On the 14th of August, 2020, Burna Boy released his 5th album “Twice As Tall” and within a few days it has amassed numerous achievements. The album racked over 7 million streams hours upon its release and is currently sitting on the 54th spot on the Billboard 200 making it the highest Nigerian charting album in the history of the chart.
“TWICE AS TALL” ALBUM
On this album Burna once again showed his ability to drop powerful and meaningful lyrics on a perfect blend of different melodies without losing his African touch. Featuring singers from the US, Kenya, Senegal, and the UK, the album contains lyrics that invites scholarly analysis.
The 15 track album documents Burna’s journey in the music industry, his beliefs & activism and in this article, we would be giving a detailed break down of the lyrics of each song on the album.
“TWICE AS TALL” ALBUM – LISTEN
Track 1. “Level Up” (Twice As Tall)
The album begins with the voice of Pat Boone, a legendary pop American singer on “Level Up” (Twice As Tall). For those that are conversant with classic old movies, his part is a sample of him singing a song from the 1959 film “Journey to the Center of the Earth.
“Oh, I have to be twice as tall at least, To feel better than I do, Yes, I have to be twice as tall at least, I mean me multiplied by two (By two), (I mean me multiplied by two, by two), Oh, I have to be thrice as wide at least to feel better…”
Burna begins his verse singing about him being underrated in the early stages of his career despite dropping several critically acclaimed albums and hit tracks. He sings about finding his place in the music industry, getting caught up in controversies.
“But sometimes inna my life you know me haffi rebel up, Might hear about my fights in the club,” he sings.
In the simple and inspiring chorus sung in Woluf and English by the Senegalese legend, he sings “Niafer Ko, Djek Djekal ko” which means “Work on it, perfect it” and ‘Gueumeul sa bop way‘ which means “Believe In Yourself”
In the second verse, Burna sings about how he felt after losing the Grammy award to Angelique Kidjo. “I remember when I couldn’t level up, ‘Cause the Grammys had me feeling sick as fuck, Throwing up and shit, Asking questions like, “Why it wasn’t us?”. And also shared that his sold out Tours, filled up venues and Wembley show made him Level up, saw himself as a Legend! and fight back stronger.
At the end of this track, Diddy delivers his own message “Don’t be afraid to step into your greatness, people. I know it’s scary (Wake up) But it’s magicaL”
Track 2. “Alarm Clock”
Diddy’s message about loving one another (Black Love) blends into the second track
“Alarm Clock” God made us, He made them magical beings, It’s important how you look at yourself and you view yourself, (Wake up), How you look at your brother, how you look at your sister, We from the same tribe, It’s Black love, It’s that real love, (Wake up)
Burna Boy used the ‘Level Up’ (Twice As Tall) track to set up the album’s theme, which has to do with spreading a message of black empowerment, and “Alarm Clock” takes up the same theme.
“Alarm clock, All stand up, Make una wake up, Ah, this early morning”
The track carries Burna’s famous message.
‘We were all Africans before we were anything else,’ and this is the same message here for everyone to wake up and realize that and really know what it means to be aware of it.
You have to set your Alarm am get on the Grind daily… Get Up For A Positive change
Track 3. “Way Too Big”
Burna’s “Way Too Big” sees him bragging about being way too cool and smart for unnecessary drama. He has become Big and famous for lower Bants, he is now an Artiste nobody can stop in the music industry.
“Because I’m way too big, Way too big to be fucking with you, And be moving with you, mmm, Because I’m way too smart, Way too smart to be falling in your trap”
He further stressed on the track that his Energy can’t be brought and his Achievements isn’t what anyone can just attain.
Track 4. “Bebo”
This is the fun track off the album. Burna Boy sings about being a good jolly fellow.
“I no dey like to dey mellow (Mellow), I’m a jolly good fellow, If you like you say hello (Hello), If you like make you te le oh. I no mind if you bend low (Bend low),I no get time to pretend no, Anything you like, make you tell me oh, Based on I dey buy, all the shayo ooh”
Burna also shared on this track that you can say whatever you want to say about him behind his back but once he comes to your face be mindful of your mouth (words).
Track 5. “Wonderful”
Burna starts the track with “Anywhere I go mo n’ lati pada si ile mi, (‘Cause mama mi won wa ni ile mi) which means ‘Anywhere I go, I have to come back home, because mama’s home is the best place to be’. After touring all over the world for his African Giant tour, he reminisces on the wonder of seeing his impact of his music on people around the world everywhere but he never forgot his roots.
