Nigerians have established their extraordinary talent for creating music and providing entertainment over the years. Rappers played a significant role in advancing the music business to where it is today and have successfully carved out a successful industry from it.
Nigeria has produced some outstanding rappers that have dominated Africa and made a name for themselves around the globe. These rappers have been able to make a significant amount of money on the side while inspiring and assisting many young people in realizing their aspirations.
The state of hip-hop in Nigeria has been the subject of numerous discussions on social media during the last few months. While some music lovers and industry professionals believe that the genre has succumbed to the upbeat tempo of Afrobeats and Afropop and has did end in the country, others continue to be steadfast believers in the Nigerian rappers’ ability to weave words together to make bars and put together flows that would land safely in the hearts of music lovers and find good footholds on charts, to lead the greatly needed reemergence of hip-hop in the country.
While some rappers have been able to hold their own during the current reformation of Nigerian music, including LadiPoe, who is rightfully referred to as the leader of the revival, Cheque, and Blaqbonez, who considers himself one the best rapper in Africa, chart evidence and statistics continue to favor other genres, including Afropop, street hop, and even the alternative scene, which has experienced a more significant boom.
However, there is still much work to be done to restore Nigerian hip-hop to its former glory, and it won’t happen through finger-pointing and problem-slinging. In this article, we aim to highlight the contributions of upcoming and promising Nigerian rappers who have been preserving Nigerian hip-hop by giving it their own distinctive spin.
The following list of the top 10 best new and fast rising Nigerian rappers is based on their lyrics, rap albums that demonstrate their values, and recent emits:
Nowadays, many rappers struggle to maintain a hometown connection with the initial audience that develops into a sizable fanbase, but PsychoYP has this one covered. Born Nicholas Ihua-Maduenyi, the 25-year-old rapper has succeeded in expanding outside his native Abuja with his youthful version of hip-hop that includes American beat, occasionally British grime, and Afropop.
Since 2017, Soundcloud has been the ideal base for promising up and comers, by constantly releasing banger rap tracks after rap tracks. Currently, PsychoYP is the leader of his Apex Village collective, an Abuja-based organization that unites rappers like Laime and Zilla Oaks with producers and singer Azanti. With his debut album, YPSZN, which established him as a flow god while juggling his artistic career and his business, YP gained attention among Nigerian youth and hip-hop fans.
This was further reinforced and his fan base grew with the release of his sophomore album, YPSZN 2. Additionally, PsychoYP has established himself as a new school lyricist of the highest caliber with features that frequently diss every other rapper on the track or put them in a head-to-head lock, as well as his most recent project, Euphoria, which shows him taking his sound international.
2. Payper Corleone
Payper Corleone, a full-fledged rapper, is evidence that hip-hop is still popular among young Nigerians. Rapping since his secondary school days, Tombra Asikpi, better known as Payper, rose to stardom in 2015 with the release of the mixtapes Friday Flight Freestyles and Love & HipHop. He then established his position in the industry with his critically acclaimed and commercially successful album BARS 2.
Since then, while working with a large list of legendary Nigerian Hip-Hop artists like Terry tha Rapman, Erriga, and others, he has appeared on the renowned Hennessy Cypher, DJ Jimmy Jatt’s Jimmy’s Jump Off, and other shows. Payper Corleone is undoubtedly a rap don with a Headies nomination for his single Sacrifice in 2019 and a highly loyal fan base that includes both those that come for the freestyles and those who stick around for the albums.
3. Prettyboy D-O
Born Donald Ofik, Prettyboy D-O is a mix of things, including the founder of his own huge fan subculture and the African Dennis Rodman. However, he is best known as an original and distinctive rapper. After making a big impression on the underground music industry in 2017 with his outstanding debut, Footwork, DO has increased his profile with hits like Chop Elbow and the remix with Falz.
D-O quickly established himself as an outstanding rapper with enough style and street swagger to appeal to every Nigerian, which led to the emergence of his fan base movement. In 2018, D-O released his well-received debut album, Everything Pretty, and was able to capitalize on the strength of collaborations.
Since then, the patois-inflected rapper has achieved classic status with his style, which advocates outspoken passion and attitude. His devoted fans have shown up to his sold-out concerts, singing his lyrics word for word. With his single, Jungle Justice, he made his Color Studios debut thanks to his rockstar intensity.
The sky is undoubtedly the beginning point for Prettyboy D-O and his movement because he absolutely never fails to make a statement with his songs, whether it singles or his most recent album, Love is War, down to his personal style with an artistic hairstyle or his replay-worthy music videos.
An up-and-coming musician’s co-sign from a more established artist, particularly in the hip-hop scene in Nigerian music, can literally be the answer to their prayers, opening doors they might not have otherwise been able to access and putting them in dialogues that will help advance their career. The street-hop scene has benefited greatly from this co-sign effect, bestowing Davolee, a renowned street-hop rapper and singer, on music fans.
