Who are the top 10 Best rappers in Nigeria? On September 6th 2013, NotjustOk released a list of the 10 most gifted rappers and the controversial list has garnered a lot of response. In the list, Modenine was awarded the number one slot while Olamide was awarded the second position. Mr Incredible ( M.I) took the fourth spot while Jesse Jagz and Eldee didn’t even make the cut. Without mincing words, the list is not only skewed and incorrect, it is also incomplete as no female rapper made the cut. As fans of true hip hop we decided to carryout our own survey on the 10 Most gifted rappers in Nigerian music. We came out with a result slightly different from the list by Notjustok.com. In our analysis, we considered the volume of the body of work of each artiste, their lyrical content, their style and manner of delivery, their word play and versatility,the metaphorical depth of rhyming and their story telling ability. We considered their inclination to address contemporary and diverse subjects in the society and use punch lines that reverberates in the hearts of the listeners. The survey would have been incomplete if we didn’t consider commercial appeal and rap influence the artistes are having on other upcoming rappers. We considered commercial and global appeal as we believe it takes a degree of gifting and skill to write a commercially successful rap song.
Anyway, here is our findings and compilation of the top 10 most gifted male rappers in Nigerian.
10) Naeto C
Naeto C debut album ”You Know P” released in May 2008 defined Naeto C as an artiste with remarkable rapping talent. Naeto C is definitely one of the top ten best rappers in Nigeria. In the same year he was honoured with an MTV Africa Music Award. Naeto C flows are not necessarily packed with a lot of punch lines, but his musical content is clearly enjoyable nevertheless. His third single, “Kini Big Deal” ruled the charts, clubs and everywhere else for a very long time. It is fair to say that Naeto C’s commercial appeal is undeniable. His second album Super C Season received rave reviews and ”Ten over Ten” was quite popular. Hence in our opinion he takes the 10th spot.
10) Terry the Rapman
Terry the Rapman is certainly one of Nigeria’s gifted rappers. it is true that he went on a long hiatus , but his contributions to the rap game is undeniable. The Track ”Zombie” shows Terry can spit hard when it matters. ”Boys are not smiling” is full of some dope punch lines and his latest song ‘ Testing 1,2” isnt that bad either. In our survey, Terry the Rapman shares the 10th spot with Naeto C on our list of the top 10 best rappers in Nigeria
The phenomous viper and lyrical mercenary, Phenom took the Nigerian Hip Hop industry by storm with his track ” Shukuku BamBam” and ”Omo Naija”. He is said to be the only rapper in the Nigerian music industry to sign a record deal without having released a record. His punch lines are some times too good to be true. No wonder he is called the Knight House General. He takes our Number 9 Spot on our list of the top ten best rappers in Nigeria.
In terms of Hard Punch lines, Yung6ix is definitely in a class of his own. This kid can spit and he is the self-acclaimed King of the South. His use of metaphor is often effective and admirable. Yung6ix is precocious! The first time we heard Yung6ix we loved him. His lines are so dope that if we jettison some of our judging criteria, then the rap throne could be his. Respect to you mister I am more than Incredible/ If your mind is on my rover you thinking in my range/ In the mirror I am the best two” Only Yun6ix could drop lines like these. On point and yet dope! his lyricism and versatility is so heart warming and his talent is undeniable. Yung6ix shares the 9th spot with Phenom. Both rappers drop sick flows and deserve to be numbered among the top ten best rappers in Nigeria.
8) Ice Prince
Ice prince Zamani is certainly the most commercial and bankable rapper in Nigeria right now. His songs have a wide commercial appeal. He recently won the 2013 BET award for the Best African Act. His hit songs like ”Oleku”, ”Aboki”, and ”Super Star” have enjoyed wide air plays around the globe. His ability to combine catchy and concise rap lines and hooks is proof he is a gifted artiste. His flows on”Molowo Noni ” with Samklef is a good example of Zamani’s versatility. Ice may not be one of the best rapper out there, but his ability to string commercially likeable lines is proof of his talent. No body can ”X” him. Ice prince takes the 8th Spot on the top 10 best rappers in Nigeria.
Olanrewaju Ogunmefun, better known as Vector tha Viper, is certainly talented. Vector is dope lyricist. He won the Headies award in 2012 for the best Lyricist On The Roll. Vector’s style of rap runs through the fast and equally slow tempo. His style of rap has been compared to that of rapper Jay-Z. His ability to use catchy phrases is noticeable in his delivery. He is definitely a gifted rapper who word play is immense. he laces his flows with a soothing undertones as evident in the song ”Follow me they go”. Without A Doubt, Vector is a gifted artiste. He takes our 7th Spot on the list of the top ten best rappers in Nigeria.
Phyno is certainly the man of the year! An array of hits established Phyno as a force on the Nigerian rap scene. Notable among them are Multiply Remix and Shut Down. Phyno ability to use Igbo, English and pidgin is testament to his versatility. His collaboration with Olamide on Ghost Mode made a bold statement that Phyno was not a flash in the Pan. Ghost Mode bagged three nominations at the 2012 Headies. Phyno’s ability to fuse english and igbo together to create a rap content is certainly one of his core strength. His recent commercial success in our opinion places him before Yung6ix and Phenom. Phyno’s rap style is so lovely that even non-igbo speakers enjoy his flows even when they don’t understand Igbo. Phyno shares the 7th Spot with Vector the Viper
6) Jesse Jagz
No list is complete without Jesse Jagz. Jesse has been described as the Kanye West of Nigerian music because of his diverse experimentation with different genres of music from R&B to roots reggae to pop all built on a predominantly hip hop foundation. Although, these days he seems to lean predominantly towards regga as evident in ”Desire” and ”Redemption” , there is no denying the fact that Jargo is among the most Gifted rappers in Nigeria. Its hard not to add him to the list as he not only can rap when he wants to, he can come up with the dopest of beats to match his punch lines. He grabs the fifth spot on the list of the top 10 best rappers in Nigeria.
