TWICE AS TALL
ATLANTIC / BAD HABIT / SPACESHIP
2020 was always going to be important for Burna Boy. A chaotic 2019 with international and local acclaim for his ‘African Giant’ album descended into criticism for his constant social media rants and culminated in him losing the Grammy to Angélique Kidjo. The eyes and ears of the world were on him, waiting to see his next moves, waiting to hear his next steps.
His response? Twice As Tall - a 52-minute collection of back-to-back hits reminding both critics and fans alike that in the recording booth, there are simply not many who can hold a candle to him. On the album, he unleashes his multifaceted personality, with his many sides making an appearance. He is a stereotypical Port Harcourt boy on ‘Wetin Dey Sup’ unfazed by opposition and criticism, and on ‘Level Up’, he is vulnerable and soft, opening up about the disappointment he felt when he lost the Grammy. On the Chris Martin assisted ‘Monsters You Made’, he is civil-rights-activist-meets-history- teacher; opening the eyes of the ignorant to white supremacy and the oppression of his people.
The approval from the fans was immediate. In one month, Twice As Tall gained 175 million streams across various music platforms; Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, Audiomack and Boomplay. The charts concurred too, holding the number 1 spot on the UK Afrobeats chart for four weeks straight. It also reached number one on Apple Music and iTunes charts in 59 and 13 countries respectively, while peaking at top spot on the World Albums on Billboard charts.
Burna Boy polarises, and will continue to polarise opinion. On one hand, there are people who think he should not give in to impulses, and respect his celebrity status. On the other side, his supporters believe he is only human, and should not be held to crazy standards; that essay is for another day. There is one thing both sides of the divide can agree on though: Burna Boy is one of Africa's best, and Twice As Tall is undoubtedly the album of the year. Unmatched lyrically and thematically, the back-to-back Grammy nominations are not a fluke, he earned them, and if his current trajectory is anything to go by, the possibilities are endless. - ON
Read our #BSide story about Burna Boy's Grammy nomination here