Despite everything that happened in 2020, Nigerian music remained strong. Towards the beginning of the year, cemented stars like Niniola, Burna Boy, and Rema were already rolling out singles as the pandemic began to hit. By mid-2020 many had adapted to the strange year and albums like Tiwa Savage‘s Celia,Fireboy DML‘s Apollo, Burna‘s Twice As Tall, started coming out.
The year also saw the continuing trend of top-tier collaborations between Nigerian and North American/European stars keep going, as Tiwa connected with Sam Smith and Mr Eazi with Nicki Minaj & Major Lazer,among others. In October, the #EndSARS protests against police brutality and corrupt governance brought Nigeria, and its music industry, to a necessary halt. Nigerian musicians at home and abroad pitched-in and joined the movement as the country’s youth stood up for their rights.
By the end of 2020, despite by the virus, lockdowns and after joining national protests, a large portion of major Nigerian acts had dropped an album, with the last quarter of the year seeing Wizkid’s Made In Lagos,Davido‘s A Better Time, Olamide‘s Carpe Diem and many more.
Below we round up our picks for the best Nigerian songs of the year. Listed in no particular order.
Davido – FEM (Official Video)
Davidoreturned in September with “FEM,” the first single off his highly-anticipated album, A Better Time. “To the people talking about you because they don’t understand your shine, they don’t understand your grace,” he wrote about the song during its release. While it started as a track about people that talk too much, it soon became the unlikely anthem for Nigeria’s #EndSARS protests. “When Nigerian youth shout the line ‘Why everybody come dey para, para, para, para for me’ at protests, it is an act of collective rebellion and rage, giving flight to our anger against the police officers that profile young people, the bureaucracy that enables them, and a government that appears lethargic,” explains our contributor Wale Oloworekende.
DJ Neptune, Joeboy & Mr Eazi ‘Nobody’
DJ Neptune, Joeboy & Mr Eazi – Nobody (Official Video)
DJ Neptune‘s “Nobody” saw him recruiting Nigerian star Mr Eazi and the rising Joeboy for an uptempo number that speaks about young love and the blind devotion that often follows as a result of infatuation. The track, which was the second single from Neptune’s The Greatness II [Sounds of Neptune], broke records this year as one of the most streamed songs across Africa. It topped Apple Music’s singles charts in eight countries and supplied the soundtrack to millions of Triller dance videos.
Tony Allen & Hugh Masekela ‘Slow Bones’
Tony Allen & Hugh Masekela – Slow Bones (Official Audio)
On April 30th, the world sadly lost trailblazing dummer and afrobeat pioneer Tony Allen. In Rejoice, his last album before his passing, the Nigerian percussionist connected with South African jazz legend Hugh Masekelato finalize a collaboration that had started back in 2010. Though they’d known each other since the 1970s, through their friendship & work with Fela Kuti, it took forty years—and a coinciding tour schedule that saw them both in the UK at the same time—for Allen and Masekela to make it to a London studio together. It was there that, along with producer Nick Gold, they recorded the “kind of South African-Nigerian swing-jazz stew” that makes up their album, Rejoice, as Allen described it. The album came out just one month before Allen passed away.
Burna Boy ‘Bank On It’
Burna Boy – Bank On It [Official Audio]
Burna Boycontinued his reign at the top of the Nigerian and ‘global’ music world with the release of his latest album, Twice As Tall. The 15-track album—which Burna described as “very different because I’ve never really sat and been stuck in one place and had to make an album in that one place before”—was executive produced by Diddy and Bose Ogulu (Burna’s mother) and features the likes of Chris Martin, Stormzy, Youssou N’dour, Naughty By Nature and Sauti Sol. While there’s many highlights on it, our favorite is the album closer “Bank On It,” which sees Burna connect with producer JAE5, who’s known for his work with J Hus.
Fireboy DML ‘ELI’
Fireboy DML – ELI (Official Video)
Fireboy DML cemented his spot as one of Nigeria’s most buzzing artists this year. His 17-song album, Apollo. featured collaborations with Olamide, Wande Coal and D Smoke, and production handled by Pheelz, IamBeatz, P-Prime and Type A. “This album is about evolution, growth, love and pain,” Fireboy DML mentioned. While there were many highlights in the album—including “Champion” and “Tattoo”—our pick of the bunch is the alluring “ELI.” Read our recent interview with the ‘Afro-Life’ singer, in which he gets deep and personal.
Niniola ‘Fantasy’ ft. Femi Kuti
NINIOLA FT FEMI KUTI – FANTASY (OFFICIAL VIDEO)
Niniolashared her single “Fantasy,” featuring the legendary Femi Kuti, early in the year as part of the early rollout to her Colours and Sounds album. On “Fantasy,” Niniola delivers her usual crisp vocals atop a pulsating beat and smooth saxophone riffs from Kuti. It’s an infectious song through and through, and the two make for a memorable duo. Read our interview with Niniola and longtime collaborator & producer Sarz about Colours and Sounds, and working with the likes of Timbaland, Busiswa, Kel P and on the album.