Burna says he hustles like Adebayo Ogunlesi, a billionaire Lawyer who taught at the prestigious Harvard Law School years back because he doesn’t want to be called a lazy Nigerian youth
“As I dey hustle like Adebayo Ogunlesi, (No go talk say me I too lazy), Anywhere I go mo n’ lati pada si ile mi, (‘Cause mama mi won wa ni ile mi)”
The message of the track is simple; No matter how far you go, or how hard you work; you must be ready to come home. Africa is home, it is the motherland to all people. For us to truly matter, Africa has to matter.
Track 6. “Onyeka (Baby)”
This is a beautiful love song that references one to the beauty of the Nigerian activist and singer, Onyeka Onwenu. Burna says his woman is a triple threat just like Onyeka; Beautiful, Graceful, and Cultured.
I say my baby, my baby, oh, You know “Osondi Owendi” e oh, Coming like Onyeka Onwenu, oh, And if you give, I go take e oh
Track 7. “Naughty By Nature” ft Naughty By Nature
Featuring the music group, Naughty By Nature which makes it a double entendre, Burna says he might be one of Africa’s biggest music stars, the African Giant people now praise but he’s still the same old Burna from 2011 that loves to make music from the soul, for the street and Niggas. He says he’s not letting the global recognition get into his head.
“God go punish, whoever no gbadun me, Because I know that I’m the bigger man, Its why I came looking fresher than a peppermint (Uh), ‘Til today I dey the same because I can’t change,I be naughty by nature, I be gang-gang”
Shares he is still the old Naughty Burna who doesn’t accept Shit and burst whoever comes his way.
Track 8. “Comma”
Burna Boy uses the English punctuation mark “Comma” word which is a popular slang used to explain what’s not right with someone or a particular thing. He throws shade at the ladies with fake Boobs, Ass and bleached skin.
“This is for all my comma babes, mehn Comma way! Your body bad, your body bad, oh, I dey see comma there, With your fake breast, with the silicon, girl, I dey see comma there, With your booty so big and your leg so slim baby, I dey see comma there, Tell me why your skin so light and your elbow black, baby I dey see comma there”
Track 9. “No Fit Vex“
This track is Burna’s way of saying he has no hard feelings or issues towards anyone. Burna says he knows life is not easy and only wants to hear good news from everyone including his haters.
“Life e no eazy my brother, You dey find your own, Me I dey find my own, If I dey keep my distance, Dey Abuja, make I Dey Lagos oh, And when I hear better news about you I smile and it dey ginger my soul, I dey see your struggle, I no fit vex for you”
Burna Boy on ‘No Fit Vex’ track doesn’t want us to be angry with one another, if your brother, Nigga or neighbour doesn’t reach during times of need. Shares we all are struggling to attain greater height, let’s always pray and support each other even without communication.
Track 10. “23”
“The music make me feel I be Jordan.” Burna Boy sings at the beginning of the track. Legendary basketballer, Micheal Jordan wore the number 23 jersey during his active days so this’ his way of stating that he has become the greatest and most successful artiste in the history of Africa. He also sings about the pretenders and sycophants around him that are identical to the devil.
“Hypocrite plenty gan, Wey dey pretend gan ni, Let’s just find them for me, Them ah identical to the devil gan ni, I dey see them, Won po bi, But emi kilo kanmi, I go be all I can be”
Shares that he doesn’t care about Hypocrites cos he is focused on the Grind (trying to be the Greatest).
(From a deeper angle) This track also reveals that Burna Boy battles between two Being(s), the Born Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu Rex (his real name) and OluwaBurna (the music monster in him) with the Lyrics; “I Go Be All I Can Be, OluwaBurna Ma Pa Mi“… the OluwaBurna he always scream on songs appears to be the music side of him. In this context ‘Oluwabruna Ma Pa Mi (Don’t kill me)’ Burna Boy is telling the music monster, lord in him to be Calming down with music inspirations sometimes… lol
Track 11. “Time Flies” ft Sauti Sol
As the title depicts, Burna and The Kenyan group aim to remind everyone that time really flies, and we all have a story to write.
“Time flies like a thief in the night, We all got a story to write (Oh), So darling jump in the ride, Before the train is gone”
Savera in the first verse sings in Swahili
“Muda unayoyoma (Time is flying), So you never know what tomorrow holds, Siku zazidi kuenda ( The days are going by) So don’t hold back, do what you gotta do, Take some love and give it back, Make your money, get that back, I don’t know what you going through, yeah”
The track ends with Bose Ogulu’s voice urging all Blacks to remember their roots, don’t let your time catch up with you in the foreign land, come home and write a good story, leave a Legacy before leaving (death).
