More on that crossover watch! Anyone paying close attention to the increasingly confident and successful pop music coming out of Ghana and Nigeria over the past several years will probably feel the possibility of a full-scale international breakthrough. Certainly, artists like D’Banj (signed to Kanye’s G.O.O.D Music) have already hit it big in the emigre heavy UK, and Afropop’s producers have heard azonto tracks from Ghana mixed with dancehall and rap in Brooklyn. But a full scale US hit has has so far been elusive.
Tracks like Nigerian superstar Wizkid’s “Drop” make that moment seem increasingly likely. Featuring a verse from US rapper (and Maybach Music recording artist) Wale, “Drop” is a glossy piece of sexual menace, a cooing come-on that splits the difference between dancehall’s driving low-end and Nigerian pop’s heavy hitting rhythms. While both vocalist deliver good- although not great- verses, the production by Legendury Beatz is probably the track’s most impressive aspect. It hits harder than a lot of Nigerian pop, bringing it to the point where it could almost coexist on American radio, while still making clear its African roots. It’s a neat trick, and one that could- with the right song- be a game changer.