Friday, March 29th, 2019

Burna Boy – Dangote

But can you play that sax?


Nortey Dowuona: A warm, funky bass groove floats in a sea of washed out synths and wheelie popping drums as Burns gently hums about taking heart from his experience to strive regardless.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: Not the most vibrant song instrumentally, but this allows for a closer listening of the vocals. What Burna Boy does to make “Dangote” an evocative listen is assign each verse a specific vocal rhythm pattern. He stresses three syllables at first (“No lev-el,” “Dan-go-te,” “Who I be?”), moves onto two (“fo-co”, “col-or,” “so-to”), and then ends with a more fluid section. The most expertly calculated song structures always lead to effortlessly smooth listens. For a song about hustling and putting in work, Burna Boy makes it sound easy.

Iain Mew: There’s spaced out vibes, and then there’s just hanging around in a vacuum for ages waiting for another glimpse of brass.

Iris Xie: I always find it intriguing when songwriters make very sweet-sounding songs about oppression, and specifically economic oppression here — it’s very easy to go in the other direction and lean in hard into the complete feeling of anger and injustice, which is valid. But unless you can technically and emotionally commit to it fully, it often falls flat execution-wise. So another decision is to go in the other direction, where you honor the flow of life and that injustice, and provide a respite that touches lightly as a feathery affirmation. There’s plenty of air in the instrumentals for the drums, guitar, and occasional sax solo to come out, but “Dangote” is soothing in a world that needs spaces to rest.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: The hook and title indicate an all-consuming, never-satisfied hunger for money, but Kel P Vibes’ smooth electric pianos balletic horn lines that skitter across the track give “Dangote” a higher feeling than most cash-conscious rap tracks. Burna Boy doesn’t get lapped by his producer, though– as he unravels the track through hook after hook, he shows a similar playfulness with his jazzy phrasings and hook-y melodies. If capitalism sounded like this, maybe I’d like it more.

Edward Okulicz: The horns are like a sauce on something that might be bland, but I find that I still enjoy the taste after the flavour enhancer has worn off. 

Reader average: [7] (1 vote)

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