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L.I.F.E (an acronym for Leaving an Impact for Eternity) is the debut studio album by Nigerian singer Burna Boy. It was released on August 12, 2013, by Aristokrat Records.[1] The album serves as the follow-up to his second mixtape Burn Identity (2011). L.I.F.E sold 40,000 copies on the first day of its release. Aristokrat Records later sold the album's marketing rights to Uba Pacific for ₦10 million.[2] The album's release was preceded by five singles: "Like to Party", "Tonight", "Always Love You", "Run My Race" and "Yawa Dey".

Burna Boy Life album cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 12, 2013
Length59:00 (Standard edition)
63:05 (Deluxe edition)
LabelAristokrat Records
Burna Boy chronology
Burn Identity
On a Spaceship
Deluxe edition cover
Burna Boy Deluxe edition cover.jpg
Singles from L.I.F.E
  1. "Like to Party"
    Released: May 30, 2012
  2. "Tonight"
    Released: September 24, 2012
  3. "Always Love You"
    Released: March 6, 2013
  4. "Run My Race"
    Released: March 11, 2013
  5. "Yawa Dey"
    Released: August 5, 2013

Produced entirely by Leriq, L.I.F.E features guest appearances from 2face Idibia, M.I, Timaya, Olamide, Reminisce and Wizkid.[3] Nigeria Entertainment Today ranked the album 10th on their list of the 12th best albums of 2013.[4] The album's music draws heavily from the music of Fela Kuti, King Sunny Ade and Bob Marley. The album received generally positive reviews from music critics, who applauded its production. It was nominated for Best Album of the Year at the 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. In August 2013, L.I.F.E peaked at number 7 on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart.[5]

Background and launch concertEdit

The album was mixed and mastered by Leriq at Solid Sound Studios in Ikota, Lagos.[6] In an interview with BellaNaija, Burna Boy said he titled the album L.I.F.E in order to leave a lasting impact and showcase the realism of his life.[7] In another interview with Toolz on NdaniTV, he described the album as a journey through life.[8]

On July 17, 2013, Aristokrat Records unveiled the album's cover art to the general public. Peedi Picasso designed the cover art for both the standard and deluxe editions of the album. Burna Boy shares the cover art with Fela Anikulapo Kuti, King Sunny Ade and Bob Marley. In a press release, the record label stated that the album would be released in three installments: Street, Original, and Deluxe. The record label also indicated that the release of the album would include a release party, CD signatures and a tour.[9] In August 2013, Burna Boy held an album listening party at Cafe Vanessa in Victoria Island.[10] In September 2013, he launched a concert titled "The Burna Boy Experience" to promote the album in the cities of Accra and Sekondi-Takoradi.[11]


L.I.F.E embodies a mixture of reggae, dancehall, Afrobeat and fuji sounds. The album draws heavily from the music of Fela Anikulapo Kuti, King Sunny Ade and Bob Marley. "No No No" is a fusion of the aforementioned genres. The groovy highlife track "Say So" contains a saxophone riff. "Na so E Suppose Be" is an ode to the coolness of 90s music. "Yawa Dey" is a tribute to the galala sound of several ragga artists from Ajegunle, including Daddy Showkey and Baba Fyro. In "Run My Race", Burna Boy impersonates Fela Kuti over an electro-Afrobeat instrumental. In "Boom Boom Boom", he samples a line from Fela Kuti's "Army Arrangement". The hook of "Smooth Sailing" consists of a Yoruba fairy tale. In "Outro: Remember Me", Burna Boy reiterates the album's themes to listeners.[12][13]


On May 30, 2012, Burna Boy released the album's lead single "Like to Party". Its music video was shot and directed in Lagos by Adasa Cookey.[14] On September 24, 2012, "Tonight" was released by Aristokrat Records as the album's second single. The song was recorded in English, Yoruba, and Igbo.[15] The music video for "Tonight" was directed by Mex and uploaded onto YouTube at a total length of 4 minutes and 4 seconds.[16] The video was nominated for Most Gifted Newcomer Video at the 2013 Channel O Music Video Awards.[17]

