Why is the Nigerian Music Industry Successful?

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nigerian musicians

I m tempted to start this blog post with “We the best!!!!! who?!!! we!!!!” but that’s not what this post is about. As a child of the 90s, born in the late 80s and came to adulthood in the 2000s I grew up mostly loving foreign/american music. When I was a kid, I was a big fan of Michael Jackson, had a few VCRs recordings of his music videos and concerts. I used to practice the moves and would bust a move at parties I was invited to as a kid. Then at some point in the 90s I think it was 94’ I fell in love with hip-hop and my younger self really really was a fan of Tupac. I believed in the West Coast part of that beef, finger signs and all. At some point after Tupac and Biggie were killed I moved on to being a Nas and then a Jay-Z fan. Sided with Nas in that beef but that doesn’t matter now. Basically my point is that, although there was Nigerian music being made around this time I don’t think it was as popular. From the top of my head, I remember Ras Kimono, Daniel Wilson, Blacky, Junior and Pretty, Oliver De Coque, Eddy Remedy, Maintain, Plantashun boiz, Tony Tetuila eventually ( Trivia: What Nigerian musicians do you remember from the 90s and early 2000s?). Of course there were outliers like Fela who were popular even then.
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Naija Jams: Just Chilling

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These days, I am blessed with free time yet I am still busy. I have lots to do yet I am lazy but at the same time I have nothing to do. Its whatever *kanye shrug*. I want to write about politics and the situation in Nigeria but I find myself disillusioned and suffering from a large writers block. So what do I do? I just listen to music. Whenever I m feeling sad, music picks me up and soothes me. Here are some songs I chill with

Omawumi – I go go

I believe Omawumi came second in West African Idols, or some singing show or the other. She has a lovely voice. This is a song from her upcoming album. It has a nice reggae vibe to it, and I do love me some reggae.

Keziah Jones – My Kinda Girl

The Last Keziah Jones song I listened to was Yansh Control but recently I rediscovered his music.

Reign by Bose Johnson

I heard this song the other day on the radio and I just loved it. Couldnt find it on youtube but found it on naijapals.

Bez – Stop Pretending and Supersun

Big fan of this dude right here, we patiently await his album release and yes I will buy/not download it

Femi ft Eedris Abdulkareem

I like how Eedris says “Ina son Lafiya’ Is he really trying to say, “He likes fine”? I no know o.

TY Bello – The Future

This stuff was/is on TV all the time. Love this lady’s hair and her voice. This song makes me very patriotic.

Be your man – Dipo

Being the corn ball I am, I like love themed music.

Asa – Why cant we

I love Asa’s album, Beautiful Imperfection. Its my go to chill album. Word. She also makes pretty good videos.

Comforter Song – Jeremiah Gyang ft Asa

Love this song, yes its from a bit back. “My heart is on fire, thats the reason I sing this song” I would really like Jeremiah Gyang to release a new album soon.

and since I m in the Gyang mood, one more for the road, Kauna Allah (meaning Love of God)

So thats all folks, That what I m chilling to at the moment. Trying to forget distant/immediate problems. MIMS said it best, Music is my salvation.

My Top Naija Jams at the moment: What’s playing in my Car

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MI – Undisputed

To start it off, I must go with MI, Mr Incredible himself. My favorite Nigerian Rapper hands down and he delivers on his sophomore album MI2, Which in my opinion is on its way to becoming the Nigerian Album of 2011. With tracks like One Naira, Number One, Beef, Undisputed and Epic. The track below is Undisputed. Definitely one of my favorite on the album. Enjoy

Darey – Ba ni Kidi

Another strong contender for Album of 2011 is Darey’s Double Dare Album. This 2 cd combo, comes with “Heart” which is Soulful and takes you back to what beautiful R&B is supposed to be and then you have “Beat” which gives you tracks to nod your head to and get a lil hype. On Beat, He has two tracks that make so much sense, Ba ni kidi which mixes hausa and pidgin in a comical way. And yes I like it probably cos I speak hausa and there arent many hausa jams out there.

Also for good measure, since I m on Darey, here is the the way you are

Darey – The way you are

The beat on this song is so sick. I would have sworn Timbaland made this beat but nah, its our very own Soul Muzik. Ideal for some high speed movements sha,

Wizkid – Dont Dull

I love this song and I like that Wizkid is just 21. Thats like 14 in naija years cos its so hard to make it early. His second hit single. Enjoy

Timaya – Watta Bam Bam

Good Jam. A bit old but I love it.

Naeto-C ft Asa – Share my blessings

Another strong album if you ask me is Naeto-C’s. The only MC with an MSc. Love that line. Enjoy this song with my girl, Asa.

D’Prince Ft D’banj – Give it to me

No top naija jams list will ever be complete in contemporary Nigeria without a Mohits song. This tune makes sense jo.

