The Pick: Buju Makes A Solo Return With "Outside"
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When Buju enlisted pop polymath Burna Boy on the remix of his self-assured banger, “L’enu”, everyone was excited for the young Afro-fusion singer. His win felt like a win for all. The elation was doubled when news broke that Buju had signed to Spaceship Entertainment – his rise was both organic and inspiring. From singing on a canoe on a trip to the floating slum of Lagos, Makoko, to getting signed by his idol, his story is nothing short of phenomenal. Things, however, didn’t turn out how most expected they would. Buju’s momentum seemed halted after his record deal as he didn’t put out any music for months. He released snippets after snippets, trying to keep his eager fans on the edge of their seats; nothing, however, materialized. “So Lovely”, his first solo release under Spaceship Entertainment, came at the tail-end of last year, but it barely caught on. Not only was it drowned in a barrage of other releases, but there was also barely enough promotion for the single. Things weren’t looking too good for him. Enter 2021, and the music drought continued. This began to spark various conversations on different platforms about Spaceship Entertainment and if they were the right fit for Buju. He, however, kept mute, laying low, almost like a viper waiting for the right time to strike.
The 23-year old’s resurgence started on Blaqbonez’s “Bling”, delivering a noteworthy verse and bringing colour to the groovy anti-love anthem back in April. Shortly after, he delivered arguably the hardest hook of the year so far on “Feeling”, a collaboration with Rap Messiah Ladipoe. A couple of weeks later, he’s finally here with his first solo release in months, “Outside”. Before releasing his single, rumours surfaced that Buju had exited Spaceship Entertainment after his unproductive spell with the label. The first verse dances around the rumours as he sings: “Omo in the first stage I made mistakes / I swear for knowledge, I sacrifice my fears / And I stand right here / I say I’m better and you can’t compare.” over blaisebeatz’s soft, slow drums and melodious horns. He doesn’t dally with the topic for long, though, as he proceeds to deliver an addictive hook, tooting his own horn as he sings: “When I give them gbedu, e dey blow their mind”. He’s self-assured, regardless of the hiccups that might have plagued his short career. He also delivers a sonorous second verse, reminding everyone he doesn’t play around with the grind or money. Mickygeetarist’s subtle but potent contribution with his electric guitar all over the record is a brilliant addition as it gives “Outside” an added richness while also perfectly Buju’s melodious ramblings.
Following the release of “Outside”, Buju tweeted: “My whole heart and soul is in this, and I promise never to delay or disappoint ever again.” Hopefully, he can keep to his promise, and we can all enjoy more of Buju’s enthralling croons and bangers.