Fireboy DML - Playboy Music Album Reviews

Fireboy DML - Playboy Music Album Reviews
On his third album, the 26-year-old Afrobeats phenom grapples with newfound fame and attempts to trade his loverboy reputation for the role of suave rock star.

As a young college student exploring his sound, Fireboy DML wasn’t sure how to stand out in the vibes-saturated Afrobeats scene, but he knew one thing: “I want to be a fucking superstar.” Once a nerdy kid who rarely ventured beyond school, church, and home, the Nigerian pop singer now finds himself at the forefront of the globalization of Afrobeats. The first Afrobeats artist to perform on the BET Awards mainstage, he’s made a name for himself as an Afropop ambassador in the age of virality and snippets. On his latest album, Playboy, the 26-year-old grapples with newfound fame and attempts to shed his characteristic loverboy reputation as he leans into a Starboy-esque cool-guy persona. The formerly earnest Fireboy sporadically peeks through while the newborn star parties, seduces, and manifests success, not just for himself but for his entire continent.

Since the success of 2020’s Apollo, Fireboy DML has embraced the universal appeal of Afrobeats and been welcomed in turn. His jet-setting, snare-punctuated single “Peru” achieved global TikTok fame and caught the attention of Afrobeats admirer and Ghanian flag tattoo enthusiast Ed Sheeran, who hopped on a remix. With megastars like Beyoncé, Drake, and Madonna also tapping into the Afrobeats wave, some critics have been wary of Western musicians taking from the continent, especially while African artists’ contributions often go unrecognized. Assured in the cultural power of Africa, Fireboy DML doesn’t see a reason to gatekeep. “Historical, deeply-rooted genres like hip-hop, Afrobeats, reggae, amapiano, they cannot be taken away,” he insists. “It’s only right that we collaborate, merge cultures and build bridges for the future.”

As if to make up for the time lost chasing elusive women on his 2019 debut Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps, on “Ashawo,” Fireboy DML adopts a laissez-faire approach to love. “If I cheat on you I’m sorry and if you cheat on me no worry,” he seems to assure his lover, but it really sounds like he’s assuring himself. He desperately tries to keep his affections for women on a purely physical level, but his mask slips on “Adore,” a collaboration with Dominican American rapper Euro, and on the smooth, R&B-influenced “Diana,” he can’t help but beg for her not to go. Though it comes at the cost of a Chris Brown feature, “Diana” proves that Fireboy is in his element when he does what he’s been doing since his breakthrough single “Jealous”: yearn. The only woman featured on the album, Jamaican dancehall singer Shenseea, lends her honeyed vocals as the song’s fictional muse.

On the final third of the album, the devastated loverboy is laid to rest and Fireboy the rock star rises from the ashes. The sharp horns paired with a chorus of voices on “Afro Highlife” signal his arrival with his people at his side. The album crescendos on the rousing closing track “Glory,” where Fireboy—still a church boy at heart—thanks God for family, fame, money, and protection from enemies. When he tries to spite his detractors by flaunting material wealth and success, it produces uncharacteristically unoriginal lyrics like, “She feeling the juice/Feeling the sauce/Look at my shoes/Christian Dior.” Even so, there’s something invigorating about the Fireboy who has a chip on his shoulder and wants everyone to know it.

While his earliest work was sprinkled with commentary about Nigerian society, Playboy, like Apollo, is noticeably apolitical. The artist who observed, “I think it was Nina Simone that said that an artist’s duty is to reflect the times,” is nowhere to be found. Instead, Fireboy keeps the affair light-hearted, opting for universal feel-good vibes on his way into the playlists of unfamiliar listeners. “Havin Fun’” captures him at his most carefree: “Me no dey stress anymore/’Cause I’m blessed and I’m young/And the blessings come from God…I’m just having fun.” With fleet-footed beats, breezy woodwinds, and impassioned lines in Yoruba, Fireboy invites the world to the lively sounds of his hometown.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Fireboy DML - Playboy Music Album Reviews Fireboy DML - Playboy Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Monday, August 15, 2022 Rating: 5

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