Burna Boy debuted the album's third single "Always Love You" through iTunes on March 6, 2013. The song is a pop song with influences from house and dance music.[18] "Run My Race" was released as the album's fourth single. It was recorded in English, Yoruba, and Nigerian Pidgin.[19] The music video for "Run My Race" was shot and directed by Clarence Peters at the New Afrika Shrine.[20] On August 5, 2013, Burna Boy released the album's fifth single "Yawa Dey". Its music video was also directed by Clarence Peters and features various light-hearted scenes of posse dancing and beach soccer. A hyperrealist color scheme was used to shoot the video.[21]


Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
Hip Hop World Magazine     [22]
Nigerian Entertainment Today     [12]

L.I.F.E received positive reviews from music critics. Reviewing for Nigerian Entertainment Today, Ayomide Tayo praised the album's production and commended Leriq for not making it sound repetitive. However, Tayo also said the album "lacks a knock out hit to seal the stateliness."[12] Wilfred Okiche of YNaija reviewed the album and stated that it "avoids the pitfalls of monotony and boredom that could easily have befallen the disc but the overall sound is still a tad unsatisfying, like there is stuff Burna Boy is holding back."[13] Ayo Alloh, whose review was posted on, gave the album 8.5 stars out of 10 and concluded that although it was solely produced by Leriq, it was never monotonous.[23] Enemigin Neye of Hip Hop World Magazine awarded the album 4 stars out of 5, adding that "it goes to show the everyday improvement in the sound called Nigerian music". Neye "believes Burna Boy is here to stay, and believes the album is definitely one to remember."[22]


L.I.F.E was nominated for Best Album of the Year at the 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards.[24] The album was also nominated for Best R&B/Pop Album and Album of the Year at The Headies 2014.[25]

Year Awards ceremony Award description(s) Results
2014 The Headies Best R&B/Pop Album Nominated
Album of the Year Nominated
Nigeria Entertainment Awards Best Album of the Year Nominated

Commercial performanceEdit

The album was released in Nigeria and reportedly sold 40,000 copies on the first day of its release. The marketing rights for the album were later sold to Uba Pacific for ₦10 million.[2]

Track listingEdit

1."Intro: My Life"Damini OguluLeriq3:14
2."No No No"OguluLeriq2:37
3."Say So"OguluLeriq4:36
4."Abeg Abeg (Remix)" (featuring 2face Idibia and Timaya)
  • Ogulu
  • Innocent Idibia
  • Enetimi Odom
5."Na so E Suppose Be"OguluLeriq4:16
6."Run My Race"OguluLeriq4:14
7."Boom Boom Boom"OguluLeriq3:50
8."Yawa Dey"OguluLeriq3:57
9."Ma Loda Ma Motto"OguluLeriq3:04
11."Like to Party"OguluLeriq4:09
12."Smooth Sailing"OguluLeriq4:06
13."Don't Run" (featuring Reminisce and Olamide)
  • Ogulu
  • Olamide Adedeji
  • Remilekun Safaru
14."Jahs Love Is True" (featuring Wizkid)
  • Ogulu
  • Ayodeji Balogun
15."Outro: Remember Me"OguluLeriq3:40
Total length:59:00


  • Leriq performed additional vocals on "Intro: My Life", "My Cry", and "Like to Party"
  • Simon Okechukwu performed additional vocals on "Guilty"
  • Paul "Pucado" Orisakwe performed additional vocals on "Ma Loda Ma Motto"

Sample credits

  • "Boom Boom Boom" samples a line from Fela Kuti's "Army Arrangement".


