Artist – Wizkid
Album – AYO (Joy)
Features – Femi Kuti, Seyi Shay, Akon, Banky W, Phyno, Yemi Sax, Tyga, Wale, L.A.X
Producers – Sarz, Shizzi, Uhuru, Spellz, Legendury Beatz, Del’ B, Dr Frabz, Maleek Berry
Label – Starboy Entertainment/Empire Mates Entertainment
Running time – 71 minutes
The album cover of Wizkid’s sophomore offering excites your inner spirit and eventually succeeds in cajoling you to cop yourself one. The frenzy of colours and adorning cultural regalia is majorly all the attraction that there is to the album, the actual content isn’t nearly half as good as the cover and this introduces the shortfalls of Wizkid 2.0 in his Starboy creation. Wizkid is far too drunken by the praises of men, the kind you’re supposed to take in your mouth temporarily and then spit it out but no, he’s guzzled it down already. The lucky chap who motherluck smiled on early in life is sort of the standard for so many music dreamers and up-comers whose utmost desires do not reside in making it but actually being like him. It’s logical – they think he’s made it and these washings have made him step down his status bar several notches with how sloppy he’s become not only in presenting void music but even in attitudinal disposition.
While we stayed anticipating the big features with Chris Brown, Rih and King Biebs, what AYO settled us for would be For You featuring Akon, a remix to Show You The Money featuring Tyga and Murder featuring Wale. It’s a possible choose to overlook Akon’s grey approach on For You as like Wale’s reticent delivery on Murder but Tyga on that remix? No, that was just unforgivable. If you thought Wiz did a shoddy take on that record then you probably haven’t heard how worse a shoddy job can get with Tyga’s cut. And so these international superstars took turns gladly jumping on his tracks and made a tawdry mess of it. Celebrate is an utter fail at putting you in any form of celebratory mood, save for that chorister-on-an-altar side-to-side movement that it induces you to do. I’m listening to In My Bed and Ki Lo Fe and I’m thinking silly child, darn silly child! There’s a bazillion things more to life than slim-frame big-booty chics, designers and Porsche Carreras. The level of lyrical insolence on those records are plenty bits exhausting such that it leaves you in deep soliloquy of what legacy left that he’ll be remembered for. Wizkid and Banky W succeed in reaching a bewildering crescendo on Dutty Whyne. Banky got down Wizkid’s level to delivering a little too less of himself. The kwaito style on Omalicha is all the decency that is worth mentioning on this record.
One Question is another pretty decent track, yet one can perceive how Wiz is at a loss for “certain things” on the track. The Del’ B-produced On Top Your Matter and Kind Love might appear similar in musical sequencing and coordination but the former retains the special appeal which can be tied to the fact that it’s been here longer not also forgetting that the hook is really simple and quite catchy. Mummy Mi is a worthy tribute, something actually befitting for a mother. It’ll certainly get her dancing and blessing you. Likewise I find Joy interesting, not majorly because it samples elements of reggae to which I’m a big fan but because it’s got a message that we’re now all too familiar with (how boy wey come from ghetto make am). Ojuelegba is perhaps the only record where he shows himself in the afro beat light that he so desires to be seen in. It’s worthy of his Starboy brag and alas, the series of features with Femi Kuti, Seyi Shay and Phyno are other records that show his true Starboy stuff. You don’t get on Jaiye Jaiye with the afro beats legend only to come out looking like a cheapjack. Wiz showed respect by bringing his a-game, and while I choose to credit Ms Shay for the genius record she turned In Love into through her impressive vocals and songwriting skills, Phyno perhaps tops the many reasons why Bombay is a club fave.
AYO is weak and keeps reprising itself of the sheer emptiness that has become of the once upon a SuperStarboy. This is clearly not the best of his best and the best part being that he (might) actually know this. At 18+1 tracks, the album falls pounding flat on it bare behind with a velocity a tad less than that of the humpty-dumpty fall. Although the production effort is almost flawless, it does little to redeeming the mess that has become of Wizkid’s once burgeoning talent. He’s far too concerned with rubbing his already fading glory in our faces while ignorantly settling for… no, not settling, creating a wishy-washy compilation of records in an I-can’t-remember-to-forget-you fashion. It’ll be a sweeping verdict to label this album a scathing indictment (when pitched against his debut), so by discerning happenstance, it is good to be reminded that life is full of surprises, that dreams really can come true. But then again, so can nightmares.
Rating – 2/5
Reviewed by Jim Donnett