Top 10 Best Rappers in Nigeria
While Afro Beat is the main genre of Nigerians and the Nigerian music industry, it goes without saying that Nigerian musicians, over the years has explored the hip-hop culture, with some carving a niche for themselves as rappers and standing out on the planet for their prowess to not only rap effortlessly but also infuse and experiment with sound and culture.
Over the years, rap has been one of the greatest parts of music in the music industry in Nigeria. It is not exactly known when rap became a thing in Nigeria but there are some legendary rappers many have claimed to be pioneers of both hip-hop rap and indigenous rap whereby local Nigerian languages found their way into rap. Today, the culture of indigenous rap is so common that only few rappers in Nigeria manage to do what is termed as English rap.
Nigerian rappers such as Eddie Remedy, Tony Tetuila, Dagrin, and Mode 9, are often referred to as pioneers of contemporary rappers, particularly the latter two; Dagrin and Mode 9. And while Dagrin represents the birth of indigenous rappers in Nigeria, Mode 9 is often seen as the pure Hip-hop rapper who stayed true to the rap culture.
Top 10 Best Rappers in Nigeria
Today, there are more rappers in Nigeria than one can count. Despite the large pool of talents and wordsmiths exploring and carving niches for themselves in the rap genre in Nigeria, only a few names have managed to stand out and successfully make a career out of the hip-hop genre. Here are the top ten best rappers in Nigeria.
10. Naeto C
Naeto C, whose real name is Naetochukwu Chikwe, is the tenth best rapper in Nigeria. He was born on 17th December 1982, and he is currently 39 years old. One of the songs that made him popular and known by Nigerians is titled “Ten Over Ten”. When he sang the song, almost all Nigerians sang it, and it almost became a national song. Over the years he has won several awards such as the MTV Africa Music award in 2008 and the channel o music video award in 2009.
Onome Onokohwomo, popularly known as Yung6ix, is the seventh rapper in Nigeria. He was born on 8th July,1989, and he is currently 33 years old. His fans also refer to him as King of the South. And if you carefully observe all his work in the music industry, you will notice he is working towards becoming King of the South in music, especially in the rap industry. He hails from Warri, Delta State, in Nigeria. He started his music career professionally in 2010, and the first song that made him popular was Oleku Remix. And since then, he has recorded several singles.
Illiblis, whose real name is Tobechukwu Melvin Ejiofor, is the eighth best rapper in Nigeria. He was born on 30th December 1979. Illbliss is undoubtedly versatile and often infuses his beautiful Igbo language with English. He is also regarded as one of the best versatile rappers in the rap industry. His flow of words, delivery and rap prowess is second to none. He has released several albums and several singles in rap and songs.
Chibuzor Nelson Azubuike, popularly known as Phyno, is the seventh best rapper in Nigeria. He was born on 9th October 1986. He started as a music producer before he furthered his career by becoming a rapper. He has fans all over Nigeria and throughout the world, even though he hails from the eastern part of Nigeria. While there is is no denying that Phyno is an amazing rapper, he often sings as well, which is why most people think he does not qualify as one of the hardcore rappers in Nigeria. Phyno and Olamide, over the years, have formed a bond that transcend their differences, ethnicity and prowess.
Reminisce, whose real name is Remilekun Khalid Safaru, is the sixth rapper of all time in Nigeria. He is known on stage as Reminisce and Alagba Ibile. He is one of the most popular hardcore indigenous rappers in Nigeria. He was born on 26th January 1981 and regarded as one of Nigeria’s greatest rappers. He is also one of the rappers that loves rapping in Yoruba. Reminisce, in 2015, released “Local Rappers”, a controversial single where some claimed he was dissing Nigerian rappers who rap in English, namely M.I. Abaga and Mode 9.
Folarin Falana, popularly known as Falz, is the fifth-best rapper in Nigeria. He was born on 27th October 1990. Even though he is not on the same wavelength with the likes Olamide, M.I Abaga, and others, he is still one of the great rappers in the country. When he is not in the studio rapping or working on projects, Falz is either movie locations as an actor. Falz have been claimed to be one of the most underrated rappers in Nigeria. His versatility and infusion of humour into his rap has indeed been a breath of fresh air. Unlike others on this list, you probably won’t get tired listening to Falz because you might not get the serious atmosphere or aura other rappers exude. Despite being a rapper, Falz is the only rapper in Nigeria that has been likened to the legendary Fela Anikulapo-Kuti because of his love for activism. A testament of this is his fourth studio albums, “Moral Instruction”.
Olanrewaju Ogunmefun, better known on stage and by fans as Vector, is the eighth best Nigerian rapper of all time. Even though he is a Nigerian, his voice sounds like an American. He was born on 7th August 1984 and undoubtedly one of the most successful rappers in NIgeria. He is a respected rapper and has worked with several musicians and rappers alike in the Nigerian music industry. Vector is regarded as one of the best rappers ever to come out of Nigeria, and rightly so. He is one of the very few rappers who strongly uphold the Hip-hop culture in Nigeria. Like the others after him, Vector enjoys decent commercial success as a rapper.
3. Jesse Jagz
Jesse Jagz, whose real name is Jesse Garba Abaga, is the third best rapper in Nigeria. He was born on 10th August 1984, and he is currently 38 years old. He is also the younger brother to the popular rapper, M.I. The two brothers have worked together to establish Chocolate City, one of Nigeria’s biggest labels today. While Jesse Jagz might not have made a financial breakthrough in the rap industry, he remains one of the purest rappers Nigeria has ever produced. His flow and versatility are so strong that they surpass that of his brother. Unfortunately, lack of commercial success pushed him away from Lagos to Jos where he has been for a long time.
2. M.I Abaga
M.I is the second-best rapper in Nigeria. His full name is Mutulu Olugbala. He was born on May 12, 1975, and is currently 47 years old. In cases where his fans don’t want to refer to him as M.I, they call him Chairman. He also has the gift of manipulating words. In Nigeria today, M.I is one of the most respected rappers. Aside from his rapping songs, he also featured in songs from artists like Banky W, Waje, and 2face.
1. Olamide Badoo
Olamide Adedeji, popularly known as Olamide Badoo is the best rapper in Nigeria. He didn’t just achieve this overnight, he worked hard in almost all of his music. In most cases, Olamide raps in Yoruba language which is his native language and that is why he is not just one of the best, but he is the best in Nigeria currently. Olamide was born on 15th March 1989 and is currently the most successful rapper in Nigeria. In 2015 he received the hottest rapper award by MTV Base. Olamide recently released “Eyan Mayweather” , a song where he proves his rapping talent once again.