Sunday Music: “Ye” By Burna Boy

Not a new song, but one I’ve found myself vibing to a lot lately, is Burna Boy’s “Ye.” The word “ye” here roughly translates to, “pride, pain, or sorrow.” Keep that combination of possible meanings in mind when you listen. Here’s three reasons to love this track:

First: the drums. That beat is… magic. Infectious, trance-inducing magic.

Second: Burna Boy balances the aspirational with some of the heaviest melancholy in his delivery, and he does it like nobody else. Notice the way he switches up the conversational with the singing, and how he varies between near-whispering and (almost) full-throated gospel.

Third: that beat again. Irresistible. Every note bumps and aches at that same time. Phantom (the producer) created a feeling and Burna Boy put words to it. What a match.

The message of “Ye” is to keep working because success doesn’t come without struggle. Bend and don’t break. Resist and don’t give in. Get up and keep rising. Yes, it hurts – that’s the pain. Yes, look at all that can be accomplished – that’s the pride. No, not everyone will figure it out – that’s the sorrow.

Here’s the song, and if you need to brush up on your Nigerian (as I definitely did), check out the Genius notes on the lyrics too. Reading them really unlocked a whole mew appreciation of the song for me. I’m also adding a short interview with Phantom on the making of the beat, and an incredible live version with the Audiomack Trap Symphony. Enjoy. Ye.