The outgoing year has been quite a year for music in general. Tons of music was put out there by Nigerian artistes both established and upcoming.
Particularly the year witnessed the release of over 25 albums by top tier music stars. That number far outweighs the number of albums put out in the past year. Even, with the good number of projects released, some top guns like Wizkid, Davido, failed to drop albums even after several promises and postponement.
After sieving through all the possible bodies of work rendered this year, Jaguda gives the top 10 albums in 2018.
1 Burna Boy – Outside
Record Label: Spaceship Entertainment
Without mincing words most observers of the Nigerian music industry would agree that 2018 was a Burna Boy ‘YE-ar’. The singer who describes his kind of music as Afrofusion started the year on a good note with the release of his ‘Outside’ album in January.
Burna Boy bared his soul on the album track by track from talking about his growing up, struggles, love and living the life. The originality of his album narrative and delivery made it resonate with a vast majority of Nigerians. As a bonus, the album was put in consideration for a nomination by the Grammys in the World Music category.
2 Seun Kuti – Black Times
Record Label: Struts Records
Seun Kuti, son of Afrobeat legend, released his third album ‘Black Times’ for the culture. The singer upheld the basic elements of Afrobeat as handed down by Fela Anikulapo Kuti. The overall theme of the album is on Black liberation and emancipation from political slavery.
The sound of it doesn’t differ much as the heavy percussion, rhythms and instrumentation are meant to give that nostalgia of the Afrobeat sound. This body of work earned Seun his first Grammy Awards nomination.
3 SDC – Palmwine Music Volume 2
Record Label: Show Dem Records
Olumide Ayeni, popularly known as Ghost, and Wale Davies, also known as Tec, collectively known as Show Dem Camp (SDC) dropped the second installment of their album series, Palmwine Music Volume 2. One important thing about their October released project is that they kept it short and sweet no overbearing filler tracks. The group owned their alte rap genre on this project. There is no chance to skip a track.
4. Mr Eazi – Life Is Eazi; Lagos To London Volume 2
Record Label: Banku Music
In November, Nigerian musician Oluwatosin Ajibade rolled out the second installment of his ‘Life Is Eazi’ mixtape. Just as the name suggests the Mr Eazi was inspired from sounds from Lagos, Nigeria to London, UK. The layout of the tracks shows the singer’s thought process and effort devoted into creating the album. There are handful of hit tracks on the album. It also has a high replay value.
5. Adekunle Gold – About 30
Record Label: Afro Urban Records
Adekunle Gold’s sophomore album project is almost as self explanatory as the name suggests. The album see Adekunle Gold speak his own truth in songs like ‘Damn, You Delilah’, ‘Ire’. As a grown ass man the singer showed he has also matured in making music and all frivolities are dropped. As far as the African sound goes ‘About 30’ embodies it essentials hence it caught the attention of the Grammys panel.
6. Kizz Daniel – No Bad Songz
Record Label: Fly Boy Inc.
For the most part Kizz Daniel has been dealing with litigation from his former record label after his unceremonious exit. Away from that, the pop sensation put out his sophomore ‘No Bad Songz’ album and debut body of work under Fly Boy Inc. Vado as he is fondly called, tried to live up the very audacious title of his album. 20 tracks was a bit too much, it would be even more stellar if it was cut in half. Overall, it’s one of the top 10 LP released this year.
7. DJ Spinall – Iyanu
Record Label: The Cap Music
Top Nigerian disc jockey, DJ Spinall this year could be adjudged as the best DJ this year. For one reason DJ Spinall released a solid studio album which contained two of the biggest hit songs in Nigeria on the ‘Iyanu’ project. With star studded lineup such as Davido, Wizkid, Burna Boy, Kizz Daniel you could only expect pop excellence.
8. Blaqbonez – Bad Boy Blaq
Record Label: 100 Crowns/Chocolate City
‘Bad Boy Blaq’ is the second hip hop project to enter the list. Blaq Bonez professional debut LP is an articulate body of work which sees the rapper talk everyday life with dope bars as he experiences it. In a year that saw a further decline in Nigerian hip hop ‘Bad Boy Blaq’ LP would do well to restore some hope in the genre. Through the supervision of MI the emerging rapper put out a solid body of work for the culture.
9. MI Abaga – Yung Denzl
Record Label: Chocolate City
Hip hop veteran, MI Abaga delivered two top notch bodies of work this year. First the ‘Rendezvous’ and ‘Yung Denzl’. For this list the latter LP made the count. This would be MI’s most thoughtful album. The Chocolate City boss, comes around this project as an elder dishing out words of wisdom only discovered by experience. MI touched on a wide variety of issues from Nigerian hip hop to self worth and development. ‘Yung Denzl’ might not be the project to run through, you sit through it.
10. Brymo – Oso (Wizard)
Record Label: Indie
Nigerian singer Olawale Ashimi aka Brymo has been one very consistent artiste through the years with the quality of his albums. This year he put out his 7th full body of work titled ‘Oso’ (Wizard). As expected Brymo did not depart from folklore. Most of the songs off the project are laced with Yoruba proverbs and highly retrospective. The organization of the sound layout is targeted at the African man.
Others albums/EPs released this year are listed below;
CDQ – Ibile Mugabe (The Voice)
Waje – Red Velvet
Mayorkun – The Mayor of Lagos
FEMI Kuti – One People One World
Dremo – Codename Vol 1
Poe – Talk About Poe
DJ Neptune – Greatness
LAX – Rasaking
Odunsi – rare
Blaqbonez – Bad Boy Blaq
Loose Kaynon & AQ – Crown
SKALES – Mr Love
Humble Smith – Osinachi
Adekunle Gold – About 30
Mr 2 Kay – Elevated
Ice Prince – Cold EP
Seyi Shay – Electric Package Vol 1