In 2018, the entire industry bowed in the presence of Oluwa Burna's non-stop hit anthems. We all screamed aloud to 'Ye' every time it burst from the speakers as we unanimously crowned him the 'Artist of the year,' and it was not even close.
Few months into 2019 and there seems to be no slowing down as Burna again has the torch burning and this time he is heading for the finishing line even before his colleagues get off their mark.
From the video for the street anthem, 'Killin Dem' with Zanku king, Zlatan to the fast-growing single, 'Dangote', the artist who rose from the streets of Port-Harcourt is laying down the marker yet again and we all are lapping it up, while begging for more like Oliver Twist.
And in his usual unpredictable style, music fans woke up on Friday morning, March 22, 2019, to Burna blessing us with a surprise four-track project, Steel and Copper this time in collaboration with American production duo, DJDS consisting of Jerome Potter and Sam Griesemer.
The duo is famous for working on Kanye West's 2016 album ''The Life of Pablo,'' and receiving a Grammy Nomination for 'Best Rap Song' for their contributions to the song 'Ultralight Beam.'
For Burna's style and his type of sound, it is not surprising to see him wanting to experiment and explore different fusions including house and EDM as he constantly tries something different and this is what he aims at with ''Steel & Copper.''
Burna is formidable with words and he wastes no time ensuring that every song carries a message despite the obvious focus on the tape leaning more in the direction of its unconventional sonic identity.
Released under Atlantic Records, the EP opens with the lead track, '34', an inspirational song influenced by the life and rise of Greek Born, Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is of Nigerian descent.
The NBA superstar who plays for the Milwaukee Bucks has been instrumental to his team's success this season as they lead the Eastern Conference and have secured a playoff spot.
'34' is that song that paints the picture of a dream bigger than that of the person whose eyes are closed.
''Me, I do this for my peeps, Me I do this for myself, I ain't here for no reason, I don't think you understand,'' He sings.
'Innocent Man' sees Burna switch up his flow while he talks about surviving in the cold and on 'Darko' which starts with an upbeat piano sound, Burna is singing in more likeable rhythm as he consciously explains the frustrations with the authorities and why he is not bothered about the things said about him.
'Thuggin', the longest record on the tape clocking at close to four minutes is that flames joint that has the capability to be a really huge song as he narrates the deep tale of living life despite all his brothers that have been lost.
The solemn way he delivers his verses adds to make this song quite substantial in structure and content.
From a really stellar high in 2018, 'Steel and Copper' provide itself as a good build up to that next level that Burna Boy is seeking to take his art to and that is making an impact on the international stage, especially with a US tour announced.
Like Burna's career, the EP succeeds through sheer force of will, cutting edge style and his simple approach to achieving excellence as he again shows off his commanding versatility, slipping between some rapid-fire dancehall delivery to his ever conscious reggae theme where he stays unwavering in telling his story.
While the idea of the EP seems right, the execution criminally limited to just four songs makes a thorough assessment of what the collaboration can truly deliver difficult, and as a whole the project lacks the gusto to leave a memorable mark in the mind of listeners lacking enough explosive songs to take it to the zenith.
Over the course of its four tracks, Thuggin and 34 weave spells of rapturous beauty making the body of work another radiant addition to his impressively deep catalog.
3-Worth Checking Out