2018 was a memorable year in the Nigerian music industry with chart-topping bangers, show business and live music selling out both home and abroad. The plethora of genres and artistes were able to synchronize thus making their art acceptable to Nigerian music lovers. Before now, the genre marketable in the country was restricted to Afro-pop, as the major consumers were party and club junkies. These days, Afro beats have become the norm and other genres are beginning to gain ground and cover the leftover space already occupied in the hearts of Nigerian music lovers. As Nigerian music creators brace themselves for another year to win more fans and possibly increase their community of fans, this is a list of tunes curated that were unfortunate not to grow into hits:

Yawa – Ice Prince featuring Peruzzi

Ice Prince’s failed and desperate attempts at a come-back rested on the shoulders of a new breed in Peruzzi. The Fresh VDM’s produced soft tune made Ice Prince spit some bars that brought deja vu. Peruzzi’s assisted hook was more than perfect as the instrumental bounce on and off the notes. It’s very difficult to decipher the reason behind this great tune for not blowing up.

Baba Nla – Larry Gaga featuring Burna Boy, D’Banj and 2Baba

This joint in particular is special to me in many ways: Burna Boy calling out his neighbors, the police searching for him in the alleged incident with Mr. 2kay as he confessed in the opening verse, D’Banj playing the harmonica since his Mo’hits era, 2Baba serving some life lessons. It’s still a mystery to many industry pundits and journalists as regards Larry Gaga’s deal with Universal Music Nigeria. It should be noted that ‘Baba Nla’  was a song that had the country’s finest songs men on it but still got lost in the shuffles.  

Miekeraso – Duncan Mighty

On his rejuvenation and best industry story of 2018, Duncan Mighty rubbed hands and the younger generation of musical talents of Wizkid, Davido and other artistes to deliver some of the best singles of 2018. The story behind Duncan’s stir can never be complete without the Salsa-inspired tune released at the close of 2018. The Port Harcourt based songwriter, singer, sound engineer and producer showed his diversification in multiple genres once again. Sadly, the song can never match the reception ‘Fake luv’ received.

Oh Oh Lucie – Runtown

Runtown’s unending legal battles with Dilly, his former boss at Eric Many may have dented the image he portrayed in 2017. Of course, the last arrow drawn also found its way into Runtown’s chest of unique sound and music. The dancehall tune was magnificent and beautiful to the ear as the repetitive echo of ‘Oh oh oh’ exposed the bass behind the instrumentals.

Wait – Maleek Berry

Sometimes, the consciousness Maleek spreads across his music makes his fans wish he was at the top of the world. The multi-talented hit man blessed music lovers but it’s despairing to conclude that ‘Wait’ was a failed master. Remember that Maleek hooked up with Kanye West in Uganda sometimes last year with the resultant of that meeting yet to be released. Maleek is loved by fans of Nigerian Music and that level is the point they want to see their favorite.

African Woman – 1Da Banton

The South boasts of artistes who have turned compact kings in their regions. Surprisingly, his hit ‘Way Up’ still made it to the eviction night soundtrack of the Big Brother Naija 2018 reality TV show. ‘African Woman’ boasted of unusual synchs and elements in the instrumental. 1Da Banton couldn’t have more in more energy. I can only blame it on promotional strategies at Squareball.

Dumebi – Fiokee featuring Davido and Peruzzi

Talented guitarist finally engraves his name as the lead credit in a record but this is one he may not forget in a while. Despite enlisting the most sought-after names in the industry in 2018, ‘Dumebi’ failed to hit major charts on radio and popular music blogs.

Ji Masun – Idowest featuring Davido

In one of the most popular used acronyms today, ‘Ji Masun’ , the Yoruba saying which translates for ‘Stay Woke’, Idowest proved to his fans that he can be as charismatic as Olamide, Reminisce and CDQ on the streets. This indigenous rapper and one of the pioneers of the ‘Shaku shaku’ movement still has a lot to prove to his fans. Idowest, who had previously been signed to two different imprints in the past, with his DMW contract being the third contract in three years. Idowest must stay real and release credible tunes for the streets and fans in the mainstream. ‘Ji Masun’ got hassled out of the playlist even with Davido’s vocals on the heavy production.

Pempe – Sean Tizzle

Maybe Sean shouldn’t have stayed away from the scene for too long, maybe a rest shouldn’t be in the plan for Nigerian artistes after starting a fire. The case of Sean Tizzle and the epic rejection of ‘Pempe’ by Nigerian OAPs and DJs is a lesson in disguise. Obviously, Sean Tizzle’s sultry voice was not missed and the reasons behind the tune’s collapse will still be a cloudy despite cementing one of the most coveted female producers in Dunnie.

Pray – DDE featuring Teni and Phyno

Teni made her vocals onto an eastern inspired production with Phyno embracing his antics in ‘fada fada’. ‘Pray’ was predicted to be a hit in the making but few weeks after its release, that projection became shaky and eventually disappeared painfully from the roll calls of hits in 2018.

Broke boi – Victor AD, DJ Epic

Victor proved to many lovers and fans of music as the revelation of 2018, ‘Wetin we gain’ smashed walls and broke all barriers as arguably the song of the year 2018. Deep down his bin, ‘Broke boi’ stands as his most slept on record of 2018. It is not bad after all as ‘Wetin we gain’ never for once stopped playing on stereos and speakers on streets all over the country. Victor’s ability to serve motivational and inspirational records sees him sit on a tree where music has become a spiritual subject in Nigeria.

Idahams – No One Else

In the same styles that love tunes are laborious to create, the same calls for the growth and cementing proper spots on charts. ‘No one else’ depicted a young man’s hustle for love and feelings. Idahams and his Grafton Records team were hard-working to build the brand a talented singer, songwriter and producer in such a short time with potential for popularity and attention shooting up by the day.  

Melanin – Afro B

Team Salut may not be your favourite squad to stalk online on social media but Afro-B has done so great in 2018 that ‘Melanin’ was not in the viral vehicle of hits that drove till the ending of 2018. Melanin boasted of a simple production with random drops of keys at intervals.


This article was written by Alex Ndace; he tweets via @AlexNdace


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