In as much as the Nigerian music industry is getting the attention of music lovers outside the country for afro-pop music, rap music in Nigeria is doing just as well. The field of rap music in Nigeria has a growing wealth of players. These rappers/lyricists have managed to entertain the mass of rap music fans over the years. The rap community in Nigeria can be said to enjoy a healthy competition. The competition amongst these rappers is basically centered on accolades, wealth and commercial success. But the gain for rap fans is the plethora of options and quality of art that this competition has produced.
In the midst of the switch and twitch to meet the high demands of the industry, some Nigerian rappers have been able to keep alive the Hip-hop spirit, serving amazing lyrics and injecting the poetic effect into their music. They have released to the rap community some rich body of work and have comfortably displayed the art of lyricism.
Here is a list of top lyricists in Nigeria:
- Mode 9: The rap gaffe has been in the business since 2004. He has 8 albums and 5 mixtapes to his credit. He has won 9 headies award and 7 of them for lyricist on the roll. Once could be sheer luck, twice could be okay or he is good but seven times, with six of them back-to-back, it goes to show how consistent Modo is with lyricism. The awards and albums makes a statement to establish the fact that Mode 9 is a rap powerhouse. Modo indeed understands HipHop. It is hard to catch him doing any other music style. Mode 9 is arguably the best lyricist around. He remains a relevant hip-hop character in the music industry as he released a featured album, Look what I found in 2016.
- M.I: If you followed M.I from the days of Crowd Mentality, you’d agree that the journey has been creatively entertaining, producing three studio albums, one compilation album and three mixtape albums. His lyrical depth and artistic creativity has built him a reputation of an A-grade lyricist. He is credited with the release of some of the best rap albums ever seen in the Nigerian music space. He occupies a vanguard position of the Rap movement in the Nigerian music industry.
- Vector: Probably the most celebrated lyricist in the industry at the moment. Vector is a word-smith and a willing freestyler. He is an amazing one in fact. He is never starved of words, his proficiency with words allows him play creatively with them. It is important to mention that he ended the lyricist of the roll streak of Mode 9.
- Jesse Jagz: The art of lyricism runs in the blood. Jesse Jagz, M.I’s brother is another top Nigerian lyricist. Often said to be propped by his more successful brother, Jesse Jagz however cleared doubts on the independence of his talent and creative forte when he won the lyricist on the roll award at the 2014 Headies, even after leaving Chocolate City to establish Jagz Nation. Although re-signing with Choc City, the spell of independence for him, is a bold critic silencing move. The self-professed title of rapper extraordinaire describes Jesse Jagz. He is one of the best freestylers around.
- Boogey: He is a rapper with a growing reputation. He was nominated in two rap categories of the 2016 Headies Award, including the lyricist on the roll category. His lyrical credential continues to build up in a steady pace with his increasing musical releases. It is believed he had the best verse in the Illegal Music 2 album. His lyrical creativeness and flow fluidity qualifies him for top lyricist on any list in the country. He holds huge promise for the Hip-hop culture in Nigeria.
This article was written by Ibironke Oluwatobi. He tweets via: @ibironketweets