Shokoya Oluwasegunfunmi David also known as Davolee first gained attention when he covered Panda, a trap song by Desiigna. He had responded by recording a freestyle video for the song “Festival Bar,” which had proved the key to advancing his artistic career because it had brought him a record deal with Olamide’s YBNL in 2016. This arrangement had helped to establish Davolee as a street rapper who could handle his own.
He quickly demonstrated this on Olamide’s Pepper Dem Gang, and even after quitting YBNL in 2019, he continued to make this point. Davolee has succeeded in distinguishing himself as one of the voices of the streets in the new age of Nigerian music with a number of well-received singles under his belt and his first album, Earning Wish, making undeniable waves in 2021.
Odumodublvck is well on his way to become the ideal Nigerian rap star if the many components that make up a rapper and propel them into success were as tangible as Thanos’ infinity rings. The throat-slashing rapper has been able to combine a number of these aspects to produce a highly customized energy-giving iteration. He has origins in the Southern region of the country as well as history and a strong sense of community in Abuja.
Odumodublvck, one of the two rappers on the notable drill single Agbalagba, has gained followers through a variety of channels as a talented collaborator and Anti-World Gangstars member, as well as through other collaborative efforts with rappers and producers. Odumodublvck is certain to rap his way to the top of the charts thanks to his Duracell-level energy, relentless flow, and exhilarating yet inexplicable ability to create the most graphic visuals with his words.
The global movement of hip-hop in North America has been transformed by trap music, creating the next generation of international rap artists and arguing for the genre’s future survival.
In recent times, Superwozzy or Awodoyin Oluwamayokun has demonstrated that he has what it takes to be the next star of the streets with his cadence and style, which is similar to a melting pot of trap and indigenous hip-hop. Street hop was commercialized by Olamide in the 2010s, but it has continued to hold amazing potential as well as control over the Nigerian music -sphere.
The number of female rappers in the country is even smaller than the number of singers, but this hasn’t stopped SGaWD from becoming known as one of the best female rappers to come out of Africa in recent years. SGaWD made an unmissable entrance in 2020 with the song “Like Me,” in which she showed off her vocal prowess.
However, she quickly flipped the script and revealed her rapper side, first on the song “Feel Right” with Mafeni and Doz and then on the song “Resistance” with Jess Eta, all the while fluidly and expertly switching between singing and rapping.
The year after, SGaWD released Popshit with Somadina and had a hit with a duet with Aux Africa before moving into more mainstream areas. Young people in Lagos quickly adopted Popshit as their summer anthem, and it acted as an enticing prelude to her self-titled first EP.
While her EP continues to be well-liked by listeners, with Rude serving as the sex-positive, body-positive, and audacity-inspiring fan favorite, it is now abundantly clear that SGaWD is on the verge of assuming her rightful position as Nigeria’s Queen B of hip-hop.
With the emergence of an equally talented but younger generation eager to stake their claim in the industry and take theirs, comes the feeling of old pillars and the dismantling of the gatekeeper’s post. On his standout song, Agbalagba, which features Odumodu Blvck, a song about an elderly person making unreasonable demands and eventually meeting his waterloo, Eeskay made this transformation blatantly obvious.
A drill rapper with Abuja roots, Eeskay has managed to stand out among the sea of outstanding performers in the nation’s capital thanks to his hard-hitting and avant-garde kind of hip-hop, which is essentially a Nigerian version of practice. Eeskay is one of the up-and-coming best rappers that every fan of hip-hop should keep an eye out for thanks to his great flows and bars, which are demonstrated on his debut project, Drill or N.A.H, which is a double-offering of drill and NewAfro Hip-Hop (N.A.H), a style that he is a master of.
Fewer rappers cling to the conventional cadence and tactics as the face and pulse of hip-hop continue to change, but Phlow, who has been able to give these patterns a fresh start, does. Phlow’s flow, which uses Stephanie Asuai Eyime’s full name, re-establishes her professional nickname in titanium and has quite literally thrust her into dialogues that are traditionally dominated by men. However, this is not the first time the gifted femcee has surpassed her brother’s lines since she began rapping as a youngster.
Mojo goes by several nicknames, including “the lesson teacher,” “rap Jesu,” “Orisha,” which means “oracle,” and more. While the majority of listeners to mainstream music may only be familiar with him from his big break with the Prettyboy D-O-featuring rap song, Chop Life Crew, he has repeatedly shown that he is worthy of these self-awarded titles.
Mojo has been able to develop a very devoted fanbase who consistently mark attendance on his singles from Shawarma to Lesson Teacher, down to his collaborations with members of his Chop Life Crew collective and other musicians. Mojo is always sure to drop double-take worthy bars in English and Yoruba.
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