Top 5 Hip-Hop Lyricists In Nigeria


This is an area of putting out countdowns that I know is going to cause some controversy, but what the heck. We’ve never shied away from controversy, so why start now right?

So what is a Lyricist? Standard definition is: A lyricist is a writer who specializes in writing lyrics. For the sake of this post we’ll focus on Lyricist who specialize in writing lyrics for rap/hip-hop songs.

Warning! This is NOT top 5 most popular rappers or those that fill their songs with only punch lines so let’s our head away from the popularity contest.

Ill Bliss
Ill Bliss

5. Ill Blisss

Ill Bliss sometimes goes under the radar in terms popular hip-hop acts in Nigeria, and he’s not about the flash or the shine that comes with being in the game, but don’t get it twisted Oga Boss is sweet on the mic. With heavy story telling lyrics, that often blends english and igbo, his lyrics come out very clear and straight to the point. No need for forced punch lines and trying to impress.

We are not of the same make/Somehow Illy found that commercial break/You remind of drake without the mic skills, just a pretty boy rocking transgender jeans/ Go ahead look stupid with the eye brow piercing, Me & X just dey drop lessons /Feel free to learn, the question is when” – Deep Down with XYZ


Ghost (SDC)
Ghost (SDC)

4. Ghost (SDC)

Not to take anything from the other half of SDC, Tec, but when it comes to lyricism, Ghost so takes the cake in the group. Whether it’s doing the punch line thing or the story telling mode, Ghost leaves a serious mark on any track he blesses. Probably one of my fav verses from him is his verse in Wetin I Go Do, which he takes us through the initial conversation with a lovely lady. You can almost use that as a guide on how to approach a lady.

I wont type out every word, but here’s a microcosm of his skill. Other impressive showings include, Getting You from their Dreamer Project album, Speaking In Tongues & I Got That Yeah (Clone Wars 2) . Actually almost everything he’s been on.

Excuse me darling, I’m sorry I don’t mean to interrupt / I’m sure you’ve been approached by every brother in this club / so you’re used the attention / but I have a confession / when I saw you, wahali my heart stopped a couple of seconds / But what you working with is like a deadly weapon / You’re blessed, I’m guess your father is a reverend.” – Wetin I Go Do (The Dreamer Project)



3. Kahli Abdu

One of the most respected names in Nigerian hip-hop, Kahli Abdu is highly underrated and is primarily because he is one of the few purists we have in the game. He’s really about the kpangolo ish, and stays true to the game. His Ministry of Corruption mixtape could be arguably one of the dopest mixtapes in Nigeria over the past decade. (Dont argue, just accept).

What’s even more impressive is that you get the feeling Kahli has barely even scratched the surface with what he’s put out, and it’s been a lot already. The one thing I love about Kahli’s verses is that it’s like a story. You can put in a mixtape, and listen a few short stories that you can feel, relate to or empathize with.

I lost my girlfriend over bullshit / I just let it go, I’m like i need a new chick / A few weeks in the scene and it’s useless / Truth is all these other girls are loser dawg, I cant do this / Now my ex is spreading rumors saying that I’m ruthless / How I got to this, I’m clueless” – WTF (Rebel Friday)



2. MI Abaga

You can’t argue with this one even if your life depended on it. Without a doubt, he is the most successful rap act Nigeria has seen. He was not the first, neither is he the ‘best’ but he’s the one that took it to a whole new level. As commercial as MI is, don’t get it twisted when it comes to lyrics, MI is a straight beast. So much so that he actually writes for a few others (we wont mention). He’s a lyricist & a song writer.

MI best lyrical work comes from his earlier stuff, and actually some tracks that might not even be hit songs per say. His word play, story telling, and sometimes mixing that with punchlines is unrivaled.

Now I see that I’m narcissistic, so sadistic, I must’ve missed it, over time it was me that was pulling me back. He said, I falsely accused you, then I used you, then refused your help to help me see, I was pulling me back. She said, I know I went ballistic, cos I don’t want to be a statistic, is this realistic, it’s been pulling me back. Then she said, I wanna do this again, so let’s pretend, close your eyes, count to ten, go back when, it was nothing that was pulling me back. ” – Pulling Me Back



1. Mode 9

Modo Baba! Did you really expect anything different? Mode9 has been a beckon of light all rappers look up to, and no rapper in their right mind will ever want to try (Just ask Ruggedman). But besides the diss track, Mode9 often gets passed on because he’s not commercial, but anyone that knows anything about hip-hop in Nigeria knows Modo is King, and anytime the time comes, Mode9 shows what he’s made of (check Naija cypher).

