Wande Coal is an artist from a bygone era, rather than flooding the internet with singles every other month to remain relevant, the well-measured pop star takes his time to perfect the product before serving it to the people.

Toward the end of last year, Wande released a pair of singles into the market, one was the macho club banger “Ballerz” and two was “Iskaba” – the sudden promotion of his signature adlib from a hot slang to a hot song.  Since the twin release, “Iskaba” has outperformed “Ballerz” on the chart and is a bonafide top 10 nationwide hit. The video for “Iskaba” was released recently.

The Spellz-produced Afro-house record showed a different side of Wande musically and his fans are lapping it up, no questions asked. Wande planted the seeds of his trademark slang on his post-Mavin singles and watered it until the slang became a whole song by itself in 2016. “Iskaba” is a fascinating song, its gibberish chorus sounds like Wande and DJ Tunez are prayer leaders speaking in strange tongues but somehow the congregation understands their every word.

Tunez and Wande Coal go tell you
Iskaba iskelebete iskoroboto 
Iskaba iskelebete iskoroboto
Iskaba iskelebete iskoroboto

But what does “Iskaba” actually mean?

D’banj once famously posited that you don’t have to make sense in order to make it as an entertainer in Nigerian music, an entertainer’s only job is to entertain. As long as the song is sweet, nobody actually cares, right? Referencing the Book of the Entertainer (2008), track 10, hear him:

The Entertainer ideology has worked wonders for D’banj in the past as he popularized slangs such as ‘Koko’ and ‘Banga Lee’ that none of us still know the meaning to years after they were coined. Wande was featured on the song as well, he sang the chorus. The ex-Mo-Hits superstar borrows his old mentor’s ideology on his own song almost a decade after they both shared it with the world.

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Thankfully, for all those who aren’t satisfied with singing along without knowing what they are singing along to, Wande does have an explanation for what “Iskaba” is. In a recent sit down with Moet Abebe on The Take Over show, the singer explained: 

To me, it’s like ‘energy’. Anytime I say that, I feel I have to do something. Any time I am on Iskaba, I feel like have to kill the jam.

“Iskaba” will be on Wande Coal’s next solo album which the singer is currently working on. He has reportedly also been in the studio with the likes of Jazze Pha and Keri Hilson working on other projects.

Coincidentally, last week was the 8th anniversary of Wande Coal’s debut album Mushin 2 Mohits, a modern day classic. If Wande’s forthcoming studio album doesn’t land in stores this year, that’ll mean he’d have released only 2 albums in the past 8 years. A lesser loved artist would have been long forgotten if they were this economical with the music but of a truth, nobody be like Wande Coal.