Nigerian Afro-fusion superstar Burna Boy joined forces with American production and DJ duo DJDS to produce the 4 track EP called Steel & Copper. The project boosts no other featured artists, which is one thing, I have no problem with – I think Burna can murder 4 tracks by himself.
The title of the EP may be seen as an analogy for African’s vast mineral/natural resources which is a symbol of wealth (that’s just my two cents). Pause. Wait. It just dawned on me, that I (probably most of you guys too) first came to know of Burna through AKA’s 2015 hit track, the “Baddest” – that was released over 4 YEARS AGO. Crap, time flies. I was supposed to be a millionaire by now. But, I digress.
I’m going to real with all of y’all, Burna has been releasing fire music, from his 2018 album Outside to his most recent single release, Dangote – the young man has not been disappointing us at all. Not only that, he’s been rising to prominent acclaim in the States and Europe.
Just in case, the name DJDS doesn’t ring any bells – the duo, came on the music scene in 2011, from that time, up to now, they’ve released 3 albums, the latest of which was 2018’s Big Wave More Fire. The duo also collaborated with Kanye West on Life of Pablo, which landed them their first Grammy nomination, through their production work on Ultralight Beam.
Track by track review:
The title of the track is a reference to Greek/Nigerian NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo who wears the no. 34. This reference is made clear, through the last part of the chorus when Burna raps:
“…28 grams for the low
I just came back from the store, with a big bag full of dope
Antetokounmpo, mi just ball like my bro”
As the track progress, Burna touches on his responsibility & loyalty to those close to him. He further alludes to his struggles to access the game, when the gatekeepers weren’t allowing him in. This track is a stray away from the usual Afro beats, I’m used to hearing him rap/sing over but it still smacks.
This track is less memorable than the other songs. The production was okay, his verses were okay. It was just an okay track. It felt like a track that was done for the sake of just doing track. Throughout the listen, I was tempted to press the skip button. The best description for this track is “flat and unmemorable”.
I enjoyed DJDS’ production work on this track, in fact, I’m not sure which I enjoyed more – the production or Burna’s vocal contribution. On this track, the Nigerian hit-maker laments over the negatives of success, such as the betrayals and other personal battles that come with fame and money (steel and copper). He also expresses, how lately, he is separating himself from the fakes. Which is something a lot us should probably be doing.
This is probably my favourite song on the EP. He touches on things that most of us can connect with – the loss of loved ones, the need to hustle hard, not knowing if you’re doing the right things but keeping it moving because you just have to secure the bag. He expresses his messages well, through the chorus:
“I don’t know no better; grind to get my bread up
This life done took my brothers; but I… I’m still thuggin’ anyway
I don’t know no better; grind to get my bread up
This life done took my brothers
But I… I’m still thuggin’ anyway”
This is the kind of project that you will most definitely not regret giving a listening to. It gets a solid 4 of 5 stars from me.