8 Songs That Shaped Nigerian Hip Hop


Over the years, our own brand of unique hip hop has witnessed tremendous change and improvement. Hiphop in Nigeria has grown from a small movement to a huge industry, which is tremendous because before hip hop, highlife and afro pop held sway. But what songs shaped hip hop in Nigeria?

Well, here are 8 of them, in no particular order:

1. Eedris – Jaga-Jaga

Eedris shot into major prominence with this song, and the masses liked this one because in his lyrics he spoke about the corruption that was happening then. This song was big, even to the point that the president at that time, had to reply him(Not a diss reply track, but Obasanjo did take some shots). This song is one of the greatest hip hop songs a Nigerian has made about Nigeria.


2. Oti Ya – Lord of Ajasa

This was one of the songs that proved that yoruba rap could flourish in Nigeria, and could stand alone as a genre within the hip hop scene in Nigeria. This song will go down as one of the major inspirations for indigenous rap, and a major inspiration for Yoruba speaking rappers.


3. Ehen – Ruggedman

Ruggedman popularized “beefing” in the industry when he took shots at people he thought were “wack” at that time. Lots of rappers were not sparedby Ruggedman. The likes of eedris and maintain were called out. He didn’t like what he saw , and he wasn’t afraid to let people know what he thought, even putting his career on the line in the process.


4. Obodo – Nigga Raw

Nigga Raw could be credited for paving the way for eastern rappers. The perfect infusion of English and the Igbo language made Obodo an instant hit in the east and all around the country. This song opened the door for eastern rappers and made Igbo boys believe they could do rap and make it in Igbo language.


5. Emi Le Gan – Sasha

Sasha came into the hip hop scene in the country at a time when it was heavily dominated by male artistes, with this song. Although she was quite an unknown by the time she dropped this song, this song shaped Nigerian hip hop by showing other female rappers that they could make it in Nigerian Hip hop. Her later singles solidified her place as Nigeria’s hip hop queen, or first lady as she’s popularly called.


6. Cry – Modenine

This song is one of the songs that established Modenine’s place as a major hip hop heavy weight. Although Modo had done other notable songs, this song is notably one of Modo’s biggest songs, if not his biggest. This song was number one on Channel O’s top ten countdown for weeks, and won 3 channel O awards.


7. Safe – MI

This song is very important to the way hip hop in Nigeria is being done, because this song showed that as a Nigerian rapper, you drop had hitting lyrics, and still make it commercially. This song brought about a new dimension to hip hop in Nigeria, and to me it is one of the songs that brought about a rebirth to the Nigerian hip hop scene. One of MI’s greatest hits, and indeed one of Nigeria’s greatest rap song.


8. Oleku – IcePrince

This song is the biggest rap song ever made in Nigeria, and you can take this to the bank, literally. You cannot begin to imagine how big this song was, and this song really established commercial Nigerian Hip hop. This song was big, from the song itself, to the countless remixes it got, to the massive airplay it got, in Nigeria, Africa and indeed the world, No rap song from Nigeria has come close to the bar set by this song. This song is the most remixed Nigerian rap song ever, and some of the remixes went big too! Remember that it was the remix of Oleku that brought out Yungsix?
Well..that says it all.

What songs do you guys think are missing from this list? Let’s here from you in the comments section

Written By Sifon B. (@sifon_b)



  1. I think this is a good list. Very comprehensive but I think eni duro by olamide should have been there, but thumbs up to Jaguda for not behaving like other sites and putting stupid lists up.

  2. Choiii!!! Somfifu b mentioning songs lime Gongo Aso, African Queen… Biko shey una read the tittle so??? Anyways, I strongly feel No Be God by Gino should be on the list… But then again, would do I knw!!!

  3. Good list. But if you say songs that SHAPED nigeria music industry. Where would you put :: Burna Boy -:-+Like To Party?? Lovely song,Nigeria has never produced any song that sounds like that.