Nigerian music has long caught the world’s attention, and Nigerian musicians themselves are strutting their stuff across the globe and bringing some positive publicity to the country long tainted by corruption, insurgency, terrorism.
2018 is about a month away from its funeral. For the Nigerian music scene, it is one year with very little regrets, as several songs and artistes revolutionized Nigeria’s music and social space and have remained the topic of conversation. Below, in no particular order, I discuss 10 of them.
“Jogodo,” by Tekno, is one monster hit that ignited Nigeria’s music space and formed a topic on social media for a long. The impact of that song was felt not only in Nigeria but in faraway United States and Canada. In fact Canadian rapper Drake called the song an inspiration.
Controversy erupted over the ownership of “Jogodo” when Danfo Drivers (the duo of Mountain Black and Mad Mello) accused Tekno of stealing the song from them. The duo claimed that “Jogodo” was their hit song back in 200o which Tekno tweaked and then released. The issue was resolved later, with Tekno posting a picture of three of them together. It was never made public how the issue was resolved.
Davido, who calls the shots at DMW (Davido Music Worldwide), captured the attention of music lovers across the world with his song and music video “Assurance.” When it comes to crooning about love and keeping the slay queens happy, Davido displays remarkable talents. You find that in “Assurance,” a song dedicated to the one he holds dear, a song he performed to deafening applause in Benin republic recently. At the moment, “Assurance” has got over 27 million views on YouTube.
“This Is Nigeria,” by lawyer-turned-musician Falz, provoked controversy almost as soon as it was released. American star P. Diddy had endorsed the video, but it did not stop the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) from giving Falz 7 days to take down the video. The video was ultimately banned from the air by the National Broadcasting Commission.
“Soco” was one revolutionary sound from Starboy, who was to earn the hottest African pop star tag from Vogue Magazine later in the year. The sound has spawned so many imitations, amplifying the popularity of the original. “Soco” is now one of the most searched words on Google.
“Science Student” is one controversial number from YBNL boss Olamide. Olamide said the song would discourage drug use. But the National Broadcasting Commission thought otherwise and declared the song “unfit for broadcasting.” This was positive publicity for the song, of course, and fans “rushed” it.
“Fake Love” was one song that defined Nigeria’s social and music space this year. Released by Duncan Mighty at a time when his presence in Nigeria’s music scene had waned, the song immediately shot to the top of the charts and turned around the rapper’s fortunes. He became one of the hottest feature materials virtually overnight.
“YE,” by Burna Boy.
In “YE,” a music video, Damini Ogulu, better known by his stage name Burna Boy, pays fealty to Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo Kuti. It is the same video that lit up electronic billboards in New York as Google named the rapper “The Artist On The Rise.” “YE” is still the subject of discussions online. It is not for nothing that rapper Ycee recently picked Burna Boy as artiste of the year.
“Nowo” was one delightful collaboration between DJ Spinall and Wizkid that got social media talking. Exquisitely delivered, this song takes you into a whole new plane of delight – a plane you will not want to leave. DJ Spinall has gone on to release some critical offerings, including his album “Iyanu.”
“Stew” is one appetizing offering from Wizkid (and Tiwa Savage) that is so hot the world has been lapping it up. Adopting Tiwa Savage, with whom he has was thought to be having a relationship with, was a publicity coup for the video as it provoked global interest and ultimately made the video reach a milestone of 1 million YouTube views within 20 hours of release.
“Stew” is still the talk of social media and Nigeria’s music space. It might remain for a long time. The raunchy scenes and near osculatory displays in the video promise that.
This list will be incomplete without the shaku shaku revolution and the revolutionaries. Shaku shaku is one dance that caught Nigeria’s music and social media space by thunder. In the vanguard of the shaku shaku revolution are Mr Real (“Legbegbe,” featuring Idowest and Obadice, and “Legbegbe (Remix), featuring DJ Maphorisa, Niniola, Vista and Catzico)”); D’Banj (“Issa Banger,” featuring Mr Real and Slimcase); Idowest (“Omo Shepeteri,” featuring Dammy Krane and Slimcase); DJ Spinall, Slimcase, and Reminisce (“Problem”). Add yours.
Are there other trends you think should have made the list? Share them with us in the comment section.