So what’s so special about Mode9? His lyrics are clear, well thought out, not always masked with punchlines, but more importantly he’s almost annoyingly consistent. You can’t wait for Mode9 to have a wack patch of form, and you’ll be waiting for a long time. Even what could be wack, is still better than a lot of acts out there.

Modo is King! Dont argue, just accept.

You rap for mechanics I rap and you panic/ leave you manic depressed damn it/ im too NICE,I expose you, now your covers compromised, shame on you / now pull your head warmer over your eyes / Take it off , eh hen !! Modenine is with the prize/Im bigger than you lyrically forget about size / heard your third albums gonna be your last, bye bye/ Hustling to sell it to shoe makers they no buy / waka waka waka was a track that nobody felt / OJB rap better than you, you need help!! / Know your secrets but I wont hit below the belt / Huuuuuu@@ do I hear a sight of relief?? Too easy” – Death Blow (Ruggedman Diss)


Notable mentions: Tec (SDC), Vector, Terry Tha Rapman, Loose Kaynon, Pryse, J-Berg.

So that’s all folks. You probably wont agree with all I have here, but that for you to argue, and me to watch :). Not to take anything away from others doing their thing, but these 5 right here really separate themselves away from the pack.

So tell me, who are your top 5 lyricist in Nigeria when it comes to hip-hop? Let’s hear it. Drop a comment.


  1. @Aribaba> Nice write up. To continue from were you stoped. (6)Boogey (7)Vector (8)Joe sparsm (9)Loose kaynone (10)Rukus.

  2. Nice one,, u got my attention when you mentioned Ghost of SDC,Mode9 is a veteran, your list is cool, some peeps are saying add Vector, to me Vector is not a lyricist, hes js a good rapper.good job

    • My dear dey said Lyricist ooo….define it n listen to vec…its so sad guyz r reli falling ma hand…naija boiz dey fall ma hand…like seriously u shuldnt even argue abt vec…leave it 4 dat guy abeg…some pple saying vec is whack y’all shuld just cover ur whack mouth….smh…thank God dey didn’t even mention iceprince I go just faint

  3. Modo truly is the king of Hip-hop , if you problably wanna make a list of best lyricist in nigeria! Modo get to be yo no1 #RespectMode9

  4. Well its obvious u added sum crappy peeps on purpose jst so u cld get loadsa comment bt it still didn’t work out! Answer dat que! ILlbliss is more lyrical dan Boogey abi?smh + I knew dis jaguda has been hating on Vector wen I saw ur write up for ‘errday’so won’t be surprised why his name is not there.u a blogger..quit far as I’m concerned. This is a certified dumb site. Thanks!

  5. I really dont get why people feel there is a need to disagree vehemently with top lists especially when it comes to hip hop. The writer wrote his opinion and on the whole if you agree with at least 50% of the rappers on the list are talented then there is no need to call it “BS”

  6. MI? Like really? That singular line where he said “My Flow so Accapela, Nobody can beat it” is one of the worst piece of bullshit in d history of Bullshit.

    Where is Erigga? Where is Paybac? Where is Boogey?

    Illbliss shouldn’t b there cuz of his inconscitency. Thank God Vector is nt there. That guy is a hiphop failure


  8. @MYKELL itz embarassing to hear someone in their ryt mind compare ill bliss to Boogey. Do u even listen to Bliss? Dis is an awesome write up tho. But I still believe Khali Deserves d 2nd spot, ma opinion tho

  9. On Point,ofcos Modo is a “god” bt I think dat short Black Boi “MI” shd b dropped from d list…hez a good rapper no doubt, bt lyricist? I DON’T THINK SOO….BOOGIE instead!

  10. I know I shouldn’t be saying this but the list need a more detailed explaination of what a lyricist entails.

    Someone who delivers punchlines inbetween lyrics at a seemingly impossible pace. That is a classification of a hip/hop or Rap lyricist.

    So for those of you hating on the list, ask yourself… The dudes I mentioned, are they worth it?

