The Nigerian Hip-Hop Songs History is rich from pioneering acts like De Weez and Black Masquradaz to current top acts like Wizkid, Davido, and Olamide.
The Nigerian Hip-Hop Songs History goes back to the late 1980s, and it quickly rose to popularity in the early 1990s. Pioneering performances of local up and coming artists worked hard to push forth the genre. And in the second half of the last decade, mainstream success followed.
Though it was quite a winding road, the hip-hop music genre has grown into quite the mainstream event in current Nigeria. The overall rapid growth of the media-supported entertainment industry has also helped popularize hip-hop music in Nigeria. Today, hip-hop music has become the most popular genre in Nigeria, dominating radio and sales charts and acclaimed for high-budget videos, great magazines, and awards.
When an average Nigerian child decides to enter the music industry, the first impulse is not to pick up the guitar or drums they are talking about, but the microphone.
Nigerian Hip-hop on TV
TV shows such as Video wheels, HipTV, Music Africa, MTN Y’ello, Music Africa, Nigeria, and Soundcity have played a significant role. In the late 2000s, other pieces of hip-hop music became popular.
This list will give an ode to the history of Nigerian Hip-Hop Songs from the ’80s to the current times. This list is a ranking based on time rather than popularity
These are the melodies that have littered the Nigerian Hip-Hop Songs History genre and continue to push its popularity forward.
The Way I Feel Rap (1981)
On the Air Rap (1985)
Meet me at the top (2010)
I swear (2013)
Band Baddo Baddest (2017)
Come Closer (2017)
Sweet in the Middle (2020)
The Way I Feel Rap by “Ronnie” Ron Ekundayo
Ron Ekundayo was a DJ and radio presenter in 1981, when he decided to launch the album “The Way I Feel,” which mainly contains pop and dance songs. However, the main track hits the new disco and rap trend in a bold and unprecedented way. While Ronnie was one and done with this album, he is a pioneer of Nigeria’s rap genre that makes him a folk hero.
On the Air Rap by Rap Master Lexy Mella
The self-anointed Rap Master Lexy Mella was a one-hit-wonder, and calling his lone album a hit is an understatement. He did not rap very well on this album and but he sure had the eighties rap look pat with the Jerry curl and JPS hip-hop pseudo breakdance bum look.
Message by MC Skidd-O
The appearance of “MC Skidd-O” is the incarnation of Skid Ikemefuna, who was the host of the first “Sunday Rendezvous” and the more popular branch of the Kessingsheen Hit Show. In his previous life, Skid played guitar with the rock band Grotto in the 1970s. And today, he is actually a successful businessman and gospel artist.
Lagos by Mustapha Amego
Mustapha Amego hosted the Sunday Rendezvous, a Soul Train type TV show that became a must-see for the new generation of Nigerian hip-hop and R&B fans in the late 1980s. “Lagos” features the vocals of Alexa Ibeh, a.k.a. “Mr. Kool” from Sound on Sound.
Anoti by M.1.
This song has everything a rap song should have. Moreover, it is one of the songs that brought M.1. to mainstream Nigerian hip-hop scenes. Similarly, it is the song that brought him acclaim as an MC. Anoti has a melody that includes percussive bars and melodic skills.
Meet me at the top by Laylow, and it features iceberg Slim
The song itself is beautiful. It has the highest reputation in the Nigerian industry and has been successful as expected. Moreover, the lines and emphasis of this song are unprecedented. And it is pure magic. Each line has been carefully designed to provide the desired results. The result is harmonious fantasy.
Oleku by Ice Prince
Oleku was an unexpectedly sweet hit song, and it came out of nowhere to capture the minds and hearts of many fans. Furthermore, the rhythm and melody are pure, and Brymo’s voice is heavenly. If you know the way around the DJ wheel, then this hip-hop tune is a party starter.
I swear by Ice Prince and Featuring French Montana
No one can question that Ice Prince is one of the current upper echelons of Nigerian Hip-hop. In fact, this song is not the most popular from that 2013 Fire of Zamani album. However, this is a classic hip-hop song, and French Montana is also magnificent in it.
Bahd Baddo Baddest by Falz featuring Olamide and Davido
For Falz, David and Olamide, this is one of Nigeria’s most classic hip-hop songs. Moreover, this song has become a cult classic for Nigerian hip hop fans. Furthermore, this song is part of the Falz 27 album, which was released in 2017.
Come Closer by WizKid ft Drake
WizKid has actually done some decent collabos with international artists. With Drake, he added some respectability to his repertoire and got some cult following in the process. Besides, this song also headlined some decent hip-hop classics from his Sounds from the other side album in 2017.
Anybody by Burna Boy
Burna Boy brings various addictive nuances of his distinctive African fusion sound by combining the influence of elements such as African beats, dancehall, hip hop, and RnB. Similarly, Rexxie and Burna produced the song, follows by a melodic flow on smooth saxophone and rhythmic percussion.
Sweet in the Middle by Davido
Sweet in the Middle is an eclectic mix of producers, sound engineers, and collabo artists. Moreover, the album was released in late 2019 and is one of the hottest songs in Nigeria in 2020.
I hope you have enjoyed our journey down memory lane as we look at the history of hip-hop music in Nigeria, and I am sure that I have missed a few great artists like Simi and Muna. Besides, some of these talented Female MC’s are also giving their male counterparts a run for their money.