Wizkid, the Nigerian pop star who appeared on Drake's otherworldly smash single "One Dance," released his fourth album last week, entitled Sounds From the Other Side, but in an interview with Ebro Darden on Beats 1, the 27-year-old refused to call the release an 'album,' instead choosing to label it an 'EP.'
To be clear, at 12 tracks long and with a running time of just over 39 minutes, Sounds From the Other Side is not an EP—it literally cannot be an EP.
An EP, short for extended play, was originally created to house a collection of songs greater than a single but lesser than a full-length LP (or long play). Depending on the era and the country of release, the definition of what constitutes an EP versus an LP has changed quite a bit over the past seven decades, but as recent as 2015, it was broadly defined as a collection of four records or less and approximately 25 minutes in length.
Album versus EP, EP versus mixtape, for sale versus for free—it's all meaningless in 2017 and the reason is streaming.
When music had to fit onto one side of a piece of vinyl, one side of a cassette tape or on a compact disc, an artist had to either limit the number of songs that made a project or release a double-album. But when every song that is created for a project can be made available for stream through an on-demand service, you get Drake's More Life "playlist," a new-age marketing gimmick afforded by the streaming era.
We'll excuse Wizkid for not understanding the difference between an album and an EP—at this point, it's nothing more than semantics anyway—but one thing that must be cleared up is what an EP is not (and yes, I'm looking at you Ebro).
In the open, Ebro says to Wizkid, "I see why you're calling this an EP, it's a collection of all of the work that you've done over the last couple of years [while] breaking into America." By definition, a project that is comprised of a collection of random, assorted songs or singles isn't an EP, it's a compilation. The only way that a compilation could technically also be considered an EP would be if the runtime for the project came in under the aforementioned 25-minute threshold.
Ultimately, Wizkid's ability to break into the U.S. market without sitting shotgun next to Drake won't have anything to do with the way he labels his releases.
Is the music great? That is all that matters.