23

Album: Twice As Tall (2020)

Songfacts®:

  • This song finds Burna Boy comparing himself to Michael Jordan. While Jordan is an all-time great in the world of basketball, Burna Boy says the music he's makes him feel on the same level as the NBA legend. The song title refers to Jordan's shirt number while playing for the Chicago Bulls.
  • Burna Boy told Apple Music the song came from watching the ESPN miniseries The Last Dance, which chronicles Michael Jordan's career with the Chicago Bulls. "I was watching that scene with Jordan describing the way he works and just how hard he goes to push those around him for greatness," he explained. "I related to that so much. Even about how lonely that road is, because you may have started with a bunch of people, even some guys that were probably better than you! And that's really how it goes. There's so much sacrifice to this that people won't see."
  • Did you know 45 was originally Jordan's baseball jersey number at Laney High School in Wilmington, North Carolina? His older brother, Larry, already wore number 45 as a member of the varsity team, so when Jordan finally made the varsity himself, he cut 45 in half and rounded it up to 23. Here are some more fun facts about Jordan's 23 jersey:

    On February 14, 1990, Michael Jordan wore a nameless number 12 jersey because his number 23 jersey had been stolen. The new thread didn't affect him: Jordan scored on 21 of his 43 shot attempts for a game-high 49 points.

    On November 1, 1994, the Chicago Bulls retired Jordan's number 23 in a ceremony that included the erection of a bronze sculpture known as The Spirit outside the Bulls' arena.

    Even thought he never played for the team, the Miami Heat retired Michael Jordan's number 23 in April 2003 for "contributions to basketball."
  • Burna Boy wrote the song with French hip-hop record producer and composer Skread. It is the first collaboration between the pair.
  • Clarence Peters directed the video, which features several references to Michael Jordan.

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