Street Hop is one blossoming sound in the Nigerian music industry and there are some budding artists who are making their contributions to the definition of the genre.
We are spotlighting the rising Nigerian Artists Who Are Reinventing the Street Hop Sound.
Since its inception years ago as a hybrid of indigenous rap and Afropop, the Nigerian-born street hop subculture has come a long way. Olamide, an indigenous rap veteran, is largely credited with popularizing this sound.
It was a musical affair back then, with beats that were quicker than the already fast-paced pop tunes that Nigerians were dancing to.
Tempos and sonics vary these days, but the lines remain their hard-hitting, a cheekily written character that is refreshingly gritty and raw as it touches on the singer’s hardships as a part of the disadvantaged society or as a young Nigerian.
As a result, street hop songs sometimes fused with Amapiano, trap music elements, RnB, dancehall, and even hip-hop have recently dominated the Nigerian airwaves, all with fascinating storytelling and seamless Lamba in check.
The creative and dare-devil crop of musicians who make up Nigeria’s new-age of street-hop has steadily propagated and brought about this transition. As a result of this expansion, street-hop has started to approach the great heights that Nigerian pop music continues to achieve.
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As a result, we’ve endeavoured to highlight 10 new-age street hop artists in Nigeria who are changing the sound with this list;
Following the Olamide-assisted remix to his “Vision 2020” hit, Akinbiyi Abiola Ahmed a.k.a Bella Shmurda got his big break, much like a prophetic singer.
Bella has gone from being just another Nigerian student musician to being the generation’s street-hop vocal voice.
Bella Shmurda then released his debut album, High Tension, to mainstream popularity.
While his tremendous growth is the stuff of dreams, it was only possible thanks to his ability to capture the strength and struggles of young Nigerians through his lyrics, vocal range, layered on a revamped version of the popular Fuji sound from the 1980s alongside his decadent self-aware mentality.
Since then, Bella Shmurda has continued to outperform himself, from heavyweight collaborations with Runtown, Davido, Masterkraft, and others, to hit singles like Rush and World.
His dedication landed him a slot as a nominee for the coveted title of Next Rated artist at the Headies Award show.
Zinoleesky, real name Azeez Oniyide, was an Instagram phenomenon before June 2019 who wowed his fans and viewers with short clips of him freestyling acapella in his style, which is a fresh, soulful take on Fuji music.
Later that year, his fortunes shifted after the successful release of his Zlatan-featured single, Money, which became a street music hit, blasting from speakers and barbershops in prominent slum neighbourhoods around Lagos.
Naira Marley then signed him to his Marlian Music record label, under which he released his debut EP Chrome Eccentric, which included the smash tune ‘Kilofeshe‘. All of these qualified him for the Rookie of the Year award at the 2020 Headies.
Mohbad and the Rexxie-produced KPK was one of the December jams that helped keep the spirit of the season alive during Christmas in the pandemic-ravaged year 2020 which was a little less festive than we’re used to.
However, it was not Mohbad’s first hit; prior to that, he had given the streets an anthem alongside Naira Marley and Lil Kesh on “Ponmo“, Fabian Blu’s “Instagram” and is currently ruling the airwaves with his insightful storytelling on “Sorry” and vivid delivery on “Jafafa“.
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While Jamopyper’s full name remains a mystery, it is undeniable that the Nigerian musician is one of the voices propelling street-hop to new heights.
He was nominated for the Headies Rookie of the Year award earlier this year, and he delighted his fans with a rousing performance of his breakout song with Mayorkun, If No Be You, proving that he hadn’t just happened to be there by chance.
‘Jamopyper of Lagos,’ as he is known, has earned an increasing reputation as one of the new school tastemakers of the scene, with his enticing melodies laced with hip hop elements, as evidenced by his recent track Better Better.
Bad Boy Timz
Bad Boy Timz is another talented act that has established a hold on the music industry. He started out with skits and freestyles for which he received nods from industry giants (including J Hus ) caught the eye of the record label and early in 2019, he signed a deal with Anonymous Music.
He began his Anonymous Music career with the track “Check and Balance” which garnered positive feedback, and it has only been better since then. He released his self-titled EP “TIMZ” in August of 2019, which has received over 10 million listens across all platforms.
In 2020, he catapulted his career to new heights with the global success of his hit single “MJ,” which received over 5 million streams in its first month. He wasn’t satisfied, so he collaborated with Mayorkun on a remix of ‘MJ.’
In 2020, Jaido P introduced himself officially with his Olamide-featured Tesina Pot which hit the airwaves with all the potential that banger tracks come with.
It was his breakthrough track, presenting the world to one of Taiwo Olajide’s or Jaido P’s many sounds, which span from Afro-pop to rap, with street-hop serving as the palette on which he showcases these sides.
Since then, he’s released another club banger, Brokoto, and is getting ready to release his debut album, Shopla, which already has a single out called Survive featuring Olamide.
Chocolate City, a prominent Nigerian record label and home to some of our favourite rappers, entered the street hip hop scene in 2020 by signing Candy Bleakz, a female pink-haired rapper with the stage name Akiode Blessing.
Her alias, “Ladies Dragon,” is undisputed, as evidenced by her fire bars and energetic flow on recordings such as her latest Baba Nla with Teni, her outstanding tune Owo Osu with Naira Marley and Zlatan, and her street-banging Kelegbe.
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While Seyi Vibez who was born in Bariga, has yet to have a mainstream hit record, he is a fan favourite on the streets of Lagos, where the essential ingredients of street-hop were developed.
This appreciation for his evocative and moving storytelling laced over mostly trap-influenced instrumentals has converted to the artiste, who has mentioned his humble beginnings as the son of a plumber, receiving at least 6 million streams on Audiomack from his more popular songs such as ‘Pay Day‘, ‘God Sent‘, and ‘Catalyst‘.
Other records have averaged 2 million streams. Indeed, he is an artist to keep an eye on due to his consistent growth and abilities.