Over the moon – Dr Sid

My Mohits parade continues with Over the moon by Dr Sid, catchy as hell. Don Jazzy definitely knows his beats.

Danjuana – Allha ya kawo ballai

Arewa stand up! This song is old but I loves it anytime. It makes to play this if u be “malo” boy driving Honda in Abj. lol. Enjoy.

Waconzy – I celebrate

Cool jam. Relaxing.

Asa – Be my man

Love the video. The song is so chill. Love her style.

Duncan Mighty – I dont give a shot

Last but not least, Portharcourt’s first son, aka Wene Mighty aka Mr Scatta your dada with I dont give a shot,

My top naija jams of the moment (what I play in the car)

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Proudly Nigerian

This is kind of my top Nigerian jams of the moment. In no particular order

Ten over ten – Naeto-C

With Naeto-C, I would say I was a pick and choose fan. I felt he definitely had that smooth delivery and charisma and he did not disappoint with this song. I am definitely copping his album. Top five Nigerian hip hop artist hands down

Tease me – Wizkid

The beat on this track goes hard and this song made me start using the term “Bad guyz” on the regular to refer to a singular bad guy.

Boyz don hammer – Terry Da Rapman

This song is a bit old but I recently got on it and the rest is history

Oleku – Ice Prince

Lovely jam, lovely beat. Catchy as hell.

Only me – 2face

Of course 2face will be on my list. After all, the guy is our very own Nigerian Ambassador of music. If you havent copped his album, you are on a long thing

For the sake of not making this super long, i ll just the rest of my jams.

Life anaganga – Timaya ft M.I, Champion – General Pype, Eldee – One day, Fimile – Kas, Aladaalada – Flavor

All that she wants…

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So I was at work today and it is kind of my last few days cos I have finished my nysc and stuff and getting ready to ship my ass out of lagos to go spend some time in Nigerias capital Abuja. Don’t tell anyone, I have some secret plans to take over power by force and institute a revolution of the people . Anyway that’s a story for another day.

So in the office we sometimes put the radio on to give a little background music to the work we doing. We not goofing off, I promise boss if you reading this. So a song comes up, “all that she wants is another baby, she’s gone tomorrow…”. Immediately, I had the serious flashback to my 4 year old self.

Back in the day, me and my lil big headed self was too cute for TV, got my suspender and stick on tie game on. See, I was hip before you knew what a hip was. ‘Waisted’. In those days, we would go to other kids birthday parties, and all the kids would engage in a dancing competition all for some dumb prize that ended up being a polythene/nylon bag full of chin chin, meat and sweets. Smh. We would do the running man, some kids were on that MJ tip and just kept spinning, moonwalking and holding their groin. Inappropriate I know but we had no idea. Then there was the butterfly. Keep in mind we talking about early 90s.

I won a few of these dancing competitions, lol. The trick back then was to dance as vigorously as possible and I was an active high on red bull kinda kid. I would also make sure I positioned myself where the ‘aunty’ who was judging the dancing competition could see me.

Of course in the united states of naija, no kid party in the 90s was complete without pictures of the celebrant and friends and the cake with bottles of soda/mineral arranged around it like some kind of status symbol. Then of course there was rice, typically jollof rice and chicken. I was a big fan of the rice, shit I still am a big fan of jollof rice jo. Its the way to my heart, ladies take notes. And there were balloons which us razz kids called “bollom bollom”.

Anyway the song all that she wants by ace of bass, had me reminiscing about those 90s kids birthday parties, what you remember from the 90s. The song is below

Somehow Nigeria turned to n*, and shit got ugly

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Just got me Revolutions per minute, A Talib Kweli and Hi Tek album. I m yet to fully listen to it but this one track, “Ballad of the black gold” stands out to me. I simply just heart the following verse,

“Nigeria is celebrating 50 years of independence
They still feel the colonial effects of Great Britain’s presence
Dictators quick to imitate the West
Got in bed with oil companies and now the place a mess
Take a guess, which ones came and violated
They oiled up the soil, the Ogoni people was almost annihilated
Still they never stayed silent
There was activism, poets using non-violent tactics
That was catalyst for soldiers to break into they crib
Take it from the kids and try to break em like a twig
And make examples of the leaders
Executed Saro-Wiwa
Threw Fela’s mom out the window right after they beat her
In an effort to defeat hope
Now the people feed soap to [noir]
So they youth is doing drive-bys through speed boats
They kidnap the workers
They blowing up the pipelines
You see the fires glowing in the nighttime”

Does he summarize Nigeria’s issue well? I m gonna take a stab and say hell yes! I have visited the Niger Delta and boy it is not pretty. Heck the whole country is in crisis, something needs to be done.

Talib has always impressed me with the lyrics and all round conciousness. Damn this guy can be deep. He is also a good performer, Saw him last year at Columbia, I m not the concert addict but dude was definitely hype and lively. Anyway enough of my yappering, Listen to the song for yourself below.