In 2011, Wizkid dropped his debut album, “Superstar“, ten years later, his success has lived up to the album’s name.
Nigerians were properly introduced to a young ambitious Wizkid through the song, “Holla at Ya Boy” in 2010, which was the lead single of Superstar, although e had been featured on M.I Abaga’s “Fast Money, Fast Cars” in 2008.
Produced by DJ Klem, “Holla Ya Boy” was a mid-tempo groovy tune that helped Wizkid build a following of young adults and teenagers which was the pioneer group of the biggest music fanbase in Nigeria, Wizkid FC.
“Holla Ya Boy” was heavily inspired by SE7EN’s 2009 teen pop record, ‘GIRLS’ featuring Lil Kim.
In the music video which was shot in a school setting, Celebrities like Ice Prince made a cameo in the video while wearing Ama Kip Kip shirts and riding BMX bikes while Sophia Alakija played Wizkid’s love interest.
The song was a critical success but it was only the beginning of what the EME team was about to drop.
Next came “Tease Me“, where fans got to experienced an edgier and mature Wizkid on the sensual and sexually charged song.
The song took Wizkid from the classroom to the strip club.
“Don’t Dull” was another single from the album to be released. The song opened another fanbase for Wizkid on the streets.
Another hit song that made the album a commercial success was “Pakurumo” which showed the owambe side of Wizkid and featured Funke Akindele who at the time had released her groundbreaking movie, Jenifa.
The video also featured cameo appearances from Pasuma, Ali Baba, Tee-A, Skales, Lynxxx, Davido, Banky W, Pope Da Hitman, Tiwa Savage, Mo’Cheddah and Ice Prince.
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Composition and Sound
The Beautiful part of the 17-tracks project was its versatile sounds. Every possible genre or sub-genre was explored on this album.
The production which was handled by the likes of Samklef, E-Kelly, Jay Sleek, Shizzi, DJ Klem, Masterkraft, Q-Beats, Banky W and Vebee made the album a gem.
The album wasn’t just a defining moment for Wizkid but for the producers involved most especially Samklef who produced a bulk of the songs from the project.
‘Superstar‘ was a fusion of Wizkid’s talent, adlibs, style, and demonstrated hunger alongside its complex and eclectic sounds.
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It could also be said that it was one of Wizkid’s most lyrically accomplished album, if not the best, and even when lyrics were enough, he used a lot of adlibs and subtexts to get his message across.
In fact, Wizkid’s famous adlibs, “Iyeh yeh yeh” or “Oh no oh oh” made him a template for upcoming artists seeking his kind of success.
The versatility of the album made it possible that no matter the crowd or audience, Wizkid had an appropriate song available. Pakurumo was for owambe and the parents, Love My Baby was a go-to for Weddings, songs like ‘Holla at Ya Boy‘ and ‘Wad Up‘ fitted the cool kids.
“Superstar” is one of the most successful Nigerian debut albums to date and could be considered the album of the last decade.
Even despite the fact that Wizkid has outgrown the success of the album, it still doesn’t mitigate the impact “Superstar” made on mainstream Afropop sound.
He alongside street acts like Timaya, Terry G helped propagate the culture of Lamba over intelligent lyrics.
Wizkid, in a sense, foreshadowed his own destiny with the record, which music fans have gotten to experience the fulfilment.
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“I go be number one, as a born champion no lele…” he brazenly declared on “No Lele.” and he was right. He’s now regarded as the best performer of his generation, a Grammy winner and global sensation with a Billboard No. 1 hit to his name.
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The Singer went from a young artist hungry for success to an international superstar who is seen as the face of Afrobeat in the global music scene.
There aren’t many albums that have achieved the level of success that “Superstar” has. Many of the artists who rose to prominence around the same period as Wizkid have since slipped into obscurity.
All of the songs on the album, even those that didn’t have singles, branched out and became hits over time. It was the start of Wizkid’s flawless three-year run, in which he became the Nigerian Midas – gold was the result of everything he touched or even breathed.
Wizkid’s ‘Superstar‘ ambition, hard work, and humble upbringing were all echoed throughout the album’s songs, which he carried on his chest like Superman’s symbol.
Another impact of “Superstar” most especially “Holla Ya Boy” was The birth of Wizkid FC, Africa’s most powerful fan base and one of the most powerful in the world.
More importantly, ‘Superstar’ is one of the few uncontested classics to emerge from Nigerian music in the recent decade.