is about balling, that why; ‘Jamaican or Asian no matter they pulling the choppers/ All of my niggas around/ I spray a new face on you clown,’ and would still get away with it because he has that legendary Shabba Ranks’ swag.
Wizkid jumped unto the chorus with that African call-and-response pattern to enhance the musicality of the hook thus: She got me blowing trees like Shabba/ Bounce to the beat like Shabba/ Ten gold rings like Shabba/ She got me rolling through like shabba/ Riding the Benz like Shabba/ Trying to f*** up the beat like Shabba.’ A repeat of the hook puts the picture in context and expressive of the rich, suave and lavish lifestyle that is both appealing to the ladies and inner-city dwellers. A partial kind of their dream.
Of course Trey Songz was on point; the poet in his lines can’t go unnoticed; ‘She’s some gold in my mouth/ nigga feeling like I’m caviar…Shabba ladies call me Mr. Lover man’ and he goes about glorifying the female body and what he wishes to do with it in the big house. You know what I’m saying? The centre of excellence; Lasgidi is also given its fair share of glamour and recognition too: ‘Getting money with the kid off in Lagos/ Stacking money like kids, like its Lagos/
If she’s touching on the nigga like goddamn! / But she got a thing for a badd-man.’ Trey summaries his verse with the whole idea of the song, that is the feeling of what it means to be successful: money, fast cars and fly ladies.
What do you expect of a Bad Boy representative on a bad song as bad as Shabba? French Montana’s french could as well be excused on this song. ‘Take pictures of me rolling’ is reminisces of 2Pac’s ‘Picture Me Rolling’ and ‘All these fishes think I’m holding,’ tells of both the glittering life that might be fake which is suppose to attract ladies to the icon thinking he’s rich, at the same time, faking it to make it or gain acceptance. From donning grey suits, cruising top-downs, paparazzi taking pictures and living fly, all tells the dream of every superstar. Montana’s dropping rhymes style in bits like Yo Gotti made the song to have a crunk flavour and a southern swagger. Something to gyrate and jiggly to. ‘Like Zamunda’ coming from French Montana resonates with Eddie Murphy’s movie ‘Coming to America; about the young prince of Zamunda in search of a faithful wife that is not carried away by material wealth or success. But in this case, it’s the opposite as a life of affluence is being exalted.
From celebrating a ghettoised living to the Shabba-ic glorification of feminine gender and black success story – rags to riches like Shabba the Jamaican dancehall king; Wizkid had once again, created something both street and mainstream. It’s sure going to be a club banger. We can’t wait to see the visuals.