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The year 2010 is regarded by true Nigerian Hip-hop heads as highly as the Christians regard the first coming of Christ.
That was a year when gods walked the nation, and the genre progressed to its highest point.
That was the year when a climax of projects was achieved & fans were spoiled rotten with the volume and quality of rap albums that made the drop on that year. M.I Abaga was in his glory era as he dropped “MI2”, Saucekid released the acclaimed “African American”, Terry Tha Rapman had his “Boyz Are Not Smiling Movement” project, and many more.
The subsequent years after 2010 has been a long & arduous journey to devolution for the industry, as Nigerian pop music went on an unprecedented increase and growth, annexing rappers to their melodies, and robbing Nigeria of a vibrant Hip-hop culture. The times changed quickly, and right now, the top two rappers in the country are singers Phyno and Olamide.
But potentially, things are about to change. The Hip-hop projects lined up for the 3 months have the power to make a statement & result in the biggest Hip-hop year since 2010.
Modenine, once the leader of the pack, has dropped his solo album “Insulin”. He still has another one coming this time a classic collaborative project with T.R (Terry Tha Rapman) titled “The Crown”. The latter also has a project coming “Blame Hip-hop”. Reminisce is on a comeback mission, after the negligible impact of his 2015 album “Baba Hafusa”.
This year, “El Hadji” is his forthcoming LP. Indigenous upstart, CDQ is hoping to have a fair debut outing, as he comes through the tackily branded “Quality” album. OG AQ is out with a new wave and inspiration, as he drops “Rose”, an album signifying his diversity. Illbliss plans to make it two projects in as many years. A tentative name of the album is “Illygati”. Eva is ready to quit the games & provide her long over due debut “1960” album.
Away from the banners of Chocolate City, Jesse Jagz islooking for new life as he plans to come forward with “Odyssey”. Vector is all shades of redirection on the palnned “Lafiaji” project. Ice Prince keeps blowing hot and cold (not in that particular order), as “Jos To The World” is almost rolling off the conveyor belt.
There’s so much quality to this madness & the torrent of projects are about to pour in. While there is hope that we might be taken back to the glory days of the movement, it is tampered with the reality on ground. The soundscape of the country has been altered, perhaps irreversibly. Pop music & Hip-hop have been deemed an inseparable formula for rappers to achieve success.
Symbolically, this is a win. Rap projects in mainstream music are a rarity these days, but an avalanche of it coming through in 2016 is as historic a win as the movement can savour.