Not up to two weeks ago, Burna Boy released his career-best album, African Giant, and we haven't been able to get enough of the tape. With the project on repeat since it dropped, we've spotted a plethora of samples that make the extraordinary album all the more unique.
Burna Boy's discography blends a wide range of different genres into his own unique sound — which he broadly and accurately dubs afro-fusion — so, of course, his sample catalogue features an eclectic collection of songs.
In true African Giant style, however, Burna Boy's samples predominantly from African artists, including Magic System, the iconic songstress, Angelique Kidjo, and, of course, his longstanding musical inspiration, Fela.
We had lots of fun diving deeper into the album and hearing the origins of Burna Boy's varying beats, lyrics and flows. So, without further ado — from Naughty By Nature's "Jamboree" to Kelly Handsome's "Like Play — here's a list of songs sampled on Burna Boy's African Giant.
"We We" — Angelique Kidjo
A huge fan of Angelique Kidjo, Burna Boy not only managed to bag a feature from the iconic African star, but he also sampled the singer in one of the lead singles off the tape, "Anybody", replicating her flow on "We We" in his verses.
"Jamboree"— Naughty By Nature ft. Zhané
"Collateral Damage" boasts a plethora of samples. First, he samples Naughty By Nature's beat on "Jamboree", which was originally created by mixing a percussion loop from Earth Wind & Fire’s 1979 song, "On Your Face", and horns from "I’m Always Dancin' to the Music" by Benny Golson.
"Like Play" — Kelly Handsome
Kelly Handsome opens his first verse on "Like Play" with the catchy affirmation "Na me day here", which clearly caught Burna's ear, as he uses the same flow on "Collateral Damage", singing "Na who dey here? Money dey here."
"Gate Le Coin" — Awilo Longomba
During the same verse that included the Kelly Handsome "Like Play" sample, Burna Boy also borrows from Awilo Longomba's Congolese chants on "Gate Le Coin", which can be found towards the end of the funky, vibrant track (5:18).
"Sorrow Tears & Blood" — Fela Kuti
It is no surprise that Burna Boy would sample from the legend to whom he is often compared. This unmissable Fela sample comes as Burna Boy lifts the legend's lyrics off "Sorrow Tears & Blood", beginning with "My people sef dey fear too much, we fear for the tin we no see".
"E Dey Pain Me Gaga" — Stereoman
Opening with an audio clip and narration from Jide Olarenwaju's informative documentary, The History of Nigeria, Burna Boy goes on to sample Stereoman's "E Dey Pain Me" through the song's unforgettable hook.
"169 Aaaah!" — Roland
"Pull Up", the last single released before the album finally dropped, samples Roland's "169 Aaaah!" synth, which most notably appears on Nelly and Kelly Rowland's Grammy-winning hit, "Dilemma".
"Diss Di Link" — Blak Ryno'".
After the "Blak Ryno" skit comes a Blak Ryno sample, as Burna Boy's chorus on African Giant standout, "Destiny" takes inspiration directly from Blak Ryno's "Diss Do Link".
"On The Low"
"1er Gaou" — Magic System
"On The Low" was definitely one of the bigger singles Burna Boy released in the past year, owing to the stunning music video that accompanied it. The inescapable introduction, "Angeli- Angelina" borrows in style from Magic System's "1er Gaou"'s hook, "Nan guin nan wan, nan guin nan wan".