The 10 Most Gifted Rappers in Nigeria

Post by Demola OG, September 6th, 2013

It is safe to say that the Hip-Hop scene in Nigeria is beginning to take form and may soon become a viable and more commercial genre in the Nigerian music scene; only time will tell.

In the past year, summer of 2012 to summer of 2013, a handful of rappers have dropped music consistently or have released a body of work such as a mixtape or full length album to stay relevant in the hiphop scene. Because not all rappers are made the same, we gathered all the material from these relevant rap artists and listened diligently. During this process we judged each EMCEE on skill, from wordplay ability, delivery style, catchy and versatile flow, lyrical potency, punch line, rhyming not just to rhyme, and story telling.

Here is the list of The 10 Most Gifted Rappers in Nigeria.

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10. Reminisce

Reminisce is a very skilful rapper when it comes to his local dialect, Yoruba, and pretty decent when spittin’ in the English language. His street appeal and commercial success have made him very relevant whenever rap is mentioned in Nigeria. His versatility, catchy phrases describing his thoughts tend to usually solicit a rewind to verify that you heard right while listening to his music. He displayed this perfectly in “Government (Ijoba)” featuring Olamide and Endia.

 9. Naeto C

Naeto C came in the game and took rap to an unprecedented commercial level with Kini Big Deal and his debut album. You can also tell that apart from being a rapper, he is a music composer who focuses on building the structure of his songs. Naeto also tends to pay special attention to details from his very catchy hooks to his bars.  He displays all these on Tony Montana, I gentle O, Can You Do It and even his older tracks.

8. Vector

Other than his work ethic, Vector‘s strength is his word play ability. He tends to put words together to make meaning and then goes ahead and uses that meaning to explain a point. So for the most part, he uses inference as opposed to laying down lyrics that will paint a clear picture. It’s almost like, sometimes he wants his audience to do some work in order to figure out the point he tries to make.  In addition, Vector keeps a strong flow for the most part and delivers the right voice tone/inflection to each beat/instrumental and music context.

7. Ice Prince

Panshak Zamani unofficially holds the current title for “most commercial rap artist”, but still makes the list for a couple of  reasons; his canny ability to coin catchy rap lines and hooks in his commercial songs such as “Aboki” and his fierce delivery that commands attention when we listen to his hard core rap freestyles such as “Truth”. Like it or not, it requires real skills to go commercial as a rapper and still switch it up when required.

6. ShowDemCamp (SDC)

The duo Ghost and Tec are true rappers of this time. When they rap, they tend not to emphasize their punchlines or wordplay so as not to compromise the big picture. Instead, they use their wordplay as tools to stay on topic and to paint a very clear scenario or story. Ghost spits the lyrical fiya and Tec delivers catchy flows, but together they are able to rap without compromising or mumbling words just to rhyme. SDC’s ultimate focus in most of their verses is to deliver a  full story or use descriptions to make a point that you will see play out in your head as you listen, and they still manage to make each line rhyme. They also tend to be big on rapping about their experiences and lifestyle.

5. SiNZU

No one is touching Sinzu when it comes to maintaining the same level of delivery on any kind of beat or song; party, conscious, gangster, local… you name it. He is as versatile as they come. Most of us know that Sinzu grew up partly in Ogba, Lagos and Los Angeles California.  His strength is his impeccable delivery (flow, bars and words) when he does any type of track. So when he is rappin’ with a down South or  an L.A type flow, he does it properly and is still able to switch to Naija street type flow within the same 16 bars. Sinzu is also big on infusing humour into his music which keeps his listeners very entertained.

4. M.I

Since M.I Abaga dropped his debut album in 2008, rap music has never been the same. He single-handedly upped the standards of Naija rap music. With M.I, his voice coupled with his skill (strong flow, punch lines, story telling ability and uncommon and unexpected joining of words to make meaning which is popularly known as wordplay) make him a master at rapping. On LOST, the 1st single of his iLLegal Music 2 mixtape, instead of just saying some folks are taking the piss, he put words together and delivered these lines ‘these dicks made a quick move to zipper down a piss take‘ … You can hear more from the aformentioned mixtape… Don’t be fooled by Chairman.

