From the golden era of the greats like king Sunny Ade, Onyeka Onwenu, Christie Essien Igbokwe, Junior & Pretty, Mike Okri etc to the new age of the early 2000’s.
Nigerian music has a come a very long way and still yet has a ways to go.
A whole lot has happened on the scene too, from musician rivalries to boy bands breaking up, to One-hit-wonders emerging every now and then, to the painful losses of some really talented contributors to what we have as the Nigerian music industry..
The early 2000’s saw the emergence of the Platashun Boiz, the remedies, P-square, Ruggedman, Dat Nigga raw, the tribesmen, SWAT root just to mention a few.
We have over the years seen Nigerian music morph into a global powerhouse as Afrobeats has taken the world by storm and hardly a week goes by without our Afrobeats stars getting international acclaim for their efforts.
However, a year worthy of note in the Nigerian music industry would be the Year 2011.
This year was particularly pivotal to the development of what Nigerian music is today.
I like to think 2011 properly ushered in the new age of Nigerian music as it saw the emergence of artistes who are still calling the shots 10 years after and not just locally but globally.
Here’s a look at albums from that era:
1. Superstar – Wizkid
On June 12 2011, new kid on the block, Wizkid releases his 17-track debut album, Superstar.
Wizkid was signed to Banky W’s Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E) at the time.
Ten years down the line, Wizkid has gone on to become the most decorated Nigerian artiste ever (the most decorated African internationally), and one of the most revolutionary Afro-pop artistes of the modern era.
2. EVERYBODY LOVES ICE PRINCE – ICE PRINCE
Released on October 9 2011, Everybody loves Ice Prince (E.L.I) is Jos born rapper Ice Prince’s debut album. E.L.I was released under the chocolate city record label.
This seemed like a breath of fresh air and was the laidback, i’m-just-chilling album, although M.I was already making huge waves in the hip-hop genre, Ice Prince became the poster boy for rap.
Ice prince has gone on to win several awards and has 6 albums by way of individual and collaborative efforts.
3. RAPSODI – OLAMIDE
Olamide’s debut album Rapsodi was released in 2011 on the heels of hit single, Omo to shan.
The album was produced by the legendary ID Cabasa under the coded tunes label.
A void had just been created in the music industry by the tragic death of yoruba rap maestro Da Grin and there was a young talented, ready Olamide to fill the void.
Olamide soon left Coded tunes to float his YBNL record label and has enjoyed a successful career, bringing up music stars like Mayorkun and Lil kesh.
4. SUPER C SEASON – NAETO C
Naetochukwu ‘Naeto C’ Chikwe dropped his second studio album Super C Season on the February 7 2011 under the Storm 360 record label.
The 17-track album featured hit singles Ten over Ten, Ako Mi Ti poju and Share My Blessings.
The only emcee with an M.Sc was the image of what flossing was. He went on to win 3 awards and settled down to family life.
4. THE INVASION – P SQUARE
The Invasion, the fifth studio album by the now defunct P-Square was really just that: AN INVASION!
The album featured international acts Rick Ross and Akon. A feat that was rather remarkable at the time.
It was 14-tracks long and went on to win the Headies album of the year in 2012.
The duo popular for their dancing and went on to release two more albums as a group.
Popular crowd favorites on the album are Chop My money, Beautiful Onyinye and Bunieya Enu.
5. BASHORUN GAA – 9ICE
Bashorun Gaa is one part of a double album dropped on the same day on 7 December 2011 by the Gongo Aso crooner.
The album had 18 songs on it! and this was just one part of the album.
6. VERSUS – 9ICE
The second part of a double album, Versus, also spots 18 songs. The album featured heavyweights like 2 Baba, M.I, Ghana’s V.I.P, wizkid, Duncan Mighty, Timaya and Banky W.
9ice had left ID Cabasa’s coded tunes at this time and started his Alapomeji ancestral records.
7. SUPER SUN – BEZ
This was Nigerian alternative soul singer, Bez’s debut album under Cobhams Asuquo’s CAMP record label.
This album was a huge success even though it was something of a culture shift as it explored a not so popular genre.
It was named number 3 on the list of World music’s top albums of 2011 by the Boston Globe.
8. DOUBLE DARE (HEART) VOL 1 & DOUBLE DARE (BEAT) VOL 2 – DARE
This was a Two-volume album dropped by king of RnB, Dare Art Alade in February 2011. The first volume had the more mellow, soulful blues while the second volume spotted more upbeat pop themed melodies.
It was a masterful piece to satisfy fans of the blues genre as well as fans who were more inclined to the pop sounds.
9. LEGACY (AHAMEFUNA) – DUNCAN MIGHTY
Duncan Wene Mighty Okechukwu released his second studio album Ahamefuna in January 2011. The album proved to be a huge success and made him one of the most sought after performers for shows.
The hit song Obianuju, is the most prominent hit from the album.
10. THE DREAMER PROJECT – SHOW DEM CAMP
September 2011 saw the emergence of relatively unknown duo Tec and Ghost, collectively known as Show Dem Camp (SDC).
The duo dropped their debut album, The dreamer project and boy was it good, after M.I’s Talk about it album in 2008, no other rap album came close at the time.
Show Dem Camp have gone to do really great stuff and have 8 bodies of work to their name.
These are some of the albums we think were impactful on the Nigerian music industry, genrewise and in terms of creating awareness for Nigerian music internationally.