Olamide ‘Green Light’
Olamide – Green Light (Official Video)
Nigerian heavyweight Olamide came through with his latest 12-track album, Carpe Diem, in October. “The project is a reflection of my mind, and also the current sound brewing underground in Nigeria,” Olamide mentioned. “It’s a combination of a lot of traditional elements and also a sound from Nigeria called galala. It’s also a fusion of something we call Celestial, which is when you are playing secular music in church. It’s like taking pop to the church.” The highly-addictive “Green Light” is the album’s standout track, and Olamide himself agrees, as he told us in our recent interview around Carpe Diem.
Wizkid ‘Ginger’ feat. Burna Boy
WizKid – Ginger ft. Burna Boy
Nigerian superstar Wizkid released his highly-anticipated album Made in Lagos in on October 30. The album was originally meant to drop two weeks before that, but was deliberately delayed to honor the #EndSARS protests. Like several Nigerian artists, Wizkid had been participating in the #EndSARS protests and went on to dedicate Made in Lagos to the collective call for an end to police brutality in his home country. The 14-track album includes notable features from Skepta, Damian Marley, H.E.R., Ella Mai and Terri. Through there’s many highlights on MIL, our favorite on the new album is “Ginger” which sees Wizkid connecting with another Nigerian megastar, Burna Boy.
Teni & DJ Neptune ‘Isolate’
Teni, DJ Neptune – Isolate (Official Audio)
Back in April, at the height of lockdowns across the world,Teni released an EP to get us through the quarantine. The project, a collaboration with Nigeria’s DJ Neptune. saw her playing out different stages of being in quarantine and talking about the strains of being in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Quarantine Playlist EP opens with the reflective “Morning” before jumping into songs aptly titled “Isolate,” our favorite from the EP, and “Lockdown.”
Oxlade – Away ( Official Music Video)
Buzzing Nigerian afro-fusion artist Oxladereleased “Away,” as part of his debut 6-song EP Oxygene. The Spax-produced track fuses elements of afropop, highlife, R&B, and more to deliver a catchy pop-leaning sound. When we asked Oxlade to describe his EP in two words for us in our recent interview, he told us: “Soothing. Different. In the sense that, during this period where things are going bad and we are getting bad news everyday, this music is supposed to relieve stress.”
Mr Eazi ‘I No Go Give Up On You’
emPawa Africa & Mr Eazi – I No Go Give Up On You (Visualizer)
Mr Eazi‘s “I No Go Give Up On You” is a mid-tempo love song that sees the Nigerian star singing sweetly to his lover about his unwavering feelings for her. The track featured in Mr Eazi’s One Day You Will Understand EP, and released was under his ever-growing emPawa initiative. It came accompanied by an eye-grabbing animated visualizer, as has become custom for emPawa releases. The romantic earworm was produced by Blaq Jerzee.
Tiwa Savage “Dangerous Love”
Tiwa Savage – Dangerous Love
“Dangerous Love” is a signature Tiwa Savagenumber with elements of R&B and afrobeats seamlessly coming together for a mellow and straight-up enjoyable track. The sensual music video clocked over 1 million views on YouTube in just five days—a true testament to the viral nature of the hit. The track is a highlight from Tiwa’s fifth studio album Celia, which boasts 12 tracks featuring the likes of Sam Smith, Davido, Stefflon Don and Naira Marley.
Adekunle Gold ‘AG Baby’ ft. Nailah Blackman
Adekunle Gold, Nailah Blackman – AG Baby
Adekunle Gold‘s “AG Baby” is a pulsating, dance-worthy composition featuring singer Nailah Blackman on the hook. His third single of the year, the TMXO-produced beat proved that a different sonic formula could work just as well for the Nigerian artist—even Don Jazzy weighed in about it. Read our recent interviewwith Adekunle Gold around his visual transformation across albums into his latest,Afropop, Vol. 1.
Rema x Rvssian “Beamer (Bad Boys)”
Rema x Rvssian – Beamer (Bad Boys) [Official Music Video]
Rema, the prince of afrobeats, came through early in the year with “Beamer (Bad Boys),” his first single since the release of his 2019 EP Bad Commando. Produced by Rvssian, the song features a sultry, drum-heavy beat and a catchy hook in which a chorus of female voices sing about their love of “bad boys.” In an interview with Zane Lowe about the song Rema mentioned, “Every single artist… has their roles to play in the army of the new generation. Me, I’m the bad commando. My role is to actually, you know, mix vibes, and I want to share the… vulnerability of afrobeats through mixing cultures together.”