  11. Kahli Abdu. Is the best lyricist I have Eva heard in dis country to me can’t be compared to any of these guys here listen to lyrics and stop looking 4 dance track everytime

  12. Many people don’t no that M.I is one of the greatest lyricist in naija apart from godfather da vinci mode9. Truely vector is a disgrace to hiphop, he should go into retirement with immediate effect. Hmmm nobody is talking about SINZU… Una don dey madt abi!

    • If vector goes into retirement,den u will forever be deaf cos u will neva know wat good rap nd good music is again… Vector is d best rapper now nd forever.. Ysg for life..nohomo

  13. This is bullshiiit… Where is boogey,blaqbonez,tek raymond?? Fuck illbliss mhen.. Dat dude ain shii and never qon be one!!! Pronto


    • If u don’t know rap or music..y don’t u just keep mute nd let dose dat know talk.. Vector shud have been d no1 on dat shit..go and listen to his tracks nd freestyles,u gon know.. Mtcheeeeew

      • you obviously know notin about rap…..u are in your 20’s i guess……ask ur older brother what rap os my man and stop blabbing….Vector with his nursery school rhymes and u call him a rapper….u started listening to rap when it went commercial…not when it was “rap”

  15. Wizkid’s star boy ent, Storm records, mikel obi’s record label “MMM” and KBK records are looking for young and talented singers , rappers to sign…if you knw you are talented contact Agent micheal : 08109959610

  16. When I saw IllBliss as number 5, my heart fell within me. I had to check the title again to make sure this isn’t Top 5 Worst Lyricists.
    The other spots are alright, but his presence colors the whole thing off.
    You can’t be serious.

  17. LOL. So easy for everyone to say rubbish o. This list is crap etc. Make una please relax, it’s oga’s opinion and if you no agree fling yourself. Even small kudos una hating minds cant even open ur mouth to say.

  18. A list without B-elect??? Abeg make una de listen widely b4 u start writing things. I no lots of eMcees dat will push down most guys on dis list. U tried though.

  19. Very shabby top 5… Una don forget them beatbuxx rappers dem ms.chief , ace tha emcee and co. Even boogey sef suppose dey dis top 5.. Abeg una try but make una throway dis una top 5 abeg na rubbish list b dis..

  20. Una fall ma hand since ah dn knw una haba wie vector dey, wie loose kayon dey, wetin illbliss dey rap abi hu knw ghost. Ghost ko spirit ni e koshi danu d remainin 3 sure

  21. U pple r only cmplainin abt ill bliss bcos u started listenin 2 hiphop recently,illy has bin doin his tin rite frm thorough bred so quit hatin.if dis is top 5 chewin gum rappers den boogey,skales and all those wak mc’s wud hv. Bin mentioned.for tight lyrical content its so un4tunate dat 2 or 3 lyricist can tk a spot if nt I added pheruz nd terry da rapman in number 2 spot den pair loose kaynon wt ghost.4 me mi’s gud bt bcos he wnts 2 mk moni he deviates a lot…as 4 modo he’s nt jst d best in nigeria he’s best in the whole of africa nd I stand 2 b corrected

  22. This guy knows not what a lyrics is…so I thought I should help out…
    Senavoe’s huckleberry-


    She preggers
    But she drinkin’
    “Aint no sunshine” she singin’
    Hummin’ or whistlin’
    Damn, this young old-lookin’ chick trippin’
    She don’t care
    “Fuck y’all”, she sippin’
    I see her each morn on way out
    Keep wonderin’ what her day’s ‘bout
    New-Sammy-Sosa skin, light brown
    She too fine to have her hands out
    Beggin’ for handouts
    Could do much better, hands down
    My barber, Chuck, put me up on it
    Laid down the story
    Now my heart broken
    Like the spirit of most Black professionals
    But far from dead
    Here’s what Chuck said:

    Eva was the area diva
    Rich ‘til parents leave’d her
    Taken by death, delivered by drunken teen thugs
    Her uncle, Costello, watched her
    Like hawks do
    Through high school
    Good guy too
    Paid for first year of State School
    College, then watched her flourish
    Drove her to fly
    She sailed through on scholar’ships
    Third year, as junior
    Unc let in Grim Reaper
    Buzzed in by love for spirits, the drinker habit
    See, this Costello was no Abbot
    Then first semester, as senior
    She met her Huckleberry
    His halo white-washed like Sawyer’s fence
    She played that Tom and Jerry
    Turned down date offers
    But before long he’d Turn’ed h’er
    Like Tina
    But the flame that burned between them
    Would soon turn round to burn her 