“From the Niger Delta, to all the corners of Africa, America and the world, Black people are turning the tables, taking back our place, We will be heard because we matter”
Track 12. “Monsters You Made”
This track comes with a powerful message and it is evident in Burna’s passionate and strong vocals. He sings with a lot of anger and pain. The track begins with Fela’s voice.
“If the government refuse to develop the region, And continue the marginalization and injustice, The youth, that’s what coming after us, And it will be more brutal than what we have done”
He teamed up with Coldplay’s Chris Martin to address and educate topics concerning the colonial conception and the appalling treatment of Africans, especially Nigerians. Chris Martins sings in the chorus about how the former masters made monsters out of Africans.
Calling me a monster just ’cause we said, No way, no way, no way, Calling me a monster, make no mistake, That there’s only so much that you can take, La-di-da-da-do-di-da-da-do-day, We are the monsters you made
Burna also enlightens Africans that Mungo Park who is known to have discovered the River Nile is guilty of plagiarism. “Fuck Mungo Park and the fool”. The track then ends with Ghanaian author, Ama Ata Aidoo, speaking on how Africans have continued to be ridiculed and cheated by the westerners.
Since we met your people five hundred years ago, Look at us, we have given everything, You are still taking, In exchange for that, we have got nothing, And you know it, But don’t you think that this is over now? Over where, Is it over?
Track 13. “Wetin Dey Sup”
This is not just an original slang, it a strong slang for the street . Burna begins with “I no be one of those men wey dey fear toto fuck yash” which means he’s not one of those men who are scared of vaginal sex and opt for anal just because they are scared of getting a girl pregnant. And also one that kiss Ass.
This simply means he is not scared of taking up responsibilities. He goes in the chorus to sing about how he doesn’t pay attention to talks because he’s watching his back and facing his front.
“ Wetin dey sup, wetin dey play, I no pay attention of course, Wetin you hear, wetin dem talk, I’m watching my back and facing my front, Truth dey bitter, needing no salt,’Cause e no be rice and beans and kpomo, Me and my people don dey consult, Make we dey understand wetin dey sup”
This a track Niggaz, Jos very own and major Men can relate to
Track 14. “Real Life” ft Stormzy
Burna sings about not wanting to roll with netizens and trolls living for the clout.
“I never subscribe to guys on the internet, Living for the clout, telling lies to the press again, Better don’t take me for the fool, I ain’t never been, Don’t bother with lies, I’m wise when I’m checkin’ in”
He emphasizes again that he’s a real one that has always been saying the bitter truth.
“Be like say dem no hear when I was telling dem,Life real, I ain’t never like the rest of them”
In the chorus Stormzy says
“So please (So please), please stay (Please stay), Say you won’t leave (Say you won’t leave), Real life is for living but the vibes you’ve been giving isn’t free, So please stay”
Burna has achieved a lot within a couple of years and even with the fame and fortune, he intends to keep it real, follow his dream, live his life and give fans something to believe in.
Track 15. “Bank On It “
Closing the album on a soft tune, Burna Boy reminds all, that life can completely change at any time. One has to be aware of what’s around, what’s to come in the future and Death. Burna also on this track admits to his faults, pass mistakes, bad behaviours and been temperamental in the past. Burna says he’s only human, as no one is perfect and he asks for forgiveness in these times. This brings in the popular quote “To err is human, to forgive divine.” to mind. Burna Boy shares that Life is sweet, meant to be enjoyed, implores everyone not to jeopardize the future with youthful behaviours (ignorance).
He sings about being paranoid and confused as anyone could eliminate him.
Somebody move that I don’t know, Hit them with the seven box combo, Always looking out my window, Paranoid and confused, I’m not sure anymore ,Who is knocking at my door?
He then prays for protection from God as he can’t trust his neighbors with friends and now a changed person from the Old Burna.
“And so as the day comes, as I go on, Protect me Lord, I cannot trust my neighbors, Be my saviour, When that day comes, Defend me from my enemies and my neighbors”
Referencing the brutal killing of American rapper, Pop Smoke who happens to be his friend, Burna Boy says there are different kinds of evil available as anyone one of us could have been Pop Smoke.
“Different type of evil available, And any one of them can killi you, At anytime anything can happen, oh, Any one of us could have been Pop Smoke”