Little did we know that BNXN fka Buju, who Burna Boy took under his austere artistic wing, would blossom into an artist with such excellent taste in music, such pleasant melodies, and delivering flawlessly on features. We had no idea that Burna Boy was cultivating an artist who would follow in his footsteps by exuding musical confidence and believing in his artistic ability.
When the incredible artist released Commander, the song that propelled him to stardom, we knew we were dealing with a rock solid artist. He later released his first-ever debut EP, To Your Ears, which only confirmed our presumptions about BNXN—his confidence displayed through his vocal skill. Since then, it is reasonable to state that this musician hasn’t failed to deliver extraordinarily well, demonstrating to us that in addition to his musical ability, he was unearthed by Burna Boy, one of Africa’s best.
The appeal of BNXN’s music isn’t just in his vocal range and his deft rhythmic flow, but also in his sing-song vocal persona, which he can modulate throughout a song, trundling through the melodies until landing on the chorus or hook, which is the most exquisite point of the song. His music’s allure and catchiness in the lyrics, which also reveal another side of him—impeccable songwriting—are what make it so beautiful. You can choose to agree or disagree that this is demonstrated in one of his most entertaining songs, Spiritual, which features the Zanku crooner, Zlatan.
Despite the allegations that have spread like wildfire about how BNXN is a better featured artist than a solo artist, one cannot help but agree that his melodic appeal is the same. Call it a stroke of luck or fate that his most popular songs are featured more often than not, but this musician still has a knack for structuring a verse, a song, and projects.
The discussion over how songs he is featured on compared to his own music is one that ought to be avoided from the outset. His actual tracks, when examined and fathomed, have a different connotation than the featured songs on which he appears; his sophomore EP, Bad Since ’97, is a glaring example of how differently the artist has decided to create his music and the distinct message he conveys through it.
The featured songs from BNXN, on the other hand, will only bring to the fore to you how talented this artist is and how eclectic he is. For instance, we see him attempt to give Finesse by Pheelz a soft, calm, and vibe-through energy. This is also demonstrated in Timaya’s Cold Outside, where the artist begins the song with his verse and the song’s catchy lyrics keep you listening for the duration of its playtime.
This author characterizes BNXN’s artistic expression as both magical and classical. His voice’s distinctness has given him the advantage of being able to establish a legendary reputation for himself and develop through time as an artist. While some musicians are obliged to clearly distinguish between their vocals, others, like BNXN, are equipped to deal with the peculiarity of their voice and the need to eschew how their audience would react to their music. This begs the question: Is it still necessary to evaluate how well this musician performs on featured and solo tracks, or should we place more emphasis on the crucial aspect of his musical journey—his distinctiveness?
Undermining Buju Bnxn’s success to just features is pure hatred tbh. Man’s who every upcoming artiste want to be. He’s an independent artiste that all the OG’s respects, that’s why they all want to work with him. Solid💯— Japhet Holmes (@Japhetweets) September 4, 2022
Watching an artist perform a song in a project entirely on their own, with no provided assistance or features at all, is a semi orthodox way of gauging how good they are. This artist has been able to do that following his song, Mind Games, off the Ejoya ’20. BNXN’s subtle delivery on the track is just as effective as a forceful blow to the surface; the song is catchy and entertaining, much like the rest of his discography.
The only accurate statement is that BNXN is the ideal choice for a feature on a song with the potential to be spectacular and is a flawless masterpiece of production; BNXN is the one artist you can rely on to not mess up the melody of your music. As evidenced by popular songs like Feelings by Ladipoe and Mood by Wizkid, he has repeatedly demonstrated that he is the “guy for the job.”
While they might not be as much as one might think or on the same level as the featured tracks, they are still flawless productions that shovel BNXN as an artist whose confidence matches up to his musical talent. The question then becomes: What song does the artist have that stands at the same level as his featured hit songs?
With songs like L’enu, for which he later collaborated with Burna Boy on a remix, Italy with Blaq Diamond, So Lovely, Testimony, Kenkele, among others, BNXN has a polished discography that not only exudes class but also speaks volumes about his diversity.
At the end of the day, the artist is free to flaunt his talents as loudly as he pleases. He should do so, and it makes no difference if he produces better music whether he is a featured artist or not—the term “good” still applies to him.