Nigerian music has been recognized in the world over and this is because of the talent that some of our musicians have shown in their music. Nigerian hip hop is not left out, and our rappers have really good lyrics. Indigenous rappers in Nigeria have however taken rap to a whole new level with their combination of indigenous Nigerian languages with English language to form lyrics. Below are some of Nigeria’s best indigenous rappers.
Chibuzor Nelson Azubuike more popularly known by his stage name Phyno is a Nigerian rapper and record producer who was born October 9th, 1986. Phyno began his career as a musician in the year 2003 and he is widely known for his knack of using Igbo language, Nigerian pidgin English, and English language to develop euphonious rhyme schemes. A lot of people consider him to be the best Igbo rapper that Nigeria has ever had.
The rapper’s stage name is a derivative of “phenomenal” which happen to be a nickname that he was given by one of his friends from secondary school. Phyno studied Public Administration at the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT) in Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria. It was during his second year at the school that he started earning from his music. He later resettled in Lagos to further his career.
Olamide Adedeji more commonly known by his stage name Olamide is another one of Nigeria’s big indigenous rappers who hails from Bariga in Lagos State, Nigeria. He was born on the 15th of March 1989. It was Olamide that made street rap popular in Nigeria and he raps in his native Yoruba language. His ability to combine Yoruba, English and Pidgin to create rap lyrics are also quite impressive. He studied at Tai Solarin University of Education and it was in the year 2000 that he decided to chase a musical career.
As at 2011, he released a debut album which was titled “Rapsodi”. He was formerly signed to ID Cabasa’s Coded Tunes label under the management of Toni Payne until a year later when he left to begin his own record label, “Yahoo Boy No Laptop” (YBNL). He is regarded as Nigeria’s best Yoruba rapper.
Folarin Falana more popularly and widely recognized by his stage name Falz is another one of Nigeria’s indigenous rappers. He was born on the 27th of October 1990. He not only raps, he is also a singer, an actor and a songwriter. His career started while he was yet in high school where he formed a group with his friend that was known as “The School Boys”. However, his professional career as a musician started in the year 2009 and he became popular when his song where he featured Poe and Yemi Alade titled “Marry Me” gained him a nomination in the “Best Collaboration of the Year” grouping at the Nigeria Entertainment Awards in 2015. In that same show, he was also nominated for “Best Rap Act of the Year” and “Best New Act to Watch”.
Keshinro Ololade better known by his stage name Lil Kesh, was born on the 14th of March, 1995 in Bariga, Lagos State. He is a singer, rapper, and songwriter. He was brought into limelight in Nigeria when his song titled “Shoki” was released. That song got a lot of hits at the time.
One of the best young rappers we have in Nigeria, Lil Kesh has shown many times that he really has talent. It was his song which was titled “Lyrically” that made him gain a deal with Olamide’s YBNL and since then he has given Nigerian’s a lot of hits such as “Efejoku”. At present, Lil Kesh is now signed under his own record label known as YAGI Records which means “Young and Getting It” under the management of Massive Management.
Remilekun Abdulkalid Safaru better known by his stage names Reminisce and ALAGA IBILE is a Nigerian singer, rapper, and songwriter from Ogun State, but, he was born in Kaduna State, Nigeria. He is another one of Nigeria’s indigenous rappers who combines both Yoruba, Nigerian Pidgin and English in his lyrics. He developed his rap skills through the emulation of rappers like Nas and Jay Z. Reminisce started his career as a musician since secondary school and was even performing at school events before he was discovered by Producer ID Cabasa who signed him along with other Nigerian artistes such as 9ice and Olamide.
In the year 2014, TIME Magazine named Reminisce “One of the seven World Rappers You Should Meet” and in the same year, the biggest music site in Nigeria, NOTJUSTOK, named him one of the top three hip hop artists of the year.