3. Phyno

When you rap in a native African language (Igbo) and you are able to deliver it in a polished manner that gets even those who don’t understand the words that are coming out of your mouth to not only listen, but wish that they understood your language so that they can experience the entirety of what you are spittin, then you are on your way to greatness. This is one of Phyno‘s core strengths and it is obvious that he has won the hearts of most music lovers in Nigeria to where his name has to be mentioned whenever rap music is the topic of discussion. His style can easily be exported and liked outside Nigeria.

2. Olamide

Other than his apparent work ethic which is evident in the rate at which he releases music, Olamide’s nonchalant, street flavored and playful delivery of words which surprisingly, typically make sense and rhymes, tend to draw most of us to listen to him; so he has taken care of the attraction factor where most people actually feel the need to listen to his verses all the way through. Digging deeper to his lyrics both in English and Yoruba, Olamide is not much of a storyteller but he is able to make a clear point with strong metaphors, which are difficult to rhyme in Yoruba, and out of this world comparisons that are guaranteed to crack you up.

1. ModeNine

Whether he knows it or not, ModeNine, who we can all agree is the GrandFather of true lyricism in Nigerian hiphop, has the ability and skill to go commercial. This fierce emcee can do anything with words from punch lines, to clear and vivid story telling, to using metaphors that will make you put a puzzle together in his verses. ModeNine’s flow is extra fluid and floats exactly to the beat; he spits his lyrics right within the confines of whatever beat he is dealt in an effortless manner. For all his fans praying he goes commercial, there is hope because he can if he decides to.

Worthy Mentions

1. Phenom

Phenom‘s potential is obvious; all you have to do is listen to his TKG freestyle where he switches flows at will whenever the beat switched. He also delivered on all songs he featured on including Maleek Berry’s New Bounce ft Wizkid.

2. Boogey

Boogey is a fast rapper so you have to listen fast so you can follow him when he skilfully delivers his bars. The kid can rap very well and it appears that ModeNine and M.I agree and respect his skill level enough to feature him on their Occupy The Throne and iLLegal Music 2 mixtapes respectively.

3. Ikechukwu

Ikechukwu also known as Killz remains relevant in Nigerian rap music today. Killz is going the commercial route with an Igbo angle and we all check for his new joints whenever they get released.

4. IllBliss

Ibo Boy iLLBliss who dropped his new album in December of 2012 raps with a calm flow without too much force and delivers his bars in a regular talking tone which fits his size and demeanor. BOSS-type delivery, its no wonder he named his most recent album OGA BOSS.

5. Jesse Jagz

Jargo as most of us know him, has turned all the way spiritual and can rap his lungs off. In his most recent album, he spits long bars on most of the songs to a point that you actually realize that he has been rapping for a while. Above his ability to rap for long at one go, Jesse Jagz also tends to speak lots of sense; personal and social-wise in his music.

Do You Agree With The notjustOk List of The 10 Most Gifted Rappers In Nigeria ?

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253 Responses to “The 10 Most Gifted Rappers in Nigeria”

  1. heck_tour says:

    Where is KAHLI ABDU in all of this? Yung6ix should be here,,,

  2. Ezebigfish says:

    Mode9 made me stop watching yankee's rap, I miss rugged man

  3. LiveAndDie4HipHop says:

    What is the rating based on? Commercial success? Fan base? Longevity? Music content? Artistic persona? Lyrical delivery? or popular demand? Whoever put this list together does not know the essence of Hip Hop, it merits should never be based on personal opinion, you should conduct public polls and let Hip Hop followers decide. Bottom line, this list does not represent Hip Hop, aside from MI, Modenine, SDC ,Sinzu and Naeto C on that list, all others are entertainers not rappers, i would have added Vector but heis too deep on the Jay Z wannabe thing, not original.