Cruel Santino ‘End of the Wicked’ ft. Octavian
Cruel Santino Ft. Octavian – End Of The Wicked (Official Audio)
Cruel Santino (formerly known as Santi) continued his captivating genre-blending experimentations with “End of the Wicked,” his only single of the year, which followed his highly-acclaimed debut album Mandy & The Jungle(2019). “End of the Wicked” sees the young artist showcasing once again why he’s one of the most forward-thinking acts in Nigeria as he goes in over a dizzying beat with the help of Octavian.
Buju ‘Lenu Remix’ ft. Burna Boy
Buju ft. Burna Boy – Lenu Remix (Official Video)
Buju came through in April with remix of his hit single “Lenu” which was released in late 2019. The up-and-coming afro-fusion artist recruited Burna Boy to deliver the alternative version to the song that fans were waiting for. The two acts make for a breezy collaboration, building on the multi-layered sound of the original track, and Burna adds to the song by delivering a high-energy final verse. Read our interview with the blooming Buju from earlier this year.
Simi ‘No Longer Beneficial’
SIMI – No Longer Beneficial (Official Music Video)
Simi had a lot of big hits in 2020 she dropped “Duduke” earlier in the year then was featured in “Know You” with Ladipoe, and, more recently, the Nigerian star released her new Restless IIEP. “No Longer Beneficial” is our highlight from that latest EP, which saw her taking a risk and going for a more R&B-leaning sound. The EP, Simi told us in a recent interview, was inspired by her husband Adekunle Gold.
Tekno – Enjoy (Official Music Video)
Though he dropped several loose singles this year, Tekno‘s “Enjoy” was the first official taste we got from his just-released debut album, Old Romance. “Enjoy” sees the acclaimed Nigerian singer/songwriter/producer sharing a carefree, upbeat composition about simply being allowed to enjoy life—a message that resonates even more this year.
Naira Marley ‘Aye’
Naira Marley – Aye (Official Video)
Naira Marley‘s Rexxie-produced single “Aye” explores the meaning of life and encourages listeners to keep pushing even in the midst of challenges. In “Aye”—the Yoruba translation for “life”—the rhythm and lyrics work together to convey Marley’s contemplativeness as he navigates and searches for meaning. Released in March, at a time when the world needed it most, the at-times controversial Nigerian artist spoke about persevering through life’s obstacles.
Falz ‘Bop Daddy’ ft. Ms Banks
Falz – Bop Daddy (Official Video) ft. Ms Banks
Falz came through with some strong releases this year—from the Lagos traffic-inspired “One Trouser” to a timely music video for 2019’s excellent single “Johnny” in the face of #EndSARS protests. In “Bop Daddy,” Falz connects with British-Nigerian-Ugandan Ms Banks for a boastful, bumping track with a heavy bass line that will live in your head.
We may have been denied justice, but we will never keep quiet – Nigerians mark three months anniversary of #LekkiMassacre
Today, 20th of January, 2021 is a sad day for many Nigerians as it marks 3 months since peaceful protesters demanding an end to police brutality were shot at, leaving many wounded and over a dozen killed.
The incident has left a sour taste in the mouths of victims, families and Nigerians who watched the horrid incident that took place on a Tuesday night at the Lekki toll gate, Lagos state.
According to videos shared on that night, military men were seen opening fire on the youths protesting under the #EndSARS banner and causing serious casualties. A case of which Nigerian Army authorities have denied on several occasions, stating that soldiers fired only blank bullets in the air.
Today marks exactly 3 months month since the shooting event of October 20, 2020 and Nigerians have taken to social in remembrance of those who lost their lives.
A look at BBNaija Erica’s comparison of Nigerian and Ghanaian Jollof (video)
• After tasting Ghanaian Jollof presented to her by supporters, Erica insists Nigerian Jollof is better.
• The 2020 BBNaija star earlier today traveled to Ghana from Dubai for a meet and greet with fans.
Former Big Brother Naija season 5 Lockdown reality television star cum actress, Erica Nlewedim has concluded on which among Nigerian and Ghanaian Jollof tastes better and in other word, sweeter.
You could recall that Erica made it to Ghana earlier today, Wednesday, January 20 after her successful trip to Dubai courtesy of Nigerian-based travel company, Travelbeta.
The reality star utilized the opportunity to meet with her Ghanaian supporters who graced the airport in the early hours of morning to welcome their Star Girl and Queen of Elites.
However, in a video posted via her Instagram story, Erica was spotted with some of her fans who hosted her in a lounge with lots of gifts presented to her.
Also, the Star Girl was served the popular African recipe, Jollof rice which she tasted and confirmed which among Nigerian and Ghanaian Jollof is better and probably tastes sweeter.
In her words, “It actually looks very pretty, but Nigerian Jollof is better. Most people already know. You already know Nigerian Jollof is better.
