The title of the song references the line “49 sitting, 99 standing” from Fela Kuti’s 1978 hit “Shuffering and Shmiling.” According to Tiwa in a press release, it reflects the “hard life many Nigerians go through.” She goes on to mention that “a transit bus serves as a case study. It ought to have only 49 seated passengers, however due to poor economic conditions, we often have nearly twice that number of passengers standing (99).”
In a unique blend of Afrobeat, R&B and pop, the track is doused in syncopated percussions, humming background harmonies and crisp snares as Tiwa seamlessly glides through the sound with melodic vocals. Directed by Meji Alabi, the music video encompasses a series of dramatic vignettes that nod to the song’s overarching commentary about surviving in a country struck with widespread poverty.
Check out Tiwa Savage’s latest music video for “49-99” above.