  • Damini "Burna Boy" Ogulu – primary artist, writer, performer
  • Eric "Leriq" Utere – producer, instrumentation, engineer, production co-ordination, mixing, mastering, background vocals
  • Enetimi Odom – featured artist, writer
  • Innocent Idibia – featured artist, writer
  • Olamide Adedeji – featured artist, writer
  • Remilekun Safaru – featured artist, writer
  • Jude Abaga – featured artist, writer
  • Simon Okechukwu – background vocals, guitar
  • Paul "Pucado" Orisakwe – background vocals
  • Josiah – Saxophone
  • Maria Okarende – Voice tags
  • Piriye "Peedi Picasso" Isokrari – executive producer, management, album art direction


Chart (2018) Peak
US Reggae Albums (Billboard)[26] 7

Release historyEdit

Country/Digital platform Date Version Format Label
  • Nigeria
  • iTunes
August 12, 2013 Standard Aristokrat Records


  1. ^ "L.I.F.E - Leaving an Impact for Eternity (Deluxe Edition) by Burna Boy". iTunes. 12 August 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  2. ^ a b Abulude, Samuel (6 September 2013). "Nigeria: Burna Boy Sells Debut Album Rights for N10 Million". allAfrica via Leadership Nigeria. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  3. ^ Iwar, Sute (23 August 2013). "Burna Boy's Album Debut 'L.I.F.E'". OkayAfrica. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  4. ^ Alonge, Osagie (29 December 2013). "12 best albums of 2013 – The definitive list from Nigerian Entertainment Today". Nigerian Entertainment Today. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  5. ^ "Burna Boy tops billboard reggae album chart with 'Outside'". Vanguard. 10 February 2018. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Burna Boy – L.I.F.E Album Tracklist". Notjustok. 5 August 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  7. ^ O, Onos (17 August 2013). "BN Saturday Celebrity Interview: An Enigma and 'Boy' Who 'Likes to Party' Burna Boy Exclusively Sits Down with BellaNaija". Bellanaija. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  8. ^ Aiki, Damilare (August 22, 2013). "Must Watch Video! Burna Boy gives Toolz all the Scoop on his Superstar Life on Ndani TV's The Juice". Bellanaija. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  9. ^ "He's Ready! Burna Boy Unveils the Artwork to His Debut Album "L.I.F.E."". Bellanaija. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  10. ^ Debrah, Ameyaw. "Burna Boy's mum and grandma attend "L.I.F.E" album listening party!!!". Ameyaw Debrah. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  11. ^ "BURNA BOY TO LAUNCH L.I.F.E. ALBUM IN ACCRA & TAKORADI THIS WEEKEND". Modern Ghana. 17 September 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  12. ^ a b c Ayomide, Tayo (18 August 2013). "ALBUM REVIEW: Burna Boy's L.I.F.E (Leaving An Impact For Eternity)". Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  13. ^ a b Okiche, Wilfred (29 September 2013). "Album review: Burna Boy's 'L.I.F.E' is not as good as you've been made to believe". YNaija. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  14. ^ "New Video: Burna Boy – Like To Party". 1TribeRadio. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  15. ^ "Burna Boy – Tonight". NotjustOk. 23 September 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  16. ^ "Video: Burna Boy 'Tonight'". OkayAfrica. 11 January 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  17. ^ "Channel O Africa Music Video Awards 2013 nominees announced". Biz Community. 6 September 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  18. ^ Itie, Harry (5 April 2013). "Audio: Nigeria's Burna Boy 'Always Love You'". OkayAfrica. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  19. ^ "Audio: Burna Boy 'Run My Race'". OkayAfrica. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  20. ^ Ogbu, Rachel (11 June 2013). "#InCaseYouMissedIt: Burna Boy drops new music video, Run My Race (WATCH)". YNaija. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  21. ^ "Burna Boy 'Yawa Dey'". OkayAfrica. 12 November 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  22. ^ a b "ALBUM REVIEW: BURNA BOY – L.I.F.E". Hip Hop World Magazine. 16 August 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  23. ^ a b "Album Review: Burna Boy – L.I.F.E". Jaguda. 26 August 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  24. ^ Abimboye, Micheal (31 May 2014). "Pop duo, Skuki, reject Nigerian Entertainment Awards nomination". Premium Times. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  25. ^ Ochugba, Mary (10 October 2014). "The Headies unveils 2014 nominees". Business Day. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  26. ^ "Burna Boy Chart History (Reggae Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 30 March 2019.