What does an African literary giant like Ama Ata Aidoo have in common with Nigerian afrobeat artiste, Burna Boy? The answer is ‘Twice As Tall’.
The latest 15-track album of the artiste has received worldwide acclaim since it was released on Friday.
The Ghanaian scholar is touted as a proponent of positioning the African in the right light that tells the story of positivity, growth and rejecting western narratives that portray the African in the context of strife and hardship as history has shown.
‘Monsters You Made’, the 12th record on the album tows a similar line. With a catchy hook delivered by Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Burna Boy discusses the flaws that accompany white imperialism.
It would be recalled that the Nigerian rapper, singer and afrobeat artiste lost out to Angelique Kidjo with a close margin after being nominated for 2020 Grammys’ Best World Music Album.
In her acceptance speech, the Beninese singer dedicated the award to him, saying: “Burna Boy is among those young artistes who come from Africa who is changing the way our continent is perceived.”
He seems to have taken a cue from it, channelling what seems like all of his creative energy into this 15-track masterpiece.
‘Monsters You Made’, features a 23-second snippet of the much-revered Ghanaian author and playwright, Ama Ata Aidoo’s rant during an interview on imperialism and its attendant effect on Africa.
“Since we met you people 500 years ago, look at us, we’ve given everything, you’re still taking. In exchange for that we have got nothing. Nothing! And you know it,” she says emphatically on the song.
Burna Boy, passionately raps “You know we come from a place, where people smile, but it is fake, how could they smile if you look around they are surrounded by pain.”
As a strong advocate for the independent thinking African, the award-winning novelist is a key proponent of rewriting the African narrative.
Coming from a continent that is often reminiscent of slavery and oppression Mrs Aidoo has written extensively in prose, poetry and plays in this regard.
The interview she granted in 1987 which has gone on to become iconic in the fight against breaking the effect of white imperialism, now features on this track.
After her rant, the interviewer moves to quiz: “Don’t you think it’s over now?”
The playwright retorts: “Over where? “Is it over?”
Social media users were quick to notice the explosive and meaningful impact of Burna Boy, Ama Ata Aidoo and Chris Martin on the track.
‘Twice As Tall’ was produced by P. Diddy, Burna Boy and Bosede Ogulu.
This album is indicative of what can be achieved when powerhouses from different facets of the arts industry combine talent and resources to create thought-provoking content that can reshape the thinking of the modern-day African.