Superstar is the debut studio album by Nigerian recording artist Wizkid, released by Empire Mates Entertainment on June 12, 2011. The album's production was handled by Samklef, E-Kelly, Jay Sleek, Shizzi, DJ Klem, Masterkraft, Q-Beats, Banky W, and Vebee. It features guest appearances from Wande Coal, D'Prince, Banky W and Skales. The album was supported by six singles—"Holla at Your Boy","Tease Me/Bad Guys", "Don't Dull", "Love My Baby", "Pakurumo", and "Oluwa Lo Ni". It is the second best selling album on NotJustOk, a website tagged as the "leader in Nigerian music online". Moreover, it was the most highly anticipated Nigerian album of 2011.
In an interview with Factory78 TV, Wizkid briefly commented on the release timeframe of Superstar. He said: "Actually, the album was suppose to drop on Valentine's Day but due to lots of preparation for this show, I couldn't finish up work with the album. Trust me, I record everyday. I have close to 22 songs without featuring anybody. I am going to feature my guys and have an international act bless it as well. In a couple of weeks, the album is going to be ready and it's going to drop in March."
Superstar incorporates elements of R&B, dancehall and reggae. Although the album has a predominant Afrobeat sound, the sound of the aforementioned genres are evident throughout the album, specifically on "Tease Me/Bad Guys", "Gidi Girl" and "Slow Whine". The album's themes deal primarily with starting from the bottom and reaching to the top, i.e. from grass to grace. On the song "No Lele", Wizkid talks about his hussle and how he had to work hard to succeed. On "Say My Name", he talks about his success and how everyone now "calls his name". On "Wad Up", he reminisced about the times he used to get insulted by people who called him dirty. On "Shout Out", he thanked everyone who helped him become successful. In a nutshell, Wizkid describes his early life, particularly the hardships he endured and how he triumphant and made a name for himself. Wizkid also made reference to God, the almighty, who is constantly helping him reach great heights.
"Holla at Your Boy" was released as the album's lead single on January 2, 2010. The music video for the single was shot at Dowen College in Lekki, Lagos. Skales and Ice Prince made cameo appearances in the video On April 2, 2010, Wizkid and EME released the album's second single titled "Tease Me/Bad Guys". The music video for the song was directed by Kemi Adetiba and shot at Aqua Nightclub in Abuja. On December 4, 2010, Wizkid released the album's third single "Don't Dull". Akon was featured on the remix which was leaked on October 26, 2011.
On August 29, 2011, "Love My Baby" was released as the album's fourth single. The music video for "Pakurumo", the album's fifth single, was released on December 10, 2011. It features cameo appearances from Pasuma, Ali Baba, Tee-A, Funke Akindele, Skales, Lynxxx, Davido, Banky W, Pope Da Hitman, Tiwa Savage, Mo'Cheddah and Ice Prince. On July 17, 2012, the music video for the sixth single "Oluwa Lo Ni", shot in 3D by Eban Olivier of Mushroom Productions, was released onto YouTube at a total length of 3 minutes and 26 seconds.
Upon its release, Superstar received rave reviews from music critics. A writer for Jaguda gave the album 7.0 out of 10 stars, adding that the album is a sound album for an artist who has put out numerous profitable songs. The writer also said that all followers of Nigerian music ought to purchase the album. Moreover, the writer added that Wizkid could have done things different in terms of working with distinctive producers and collaborating with a female artist. Lastly, the writer added that the layout of the track listing can easily make one become disinterested in the album. In summary, the writer commended Wizkid for being talented, and foresees him exceeding.
A writer for 360nobs gave the album an overall verdict of 7.5 out of 10, adding that Wizkid's comparison to Fela is somewhat subpar. The writer said that the album doesn't contain political themes, and the lyrical content doesn't border that of the Abami Eda's. The writer commended Wizkid for having a great voice, and said he is somewhat reminiscent of Fela in terms of stage performance. In addition, the writer said that Wizkid's vocal range is sufficient to create enduring music for music lovers. The writer went on to say that Superstar is an album inspired by reggae, dancehall, and R&B rhythms. In summary, the writer said that "Wizkid can now decide to either chase pop success and end up the answer to a trivia question, or continue to develop as an artist to truly become the Superstar like Fela."
Nigerian Entertainment Today assigned a rating of 3 out of 5, adding: "On Superstar, Wizkid compressed albums 2 and 3 of his career into one CD. A transition from teen heartthrob to a genuine contender in the space of 17 songs is no mean feat. It will be interesting to see which direction the young singer’s career takes from here but it’s pretty clear to see that Superstar could be the beginning of something very special in Nigerian music."
Superstar received numerous accolades. The album lived up to its hype in the end as it garnered the Best Album of the Year award at the 2012 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. It was nominated for Album of the Year and Best R&B/Pop Album at The Headies 2012. The album's massive singles enabled Wizkid to win the aforementioned awards.
Credits adapted from the back cover of Superstar.