    Broom jumped and rice thrown
    They moved to Harlem
    New fam 
    With big dreams
    But he was harlot
    And home was harem
    So marriage had problems
    House was no home, ask Vandross
    She started cussin’
    He’d end with bustin’
    First arms, then body
    Then face
    First Pain, then bruises
    Then blood
    She stayed

    See, he’d pinholed her camera
    And now she bore his image
    Young Ike, baby Finn
    A new buck, young Chris
    Jumping Jermaine’s Jermajesty
    A Junior Huck?
    Aww Shucks
    So for the baby she stayed
    The fuck
    Said John Mayer
    Fathers be good to daughters
    I always thought it
    Meant teach respect, and
    Be kind and her Gibraltar
    Meant more than buying Coaches
    Guccis, bags, dresses, loafers
    Meant treat wife with love, respect 
    So children learn the spirit
    And daughters come to expect it

    She didn’t
    Her pops had done to mother
    So she thought the whuppin’ normal
    But dudes in Harlem didn’t
    So dropped by the crib
    Her absence
    To ‘talk’ it out
    Find out how young Huck “was livin'”
    The cops found him days later
    Still staring in same direction
    Stiff like South Park Jimmy’s erection
    His body bullet-ridden
    Face flat
    Soul lifted
    No Leon, no Heart Beats
    No Leona, no Heart Bleeds
    Just the silence of a dead lion
    Now slain Bo Beep

    But Eva’s still preggers
    Young but old-lookin’
    “Ain’t no sunshine,” still singin’
    Hummin’ and whistlin’
    She trippin’
    But she don’t care
    She lost it all, ‘cludin’ respect
    So “fuck y’all”, she sippin’
    And we keep walkin’
    Each mornin’
    Mindin’ our business
    But these our sisters
    And brothers
    Fam, let’s stop the violence

    ~ NoHairDontCare®

    This guy nw is a lyricist…not some ghost or wacky ill bliss…

  23. hmmmm…… Interesting dou,4 me…. MI,MODE9; are dos are knw for sure, neva really heard d oda rappers mention here! If dy are so good, y r we nt hearing dos songs?

  24. Personally I think Boogey should b at least among notable mentions. despite d fact dat his kinda new but he is one who has been consistent since. nice list tho minus illbliss

  25. I cover my mind spitting u d hoody rap
    I’ve got hard punches, I don’t seeurjuvy jabs
    I’m a wealth of words can u reach (rich) me
    Island of knowledge surrounded by the flow can’t bridge me
    H.O.T. ma man u can’t fridge me
    I steal shines with con tracks (contracts) can’t breach me
    May weather mover – fighter drama
    Y’all using words wrong u need brighter grammar
    And Vec is a beast any beat is a meal
    Dem dey say I dey FORM isn’t that what u feel (fill)…Vector(Wasted)….so if u fink Vector is nt among d top lyricist…Mehn….YALL USING WORD WRONGLY U ALL NEED A BRIGHTER GRAMMER….dats all

  26. why in d world is ill bliss in dis list…..boogey should have been included in d list….d dude is sick……yup mode 9 and m.i are at d spot dey both deserve……and those niggas dat r like ‘mi aint a good lyricist’, u should listen to ALL his songs not just the commercial songs. not evry body knows rap d way yall do….it sure me die say i rap pass vector…d dude is a wacka wacky flame

  27. No arguments….. Mode is bawse! And yo… Wats all d hype abt vector!? His style is too monotonous! He’s ok where he @! Ill bliss is dope! D list is ok sha! Buh pheroshuz, terry, OverDose, and just a peek Freestyle of trybesmen was ill, just fell off tho! Gud job anyway!

  28. Even modo said it vec z anoda human nt fuck wif nd he has been dere since the 90s. There ain’t no list rap/lyric list wifut VEC. Oooodun!

  29. VECTOR IS ALWAYS THE LYRICAL KING OF WORD PLAY.. and who the fuck is Khali Abdul.. how many of his song have we heard? mhen u guys are not compatible for rating joor.. VECTOR, SKALES, OLAMIDE, SINZU, PHYNO, DA’GRIN R.I.P, OVERDOSE, PHEROSHUZ… its only MI and MODE 9 that really fits in that list of yours IKECHUKWU is just am average rapper bcus he hardly makes 4Bars rhymes before switching and he never had a breath taking punch lines … should be number one dis-respect to Mode 9 and M.I but i think VECTOR should top the list bcus he really knows how to play with words than any known rapper in naija at the moment.

