HDD Top 5 x Nigerian songs you should know

This Saturday is not only the return of HDD at the Camp but also Nigerian independence day (51 years old baby). So we at HDD decided to list the top 5 songs that represent Nigeria right now. You will not find any Fela Kuti on this list because although he is a legend, Nigerian music has evolved into a mix of american hip hop, pop and r and b. You can still find the African influence but you can also trace various outside influences in this growing genre. Music is still 1 of the few ways to escape poverty in Nigeria and with a various appetite and an intriguing record selling platform a nobody can become a superstar in days.

Terry G – Testing Microphone
Terry G is this month’s cover star and he is a great example of nigerian pop music and it’s experimentation. He has a fascination with autotune that would make 2007 Lil Wayne jealous, he has created his own language/slang like E-40 and has amazing bouts of creativity like Andre 3000. He’s not liked by everyone, the gilded generation will unlikely be singing along to his songs in Victoria Island clubs. He is something special though. Testing Microphone was originally a fresstyle that became a massive hit which spawned a classic diss track and a sax version.

D-Prince – Omoba

Don Jazzy (get to know him) produced this afrobeats (a term i hate but it is now universally used) classic. D’Prince shouts out all the people on Mo’ Hits team which include D’Banj , Dr Sid and Wande Coal which is basically some of the biggest artists in Nigeria (imagine a better functioning version of Cash Money). This song just works from that bassline to those lovely african drums. Oh if you look at the Watch The Throne production credits you can find Don Jazzy’s name on there, that’s because Kanye signed him and D’banj to his Good Music label.

Naeto C – Kini Big Deal

One of the great disadvantages of Nigerian pop music is the liberal use of pidgin english, which is english with a mix of portugese and a lack of adherence to tense. This means that certain songs get bogged down with nonsensical slang that means absolutely nothing and lose non educated listener easily. This isn’t one of those, this Naeto C song reminds me of early 2000’s era rap and bullshit (see any neptunes release). The verses make absolute sense, so does the bridge but 3 years on i still have no clue what Kini Big Deal means. Needless to say this easily one of those hands in the air club songs.

Ice Prince Ft. Brymo – Oleku

The way that the Nigerian recording market works is similar to soca, in the sense that there is a heavy period of releases leading up to an event and then near silence. In this case artists tend to release new songs in october in anticipation of the return of the diaspora in december and various carnivals. This song was the biggest song last year with it’s breezy feel and of course it’s love song quality it really became something special. A song that was a hit without don jazzy behind it, that sounds ominous it isn’t. Don Jazzy is a genius, he is one of the few producers that make sure that the hook of every song he produces can have a local version of it as well. Nigeria has 3 main tribes with separate dialects and for songs to really take off everyone must be able to understand it.

DBanj – Oliver Twist

This list wouldn’t be complete with a song from the biggest artist in nigeria Dbanj. His latest song, and first on Good Music, is a deep house esque pop song. The song isn’t his best but he decided to turn promo for the song into something for the fans. He told his fans that he would offer 5k dollars to the person with the most watched youtube video to his new song. Granted the most viewed video is by Dbanj and the Mo Hits crew but we included our favourite one which shows the best of Lagos.

2 Responses to HDD Top 5 x Nigerian songs you should know

  1. Pingback: Top 5 Nigerian songs you should know | Hipsters Dont Dance | Music

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