We can’t get enough of Burna Boy’s newest project, Twice As Tall. The Nigerian Afrofusion artist dropped his fifth studio album alongside a comic book entitled, The Secret Flame (catch the animation here), where he sonically guides our ears through a journey of self-discovery.
An emotional follow-up to African Giant, the album that landed him a Grammy nomination for Best World Music Album last year, Twice As Tall chronicles a point in time in Burna Boy’s life. “It’s the album about the struggle for freedom,” Burna Boy said in a statement. “It’s the album about life in general, real life, good times, bad times, happy times, sad times, great times.”
Additional appearances include Kenya’s own Sauti Sol, grime rapper Stormzy and Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin, who sings the hook on “Monsters You Made,” a commentary on the globalization of miseducation, police brutality, systemic racism, and corruption.
“Naughty By Nature” is another track of note, where we hear guest verses from the eponymous rap group. It’s a full-circle moment in the album, as Burna has said to be greatly influenced by them (he also sampled Naughty By Nature’s “Jamboree” in last year’s hit “Collateral Damage”). This is also the rap group’s first release since 2011.
We’d be remiss to not mention the production on Twice As Tall, as the majority of the project was recorded in Lagos during the pandemic. Out of the 15-track album, 11 of them were touched by Nigerian producers, eight of whom are in Burna’s Spaceship Collective. With the help of Telz, P2J, Leriq, Rexxie, Jae5 and more, Burna stays consistent and doesn’t waver from his Africanness—which is what has bolstered his global appeal. (On Beyoncé’s The Lion King: The Gift, he’s the only artist featured solo.) He’s also using this project to be a bridge-builder between the continent and the diaspora, with Diddy’s involvement as well as the likes of Timbaland, Anderson .Paak and Mario Winans sprinkling their respective sauce into the project. French producer Skread, who’s a mainstay in French hip hop, is the mind behind “23”—where Burna sings about music motivating and pushing him to succeed like Michael Jordan was with basketball.
Reactions to Twice As Tall show that the album is just what so many of us needed during these times. Take a look at a few below: