‘Streets ti takeover’, a line from Reminisce’s 2015 hit single ‘Local Rappers’ and one that has proven to be prophetic every subsequent year.
Music has always found its home in the heart of anyone willing to listen irrespective of class or gender.
The language through which it is expressed is multi-faceted and never limited to coherency, but even in the place where translation is absent, the beauty lies in its understanding. Its language is of feeling and emotions and everyone gets it.
Zlatan doing the legwork in Zanku video (Youtube/Zlatan)
In melodies, rhythm, schemes and sound, music is the food for the soul through which many have been fed and longings have been filled.
In Nigeria, there has always been a ‘divide’, which has been more highlighted in recent times, and it comes in several forms; ‘Island vs Mainland’, ‘Posh vs street’, Cool vs Razz’, ‘Local or International’ but in this constant digression, music lovers have been better for it as they have led to a variety of wonderful music. Street music, largely delivered in a mix of pidgin and indigenous language with a heavy dose of slangs has gradually seeped its way into mainstream consciousness with some of its songs becoming mega anthems and crossing over the divided lines.
The movement which began in places like Ajegunle, Okokomaiko and more recently Agege continues to thrive and gain wide acceptance.
Again in 2018, like earlier years, a new dance was introduced to drive the trend and from ‘Shaku Shaku’ which weaved its way late in 2017 and owned the first half of the year to ‘Zanku’ which got everyone doing the legwork in its final months, the street again ‘took over’ and in the new year, we are highlighting the seven top street artists right now heating up the scene.
Badoo remains not just the ‘Voice of the streets’ (In his own words) but actually the King of the streets.
His songs are the most played at any mainland event, his name changes the mood at concerts and he has made major contributions to the scenes, one that has seen the Bariga boy become the poster artist for Nigeria’s most modern state.
Last year, Olamide’s songs like the shaku shaku driven ‘Science Student’ and ‘Motigbana’ instantaneously delivered national anthems that burnt the clubs and dance-floors across the nation and when he released ‘Poverty Die’ late in the year, he added another banger to his many cult classics that have shaped the Pop culture in recent years.
Zlatan Ibile has been around for a while. Knocking on doors, but his music failed to properly connect with the wider audience and only appealed to his disciples on the streets. This, however, changed in 2018 with his feature on ‘Able God’ where he delivered an impressive verse.
The more evocative moment, however, came with ‘Zanku’ (Legwork), the infectious joint that served as the soundtrack to the new trending dance, Zanku.
And ever since, the story has flipped for Zlatan as everyone now wants a feature irrespective of whether you are elite or lower.
In 2017, Small Doctor’s ‘Penalty’ was one of the biggest records of the year and while his controversy with the police provided his biggest highlights for the past year, his songs like ‘My People’ and ‘Remember’ strengthened his tight grip on the Agege scene with the large turnout at his homecoming concert at the Agege Township stadium confirming the love he enjoys.
The Iju-Ishaga bred artist is another one that popped up on the industry radar in 2018 with the football inspired anthem, ‘Ege’ with the visuals shot at the Agege Stadium.
Danny S has followed this up with more banging singles and it was no surprise to see him feature at a number of events at the close of the year with the crowd calling and cheering his name.
One thing that those on the streets are synonymous with is hustle and with hustlers, prayers come top of what they do on a daily, so when Chinko Ekun released ‘Able God’, where he pleaded that blessings and wealth be showered upon him,
it didn’t take long before the streets queued behind him as they all cried out to the words of ”No More Insufficient Funds.”
You only need to play his songs at any event on the mainland to understand how the Taliban master is highly revered on these streets.
His name alone commands unbridled attention and his catalog of hits like, ‘Igbeyawo’, ‘Double Wahala’, ‘Mr Gomina’ are still loudly sung at every corner you turn.
Making his emergence on the scene late in 2017 with the popularity of the ‘shaku shaku’ dance alongside fellow artist in Mr Real.
Slimcase, despite not having his own solo single become a mainstream hit, continued to attract recognition for the major part of 2018 while the latter faded, based off his exciting guest appearances, especially on records like ‘Diet’ and Wizkid‘s ‘Gucci Snake.’
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