“Let me tell you. No matter how nice it tastes, I will still say it, Nigerian Jollof is better. Well, it’s actually nice, but Nigerian Jollof is better.
Watch video below.
BBNaija’s Lucy reacts after being accused of online begging (video)
• Rumours have made the rounds stating that all the gifts Lucy received from people were as a result of her begging for them.
• The Ex-Lockdown star stated that as long as she knows the God she serves, He will always provide for her and not through begging.
Big Brother Naija season 5 Lockdown reality television star and ex-housemate Lucy Edet Essien has taken out time to retort an accusation by people who claim she begs for gifts.
In a video the reality star posted via her Instagram story on Wednesday, January 20, she mentioned that a lot of people have been saying she begged for all the gifts she received since after BBNaija Lockdown show.
And this could be linked to a recent package the BBNaija star received from someone whom her colleague Kiddwaya gave her phone number. She has also received a cash from her female co-reality star Nengi who according to Lucy, gave her money totalling thousands of naira.
However, Lucy believes the secret to her gifts has been because she’s doing the right thing which is GIVING, hence, the bible verse, ‘give and you shall receive.’
The Cross Rivers State-native added that people should understand that whenever you know the God you serve, you don’t have to beg, because He will always provide for you.
“If you’re getting pissed that I’m getting gifts and all that, have you ever sat down to ask yourself ok, may be she’s actually doing something right, may be she’s actually giving to people.
“I don’t know how you should be expecting that I would come and announce, oh! I gave to this one, I gave to that. Not all of us have that mindset.
“God said that what you’re doing, your left hand must not know. If you give with the right, your left hand should not know. That’s how you get your own reward.
“I don’t see why I have to come and explain to anybody or people telling me, oh! me I’m going around begging.
“All I just have to say is that if you know the God you serve, basically, you don’t have to beg, God would always provide.”
Watch video below.
Opinion: “The Shippers Need To Rest” – Laycon Stylishly Shades Erica Fans in a recent freeystyle rap (Details)
The drama after big brother naija lockdown house seems not want to end soon, as exhousemates keep shading one another in any slightly opportunity given to them on social media.
This time, Laycon has stylishly shades Erica through his Jimmyjump off at Jimmyjat studio. The bbnaija winner and musician said shippers should need to rest, that he got a lot to brag of, but he just decided to stay humble.
However, no one need to tell before you know that he was referring to Erica fans and Erica, because Erica fans are always found of shipping Erica with Kidwaya and Laycon.
Recalled that Erica once said that Laycon doesn’t worth her and she also said that, she don’t want people to google her name and see Laycon with her name. That is why the young musician said that, he got a lot to brag about but he is humble.
In Laycon bars through Jymmyjat jumpoff, he said;
“So the shippers need to rest
There is a lot to brag about but I stay humble
Just let the music speak
And also let the number speak
Am not even at the top but they wanna cry
They keep saying my music won’t pop because of the show
Remember, the Music made me go into the show
I went on the show
Caught cruise on the show
Made money on the show
Made money off the show
Since I won the show
Let’s end the fucking show!”
Reactions As Ozo Pecked And Hugged Nengi In New Video (Watch)
Bbnaija stars, Ozo and Nengi are 2 people that fans want together, right from the days of the Big Brother Naija show, fans always wanted them to date.
Yesterday a video was released online, and it has sparked reactions from the fans of Ozo and Nengi already.
The video showed the moment Ozo gave Nengi a peck on her cheeks, and also hugged her, while she blushed.
This made their fans really happy about it, as it seems like Nengi an Ozo would be in a new show soon.
“There are some guys who can never cheat on their girlfriend, me and 6 others”- Prince says
Big brother naija reality star, Prince Nelson Enwerem, says he is very faithful to his girlfriend.
The reality TV star shared a post by a twitter influencer, telling his followers that there are some men in this world that can never cheat on their girlfriends, unfortunately its only him and six others.
The influencer wrote:
“I know some people will not believe this but there are some guys in this world who can never cheat on their girlfriends”
He retweeted the post with a caption:
Prince Nelson Enwerem is yet to publicly reveal his girlfriend, however, himself and colleague, Dorathy Bachor are very close.
“See how you use a 3month old car” Fans react as Dorathy shares picture of the state of her car. (Details)
Bbnaija star, Dorathy took to her social media page to share a Short clip of the state of her Benz Car which attracted whole lots of reactions from fans on social media.
Dorathy was given the Benz car by her fans on the 4th of November. So the car is just 2 month old and some weeks.
Seeing the state of the car it shows everything some fans were saying some weeks back is true.
Some fans that reacted to this are of the opinion how can somebody use car like this within that short period of time.
Is not everyone that deserves expensive gifts- A fan wrote
Another set of fans that reacted to this are of the opinion she is so careless and also not using the car well or that the car is not good truly.