  30. No doubt, this guy makes a reasonable list, everyone i saw on that list are good lyricist, punchliner or perhaps story tellers.
    But i would have agree better if @yung6ix was there, no doubt this dude is better than some that makes up that list…….bros tell me did i do you wrong?/ by coming this far/ u really rilli hating now/bros why you hating on this star. Don’t judge me.
    Erriga on d other syd is worded don’t argue……….he might be dis type that will give you sum metaphors nor all dis english lines……bt i think he could express himself better than sum rappers on that list, even though in pidgin……..small gal wan dey use bold 5 and fix peruvian hair/how much your papa they earn per year/person wey dey naked no dey put hand for pocket.

  31. Illbliss?! TF? Boogey shld def be on this list. MI, Mode,ghost are beasts. Kahli abdul is aii tho. PO’ and XO shld be on this. Pls dnt call vector here! Some1 mentioned yung6ix? Na wa oh

  32. MI started well, but den he’s been long gone from the right track…most of these guys complaining here are just some rap fan wannabes, so don’t blame dem, the guys on the list are okay although there are also a lot who can join. when you say Vector should be included or expecting popular shit names to be on the list, man, then you don’t freaking know who a lyricist is, you prob started listening to rap a couple of years ago, lyricists are not popular in naija here cos the orientation is commercial, and that’s what affected MI, but then a bruva gotta eat.

  33. Lol,HATTERZz!!!! Ask mode9 nd M.I they will tell u how gud vector is..two of d bst I the fckn cypha.. Mode fisrt den vec.ysg forlife

  34. Anybody On This Post That Has Said MI is not a Good Lyricist Shall Be Raped by A Thousand Angry Gorillas.. Like WTF! And All These Mumu Sreaming VEC Should Take a Seat Please!!

    We’re Talking About Dope Lyricism. That He Won Naija’s Best Lyricist Doesn’t Count. Who Are The Mumu People That Even Voted for Him Sef..

    And Boogey Is Still OVERRATED!! Kill Yourself, I Said it. HE IS OVERRATED. The Hype is Useless.. As Much As I Hate to Admit, But If Ibime Should Spit What He Scripts on a Beat Alongside Boogey, Boogey Will Completely Be Buried on that Track. He’s Good But NOT THE BEST. Hian..

    And Far as I’m Concerned. Modo Shits On Every Single one Of Them.

  35. Ace Phoenix You’s A Funny Fellow,Na Everybody Know Ibime?He A Gud Texcee But They Talking Bout Lyricist Here,You Might Think Boogey Is Overrate But He Is A Gud Lyricist……People Bringing Up VEC’s Name In A Post Like This?? Hiphop Is Dead Mahn


  37. Some Pple here forming dey knw everfin abt hiphop…smh dude go hang ur self….u reli need2 listen2 vec…am sure u can’t even spit1 bar n u dr sayin rubbish

  38. See dis uche guy ooo…am nt sure u understand English….wu dey talk abt nas here…we r talking abt naija top5…over sabi…(Me sef wan comment)

  39. Gosh! Some of diz guyz ain’t talkin trash here…&is the highest offence from the highest order…vector! vector! Every where ..y..?some of you dn’t know what z called lyrics talkness of rhmz..ur here pollutin some bullshiit….mi is who naija ve select as most greatex rapper…in naija…y..?coz he is undisputed champion dat can never be test by any china rapper….mi is the best rapper in naija….today….no doubt or ask google to comfirm

  40. Some pple dumb o!after Modo and M.I..i tink and belive VEC is d next..i mean dis guy is sometin else! Somebody even mentioned yungsix.. WTF!!..u suppose mention seriki too..mtchewww

  41. som1 shuld pls listen to vector’s get down feat tuface and report back….meanwhile we dey finish d BAR(money) still we dey SHACK(shark) like fish fr water..decypher dat pls

  42. d mode9 evribody is shoutin is king was on two tracks wit vector n vec murdered him…if u doubt listen to V9 CYPHER n ZONNIN OUT

  43. Who’s dat olodo that has the nerves to say that Vector murdered Modenine on V9 & Zonning Out? Na God go punish u, u hear?

  44. WTF..Very stupid list even a blind man will condemn Vector, phenom nd Erigga and who d fuck is SDC? i feel like sueing this site