Monday, February 1st, 2021

WizKid ft. Burna Boy – Ginger

Kicking the week off with some moderate excitement…


Aaron Bergstrom: In the midst of a generational political uprising, two of Nigeria’s biggest stars rose to the occasion, lending their fame to the movement, becoming a part of something bigger than themselves. Both led massive End SARS protests in London. Burna Boy wrote and released the kinetic “20 10 20” within days of the Lekki Massacre. WizKid delayed his album in solidarity with the protestors. And I don’t think anyone is naïve enough to believe that the battle has been won, but “Ginger” should still be a kind of victory lap, a shared moment of joy in the midst of the struggle. If we’re judging the song on its own merits, though, it’s… fine. The chorus needs to be bigger, or at the very least it needs to be distinguished from the verse in some way. The awkward key change outro feels tacked on and unnecessary. Maybe it’s an unfair standard, but if this is the celebratory song that plays over the end credits, it just doesn’t live up to the rest of the movie.

Katherine St Asaph: Would this sound like autopilot if it were the first WizKid single I’d ever heard? Ah, rhetorical questions.

John S. Quinn-Puerta: The beat is fun, with enough variance in the instrumental flourishes that it’s not too repetitive, but the Auto-Tune feels a bit like a hat on a hat, especially because it really sounds like WizKid and Burna Boy don’t need it. The key change is great though, and I love the way it ushers in the synth strings. 

Thomas Inskeep: Sweet-voiced Afrobeats that insinuate, from two of its superstars; I especially like the unexpected, late-in-the-song key change. If this came on the radio, I definitely wouldn’t change the station. 

Juana Giaimo: “Ginger” flows really nice with that chill beat and that playful melody of the chorus. I appreciate the surprise effect of the key change at the end, but I wish it was somehow connected to the previous part —  instead it seems that a new song started.

Alfred Soto: Pleasant and bordering on innocuous, “Ginger” acquires its charm from the electronically shaded cadences playing against the beat. 

Andrew Karpan: WizKid’s voice flutters so gently along the surface of this smooth, smooth, smooth late-night anthem that it almost feels like Burna Boy is butting in until the song’s final moments, in a coda where his voice crumbles so intimately without rasping. Sad that’s it only the second pairing between the two Afro-pop titans and one that’s it’s miles away from now archaic maximal booming of 2013’s “Jahs Love is True,” a recording that feels dense and urgent, where “Ginger” is relaxed and confident. 

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One Response to “WizKid ft. Burna Boy – Ginger”

  1. @Andrew Karpan: “Jahs Love Is True” was indeed their first collaboration, but there’s also “Single” on Burna’s 2015 On A Space Ship album, plus two occasions where they featured on a South African track together: Zingah’s “Ooo” with DJ Maphorisa (2017) and last year’s high-profile amapiano hit “Sponono” by Kabza De Small, which also features Cassper Nyovest & Madumane (an alias of that same DJ Maphorisa).