Ayo ‘Wizkid’ Balogun’ is a superstar for all intents and purposes. If he knew the title of his debut album would have proven so prophetic, he might have taken N1 billion in loans on his potential like LeBron James’ mother did for the Hummers.
While Wizkid has consistently excelled as a lead artist for the past 10 years, Nigerians keep forgetting his equally brilliant side as a featured artist. Wizkid gets featured for his star power and he duly delivers for his colleagues both inside and outside Nigeria, but some features definitely stand out more than others.
When Wizkid excels as a featured artist, beautiful things happen and the songs get a different energy. If you take Wizkid’s part out of those songs, they will be flat or mid-level. In fact, you can’t imagine some of those songs without Wizkid just like you can’t imagine anybody else recreating Wizkid’s level of brilliance.
His voice becomes a paint brush for the bridge between refined fuji and contemporary pop. Without further ado, here are the top 10 times Wizkid has excelled as a featured artist;
2Kriss featuring Ice Prince and Wizkid – Good Life
Drake featuring Wizkid and Kyla – One Dance
Patoranking – This Kind Love
L.A.X – Caro
KCee – Pull Over
10) Reminisce – Eleniyan
Just as the Sarz’s beat bangs out with vicious authority, Reminisce gets vicious with introductory bars. Then comes the moment that undercuts as beautiful synergy between Reminisce and Wizkid. Reminisce raps, “Ti n ba lana gan, Wizzy ma fi auto-tune gbe” Wizkid responds with adlibs then, Reminisce raps, “S’eri wipe mi o le la’na…
In English, Reminisce means, “Even if I fumble, Wizkid is there to back me up with auto-tune.” When Wizkid responds, Reminisce comes back with, “So you see that I can never falter?” After then, Wizkid breaks into one of his most memorable hooks. Nobody remembers this song without that hook – it’s that simple.
9.) CDQ – Nowo Soke
A lot of people might argue the placement of this song, but all they need do before apologizing to this writer and Pulse Nigeria is play the song again. Masterkraft did 90% of the work with that beat – we know o. But then, Wizkid did 9% and CDQ just had to do 1% or get beaten by a mob.
8) DJ Maphorisa – Soweto Baby
Wizkid’s impact was so big on this South African song that it became a hit in Nigeria. Then, its beat birthed another hit by Junior Boy. All Wizkid had to do was very simple; craft the most eclectic opening few lyrical moments. The rest as they say is history. “I say wait…” Okay, carry on.
7) MI Abaga – Fast Money, Fast Cars
Okay, hate us if you want, but you can’t rate Wizkid as a featured artist without this beautiful moment on a Kraftmatiks-produced Hip-Hop banger. From the intro, everyone asked, ‘Who owns that baby-ish voice?’ By the time MI Abaga broke into what post-modernism would call, ‘slutshaming,’ Wizkid backed him up with a beautiful hook.
6) Runtown – Lagos To Kampala
Like ‘Eleniyan,’ people mostly remember this song for what Wizkid did. “Even Solo tell me say I nor go blow…” became one of the earliest moments of well-meaning toxicity from Wizkid FC. But then, Wizkid actually did kill his part on this song… twice.
5) Jayru – Familiarity
Wizkid might have had a hit before this song, but it was one of the biggest songs of the earliest stages of his career. In fact, most people think ‘Familiarity’ is Wizkid’s song. It’s one of those moments that underline featuring Wizkid as a blessing and a curse – a blessing because your song blows up. A curse because you won’t be remembered as the owner of the song.
4) Shaydee – Won Gbo Mi
Won Gbo Mi’ might house Wizkid’s best verse after what he did on ‘Body’ – off the Empire Mates State of Mind. It gets to a point on ‘Won Gbo Mi,’ that you are forced to ask if Wizkid is going this hard because Shaydee is his guy. Then, he came back for, “Come make that booty shake, gbagbe yen…”
3) Maleek Berry – The Matter
Guys, this was an unlikely song that became a hit. Maleek Berry played DJ Khaled and had a hit before he became known to the Nigerian mainstream as an artiste. This was all thanks to Wizkid’s flow scheme and catchy lines.
2) Samklef – Molowo Noni
This is one of Wizkid’s finest moments as an artiste. This was his show of range and his ultimate sacrifice to the Italian gods of versatility. This cycle repeated itself eight years later with Rema on ‘Why.’ ‘Molowo Noni’ is trap song on which Wizkid did an amazing intro and delivered an amazing sung-rap laced with braggadocio and amazing flows.
Wizkid’s verse also brilliantly ushered in Samklef’s money-obsessed hook. Nine years later, the mixing on this song might be dated, but this song is still green…evergreen.
1) Illbliss – Many Men
A lot of people will question why this song is number one and that’s very simple; the beat was set-up against Wizkid. Yet, Baba Bolu excelled with a rare vim and zen. His energy exuded one of a young, hungry artist with something to prove. He was so intense with his lyrics that you almost believe him.
This song might catch your interest with Illbliss’s lines or the amazing Legendury Beat, but Wizkid is why you will keep going back to it.