5) Sauce Kid
Sauce kid now SinzuSMG is definitely one of Nigeria’s gifted rappers. It is hard to compile a list without him. His versatility is evident in his ability to flow in Yoruba as well as in English. His rap content often appeals to the streets and his bars are something to love him for. SinzuSMG grabs Our 5th Spoton our list of the top 10 best rappers in Nigeria
Eldee grabs our Fourth spot. His album “Return of the King” defined the start of eLDee’s impressive solo career which has seen 4 albums, over 50 major award nominations, and critically acclaimed singles like “Im leaving”, “I go yarn”, “Champion”, “big boy”, “Bosi Gbangba”, and “We Made It” airing on radio stations all over the world. Eldee’s passion for Nigeria is remarkable and it shows in his music. He was recently featured on CNN for some of his social campaigns. Another important aspect of eldee’s art is his story telling skills. In the track ”we Made it”, he sweetly and softly tells the story of his musical journey in a way that reminds us that he is still one of Nigeria’s finest. He grabs the 4th spot on our list of the top 10 best rappers in Nigeria
4) Rugged Man
Rugged man shares the fourth spot with Eldee. No rap list will be complete without ruggedman. Ruggedy Baba virtually ushered a new era of dope rap flows after his criticism of fake rappers. His rap style is defectively simple but every rapper in Nigeria knows that ruggedman is a verteran. He encouraged young rappers to rap in their own mother tongue. Today his influence is obvious in the Nigerian rap scene as many rappers now spit flows in their mother tongue. Ruggedman has had his own share of success and has performed worldwide alongside international acts like Kanye West, LL Cool J, T-Pain, Nas, and Nelly.
It appears late Yoruba rapper Dagrin passed his indigenous Baton to Olamide. we say this because Olamide seems to have added to what Dagrin was trying to do. Olamide popularly known as ”the voice of the street” occupies our third spot. He is getting closer and closer to the rap throne and his stock has risen. “Badoo” as he is popularly called won three awards at the 2013 Nigerian Entertainment Awards in the prestigious categories like ‘Best Album of the year’, ‘Best Indigenous Artiste’ and also ‘Best Collaboration’ for his support to Phyno’s ‘Ghost Mode’. Olamide’s ability to string difficult punch lines in his yoruba dialect without failing to entertain and use effective metaphors sets him in a league of his own. ”Durosoke” and ” Stupid Love ” clearly displays Olamide’s talent. The kid can spit! He grabs the third spot on our list of the top 10 best rappers in Nigeria.
2) Mode 9
Mode nine is without a doubt one of the best top ten rappers in Nigeria. Mode 9 has picked up the best lyricist in a roll 6 times at the Headies and he is respected across Africa for his rap ability. This guy is a legend of some sort and one of the front runners of the rap genre in Nigeria. He is the true undisputed lyrical heavyweight. ‘Modo’ has stayed true to his Hip-Hop roots, even though he is sometimes criticized for it. Modenine’s rap style is pure hiphop and reminds us of The Wu-Tang Clan - an American East Coast hip hop group from New York. ModeNine’s knows how to lace a beat. In our Analysis, Mode nine is placed behind M.I because M.I has more commercial appeal and is equally a good lyricist. Check out Mode Nine’s free style below.
1. M. I ( Mr Incredible)
M.I is undoubtedly the king of Nigerian rap music. He is still on the rap throne and nobody can crash him. He is the best rapper in Nigeria. His rhyming and lyrical ability and his use of relevant metaphors and story telling prowess puts him in class of his own. Almost every rapper in Nigeria has been nibbling M.I’s flows. ModeNine is the only rapper who probably edges M.I slightly in terms of lyricism. That said, M.I’s flow is deceptively simple but packed full of punches. Similarities in styles have also been drawn to renowned rappers such as Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Jay-Z. M.I’s first album sold 30,000 copies in the first 30 minutes of its release in 2008 and the hit song ” Safe” displayed his ability to blend different Nigerian hit songs into something uniquely beautiful. The hit single” Teaser” proved M.I’s versatility and ability to work with artiste from a different genre. In November 2010 M.I’s second album, MI2: The Movie, was so popular in the week following its release that MI was seventh trending topic globally on Twitter. M.I has continued to stay relevant in the Nigerian music scene. His official first single titled “CHAIRMAN” was not as great as his earlier works – but it was acceptable in the eyes of his ardent admirers. Jude Abaga has effectively mentored and inspired Ice prince to a commercial success. Hence M.I deserves the rap crown , not just for his talent, but also for his role in the Nigerian music industry. He has been responsible for bringing out many upcoming artistes such as Jesse Jagz, Ruby, Pype, Ice Prince and Brymo. Little wonder he has been described in many quarters as the ”Hip Hop Messiah”. For those who think M.I has lost the rap crown, his song ”Undisputed” remains his most formidable response.