Burna Boy 'I Told Them' Album Review

Burna Boy ‘I Told Them’ album is not of poor quality but it is underwhelming as it is not the classic package the artiste, and the media had promised.

Burna Boy 'I Told Them' Album Review

Here is Melodycenta’s objective review of the album but before the full discourse; let’s examine the album’s cover art, and establish its semantic relevance to the album’s overall message. 

Burna Boy ‘I Told Them’ Cover Art Analysis

Burna Boy 'I Told Them' Cover Art Analysis

There is nothing special and symbolic about the image of the singer dressed in all-blue jean trousers and a jacket with multi-colored inscriptions tightly cropped around the artwork. 

The artwork here is that of a superstar posting on a high platform close to a rooftop yet gazing at an imaginary crowd looking up at him.

Yes, this depicts the clause “I Told Them”. Perhaps Burna Boy ‘I Told Them’ album title is an address to the crowd looking up to him (his fans), and the content of the address is “I told them that I would be the greatest”. Has he really proven his greatness in the album? Let’s find out from the tracks analyzed below. 

Track by Track Analysis of Burna Boy ‘I Told Them’ Album

Here is the analysis of the 15 tracks in Burna Boy ‘I Told Them’ album;

Track 1: “I Told Them” This song has the same title as the album. By extension, it carries the major subject of the album. This track is a message to those who never believed Burna Boy could make it, and the album cover features a self-assured Burna who seems to say “look at me now.” 

Track 2: “Normal” This track has no particular theme and many themes at the same time. This track talks about the singer’s personal life ranging from selective friendship to his claim of being highly talented and being hardworking and subsequent progress in the music before landing a record deal.

Track 3: “On Form” This track represents the album’s title when he says in one lyric “he shock them when them see me”. “On Form” or I’m on form” as captured in the lyric explains the absolute competence and proficiency in the music business. 

Track 4: “Sittn’ On Top the World”. This is a blend of Afrobeats and Hip-Hop. As skillfully captured in the lyrical performance of Burna and 21 Savage, the song portrays the singer’s journey to stardom and his current dominance in the game.

Music critics have argued that apart from the first track, “Sittn’ On Top the World” is the joint that truly reflects the thematic bearing of the album.

Track 5: “Tested, Trusted, Approved” is the first love song of the album. The track presents the singer adoring his girl’s beauty while soliciting her fidelity. This is a subject that is misleading; it doesn’t correlate with the album’s title. 

Track 6: “Cheat on Me” featuring Dave emphasizes the singer’s love for a society where everyone lives in happiness without enmity emanating from deprivation and conflicting beliefs.

Track 7: “Virgil”, a voice-over extolling the creativity, narratology, and uniqueness of Burna’s album.

Track 8: “Big 7” has two themes namely, tributes to his lost friends and his musical conquest manifested in the cities he has toured and the cars he has bought. 

Track 9: “Dey Play” celebrates his intentional avoidance of school and journey to music, and subsequently the fame and wealth music has offered him.

Track 10: “City Boys” depicts the rough, nonchalant, and flirty lifestyle of rich Jamaican boys that the singer has identified with.

Track 11: “Giza” features Seyi Vibes and it shares the same concern with “City Boys” but the latter promotes cheerful giving of help to the needy.

Track by Track Analysis of Burna Boy 'I Told Them'

Track 12: “12 Jewels” is a voice-over piece identifying the 12 necessities in human life.

Track 13: “If I’m Lying” Do you remember Burna’s philosophical intro on “Bank on It”? This is yet another song with flowery but elevated lyrics. The song explains the recurrent suffering, betrayal, heartbreaks, and trauma Burna Boy has been subjected to.

The line “I’m a soldier, I know how to fight, I make fire when it’s cold in the night” The lines above showcases the singer’s undying effort to remain unshaken during those traumatic moments.

The most philosophical and interesting part of the song is the hook which sees the artiste swearing for the unimaginable to befall him if he is only boasting of being traumatized.

The hook reads: “And if I’m lyin’, let the ocean and seas start dryin’ Let the birds in the sky stop flyin’ All the trees in the world start dyin’, all start dyin’ And, if I’m lyin’, let the ocean and seas start dryin’ Let the birds in the sky stop flyin’ All the trees in the world start dyin’, all start dyin'”

Track 14: “Thanks” feat J. Cole the ill-treatment the society has subjected him to despite the tremendous contribution he has made towards the growth of Afrobeats.

He talks about his alleged shooting at Club Cubana, the alleged story of his mum being a vixen to Fela Kuti and other derogatory comments about the singer.

Track 15: “Talibans 11” featuring Bryon Messia talks about the singer’s negative reactions to insults, adversaries, and finally love for flirtatious women.


Summary of Burna Boy ‘I Told Them’ Album

Burna Boy ‘I Told Them’ album showcases his evolution as a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and record producer. The album is a dynamic collection of tracks that traverse genres and emotions, with a runtime of 47 minutes and 42 seconds.

Common Facts About Burna Boy ‘I Told Them’ Album

Common Facts About Burna Boy 'I Told Them' Album

Artist Name: Burna Boy

Album Title: I Told Them

Writer(s): Burna Boy, Dave, Jimmy Napes, Kwabs & LiTek

No. of Track: 15

Date Produced: 25th August, 2023

Genre: Afrobeat, Afro-Fusion, R&B, Hip-Hop

Album Length: 47 minutes

Producer: LiTek & WhYJay

Record Label: Spaceship Entertainment Ltd

The album beautifully blends elements of Afrobeat, Afro-fusion, R&B, and Hip-Hop, resulting in a seamless harmony. It presents a rich variety of tracks, each adding to a collective ambiance that is both enthralling and self-reflective.

In “I Told Them…”, there’s a flawless transition between dynamic Afrobeat cadences and introspective R&B tunes, crafting a unified and captivating whole.


On Burna Boy ‘I Told Them’ album, while self-belief is a strong subject, Burna could not do as he is supposed to in order to bring the tracks on the album together into a cohesive unit, instead, he brings in extra themes that are not related to the album’s title. 

Some songs on the project are more upbeat and celebratory, while some are more introspective and reflective. This can make it difficult to appreciate the album from start to finish as a unified project.

Overall, I Told Them is a great album with some great songs. However, the album’s lack of a cohesive theme restricts it from being truly outstanding.

Burna Boy hires a star-studded lineup of collaborators for his new album, “I Told Them…”. Features in the album include English rapper Dave, American rapper J. Cole, rapper 21 Savage, Nigerian singer SEYI VIBEZ, dancehall singer Byron Messia, and talented American rappers RZA and GZA. 

These collaborations add to the album’s versatility, lending each track its own unique taste. In conclusion, Burna Boy ‘I Told Them’ is not a bad album, but it is not Burna Boy’s best project. The album’s central theme is commendable, but it does not live up to its promise of being a grand statement to everyone who ever doubted him.