  4. vular says:

    no ruggedman here this guys must be joking

  5. brums says:

    I don't know what you fucking listing here, My No 1 is Jesse Jagz

  6. King says:

    This is my own top five (5) not ten(10)
    1.Ice prince
    2.Jesse jagz
    3.Olamide
    4.Phyno
    5.M I
    Ice prince is the best rapper alive now in Nigeria

  7. shhhhhhh says:

    M.I has proved to nigeria and the rest of the world that he is naija's rap oga. Phenom got acid in his verses. Godwon just destroyed sinzu. Phyno would flog olamide any day heis the man of the year. young six definately deserves to be in the top ten.

  8. jay says:

    common dis is wack where is phenom?? where is yung6ix?? what is vector doing on number 8?? ehn i won't mention names but some people shouldn't be on d list

  9. James says:

    i am disapioted in notjustok for this rating. what a mess

  10. ghost says:

    I think its a junkie that compiled this list

  11. Asuquo Bassey Asuquo says:

    …bullshit

  12. fucky'all says:

    I think y'all should stick a 10ft pole up your sorry asses. e easy to run blog? oya na… start una own

  13. xeasy says:

    guys go nd listen to boogey-damiduro remix….nd u will put him in no 1 on any list

  14. next rated says:

    whatever list you guys come up with i am okay with it,i cant judge nobody on this list and i think every individual on this list deserve to be on it.and if you think negative about this list then go screw yourself

  15. LAvirus says:

    where is Rukus and Godwon

  16. NaijaMan says:

    The list is somehow. The subject of rating is 'GIFTED' which means best at it…not most commercially successful. I should more or less go like this – ModeNine, Vector, Phyno, MI, Olamide…etc. Not sure if Ice Prince should make that list at all. Worthy mention should include Mr Raw – with a uniquely accented, locally appealling style.

  17. xoxo master says:

    well am not surprised with this list stuff. @ notjustok here is the list 1.mode9 2.mi 3.vector 4.olamide 5.yung6ix 6.iceprice 7.phyno 8.cookieswizzy(even if his new is still a born leader) 9.reminicse 10.splash baby

  18. louis onose says:

    m certain they were HIGH wen they created dis list.WTF s ice doing on d list??

  19. Personpikin says:

    D List looks 1hunna to me !
    You can't compare Known Mc's to Unknown Ones !
    The Underground Cats need to work their way to the Top 1st(Commercial Appeal Matters) !

  20. eniola says:

    i love my boy wizkid

  21. Anyi Buzz says:

    I disagree with this list, I think it's subjective, here goes my list listed in no particular order
    1.Ice prince
    2.Olamide
    3.Jesse jagz
    4.Phyno
    5.M I
    Ice prince is the best rapper in Nigeria

  22. wtf says:

    whoever compiled this list is high on cheap drugs how can you rate phyno over bosalin? is this top most hyped rappers or 'gifted'?? i think not
    Phenom
    XO Senavoe
    Paybac
    POE
    Boogey these are talents, una for put ruggedman , sky b and vico o join

    Bosalin

  23. Fleezay says:

    1. Fleezay but this guy is in his own league so leave him first

    1. Iceprince
    2. M.I
    3.Phenom
    4.Yung6ix
    5.Jesse Jagz

  24. ayobami says:

    Modafucker wot a rubbish list,may b u lyk it or not dis is d top 5 nd not top 10. Here are d list

    1. M I

    2.Ice Prince

    3.Olamide

    4.Jesse Jazz

    5.Phyno

  25. BOMBAY says:

    Rap in nigeria started from

    1=Rugged man second by the blessed memory of DAGRIN.

    2=Mi

    3=Olamide

    4=ice Prince

    5=Mode 9

    6=phyno.

    Complete the rest.

  26. for me it olamide 1st says:

    1: olamide

    2: m.i

    3: phyno

    4: reminince

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