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20 songs that shaped the Nigerian music industry

Nigerian music
Nigerian music

Nigeria to the world; Nigerian artistes are selling out shows and the Afrobeats movement has gone global and we couldn’t be prouder of our stars.

But before the quality, sound and production of Nigerian music became refined, some songs and artistes played a major role in the industry and helped the transition to greatness. They’re pivotal in the growth of Nigerian music to what we have now. They were jams then, they are still jams today and they will remain jams till the end of time.

In no particular order, here are 20 of those songs:

  1. African Queen- Tuface:

Tuface gave us magic with African Queen. He hasn’t stopped giving us magic since then. Man has been consistent with jams.

  1. Mathematics- Sound Sultan:

Sound Sultan gave us sociopolitical criticism with jagbajantis and Mathematics and baba has been consistent since. He’s been relevant in the industry even though he has been in the game for decades.

  1. You don hit my car- Tony Tetuila:

Tony Tetuila! You don hit my car! This song reigned and ruled the airwaves! Everyone kept wondering where Tetuila found the Tinubu look-alike featured in the video.

  1. Fenu so- Lord of Ajasa ft. 9ice:

Lord Ajasa revolutionized indigenous rap and laid the foundation for other Yoruba rappers. He paved the way and made it cool to rap in Yoruba. This jam with 9ice was a massive hit.

  1. Gongo aso- 9ice:

There’s no song that can touch Gongo Aso in Nigerian music history. It is in a world of it’s own. That album was gold then and it will remain gold forever.

  1. Olufunmi- Sytl Plus:

Styl Plus gave us R and B songs waaaaay ahead of their time. Not a single bad track in this album. Those love songs are probably the reason some people are married now. Wonder what happened to them.

  1. Too much- DJ Jimmy Jatt ft. Blaise, Kemistry, Bouqui:

DJ Jimmy Jatt is not only the Nigerian veteran DJ, he has scored some hits in the industry. He brought together female rappers to make this monster. Wonder where these ladies are now, they all fell off, sadly.

  1. Ijoya- Weird MC:

‏After years of silence, Weird MC made a comeback with Ijoya, and then went back into hibernation soon after.

  1. Angel of my life- Paul Play:

Paul Play was another person ahead of his time, I don’t think we were ready for the R and B hits he blessed us with in his Hitsville album.

  1. Pere- Mo hits:

Mohits really changed the face of Nigerian Music. Dbanj and Wande definitely have successful careers. Pere was one of their many hits.

  1. Senorita- PSquare:

Remember the time Jimmy Jatt stole Psquare’s girl and they went MJ on him in Senorita. These guys have been dropping hits ever since. Well, until they decided to split.

  1. Daddy Mo- Olly G:

Now, you don’t need to understand Igbo at all before this beautiful love song can speak to you.

  1. Free madness- Terry G:

‏Terry G came with his crazy style and changed the game. He made it cool to be razz and crazy. He has been quiet these days but he gave us many hits.

  1. Loving you every day- Faze:

After the break up of Plantation Boyz, Faze dropped some dope hits for a while. Sadly, he hasn’t released any hits recently.

  1. Jaga jaga- Eedris Abdulkareem:

This scathing sociopolitical criticism of the Nigerian government and sitting president Obasanjo at the time was iconic.

  1. Pretete- OJB Jezreel:

The very first twerk anthem was delivered to us by OJB (God rest him). Amazing jam, we all tried twerking to this in secondary school.

  1. Igwe- Midnight Crew

Midnight Crew changed the game for Christian/gospel music, they proved that gospel music could bang too. This song was a national jam for both Christians and non-Christians.

  1. Danfo driver- Mad Melon and Mountain Black:

Shebi you be danfo driverrrrr, shuooooo! Not only the track, but this entire album was so good.

  1. Yahooze- Olu Maintain:

This song went places. Olu Maintain brought Yahooze and nothing was ever the same again. Not only did this song have its own dance, it was the first major hit that glorified internet fraud and lavish lifestyle.

  1. Konko below- Lagbaja:

Of course, we can’t talk about a revolution in the Nigerian Music industry without talking about Lagbaja. This man cut across different demographics and everyone loved.

 Coupe Bibamba- Awilo Logomba

Honourary mention because Awilo Logomba and Makossa music ruled Nigerian airwaves for a while.

Written by Temitope Adeiye

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