There are usual suspects Wizkid and Tiwa Savage, but there is also a comeback kid. There is a pioneer of contemporary Nigerian pop, but the list also has two DJs. Since the year started, the songs below have made millions dance. Before the year ends, they’ll make millions more dance as well.
10. Baba – DJ Spinall ft Kizz Daniel
It is shaku shaku season in Nigeria. This is one of the soundtracks for the dance.
9. Jogodo – Tekno
The original song, ‘Kpolongo’ by Danfo Drivers, is indestructible. Tekno added his trademark humorous near-nonsense and remade it for his generation.
8. Legbegbe – Mr Real
One of the songs tailor-made for the shaku shaku was inspired by an incident involving the fraudulent purchase of several iPhones from a tech hub in Lagos. It catapulted the previously unknown Mr Real to fame.
7. Science Student – Olamide
By the time the video for this song was released, it had already claimed its share of notoriety. It got banned. But it got played. Many times over.
6. Wetin We Gain – Victor AD
Newcomer Victor AD made a hit out of a prayer to God for success. It’s a bit of a self-fulfilling prayer that the same song has become one of the biggest songs of the year.
5. Amaka – 2Baba ft Peruzzi
2Baba’s political and romantic tracks have overshadowed his comedic talents. But from the start, he has recorded songs with no higher intentions. His ‘Amaka’ is clearly a follow-up to his 2017 hit ‘Gaaga Shuffle’, but its spirit goes all the way to 2003’s ‘Keep On Rocking’ where he chronicled preparations made by a group of guys heading to a party. With ‘Amaka’, he captures another relatable episode: a guy is frustrated at a no-show girlfriend. It might not be good publicity for women named Amaka; but for the rest of Nigerians, it is good pop music.
4. Diet – DJ Enimoney ft Tiwa Savage x Reminisce x Slimcase
It is impossible to say who stole this song. All of the verses as supplied by rapper Reminisce, singer Tiwa Savage and shaku-shaku sensation Slimcase are remarkable. The beat by Sarz immediately commands attention. The video by Clarence Peters is one of his best in a while. The whole thing is an exemplary package of pop pleasure.
3. Ye – Burna Boy
Burna Boy has long existed as his own category. He proved his own uniqueness when he released his latest album Outside. Almost immediately, listeners singled out ‘Ye’ as a highlight from the acclaimed work.
2. Lova Lova – Tiwa Savage ft Duncan Mighty / Fake Love – Wizkid ft Duncan Mighty (tie)
This year would probably be remembered as the year of Duncan Mighty, the South-South Nigeria act some had forgotten about. His return was sparked by his appearance on Wizkid’s ‘Fake Love’. That return was solidified on Tiwa Savage’s ‘Lova Lova’, where he rhymes “oil spillage” with “yam porridge” and “Freedom College”, all of which you can find in his region of Nigeria. Let’s call him Shakespeare of the South-South.
1. Soco – Starboy ft Wizkid x Ceeza Milli x Terri x Spotless
The country’s unparalleled hitmaker and his crew made one of the year’s anthems with a chorus consisting of a single word. What does the word mean? Nobody really knows, but you’d have to have no pulse to resist dancing.