Best Intro Songs on Nigerian Albums from 2000s-2022

Nigerian album intro songs 2000-2022

Once upon a time, Nigerian music existed was consumed mostly through singles, albums were if released, bootlegged and the pirated copies got most of the circulation through compilation albums or dubbed copies that robbed the artistes of their deserved pay. Thankfully, with the increasing popularity of music streaming platforms, more Nigerians are beginning to involve albums and EPs in their music diet and this has also encouraged Nigerian musicians over the past few years, to put out bodies of work in numbers. In addition to this, the projects have also taken cohesive form as more than a compilation of records by the same artiste, but are well thought out from start to interlude, down to the finish with aim to tell a story and pass across a clear message. This is why these days, tweets and story posts with the words ‘album mode,’ as well as curated messages speaking on the process of the album-making process have become the order of the day. To appreciate the many album-birthing strides that the Nigerian music industry has gone through, in this list, we take a look at some of the best intros on popular Nigerian albums. 'Best' in the sense that they feel like an actual introduction to a body of work and tie in nicely to the rest of the project. Here are the best intro songs on popular Nigerian albums: 

Best Intro Songs on Nigerian Albums 2000s-2022;

1. Say My Name- Wizkid; Superstar album, 2012

It is already super prophetic that Wizkid’s debut album was titled Superstar, a perfect description of what he is now, and it is doubly so that the intro to this album chronicled a typical day in his life as a superstar; ‘Be it in lasgidi or overseas, see everybody call my name– Wizzy.’

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Infectious and catchy, the song had grown on listeners and had become one of the many favourites off his Superstar album but even more so, it has become a classic example of music lyrics and artiste introductions that age well. 

2. Eyan Mayweather- Olamide; Eyan Mayweather, 2015

With one of the most impressive discographies in Nigeria’s music industries, it would be remiss if Olamide’s Eyan Mayweather intro which doubled as the title of the album, didn’t make the list. Created in Olamide’s dragon rap flows era where he ate rappers for breakfast and shat rap lines after, Eyan Mayweather’s sample of Gregorian chants at the beginning joins forces with Badoo’s verses to make a classic rap album introduction. It gets even better as the streets and even suit and tie establishments were glad to have this record and it soon became a hit. 

Best Intro Songs on Nigerian Albums 2000s-2022;

3. Mo Gbona Feli Feli- D’Banj; The Entertainer, 2008

“I’m hot and you’re not,” D’Banj declared on the intro of his industry-shaking The Entertainer album right after Don Jazzy’s cries of "mo gbona feli feli" and the sampled cries of an ecstatic crowd. That was however not the last of such audacious, cock-sure statements from D’Banj as he proved to be an entertainer right from the start of his album with lines like “Don't know about you, but I'm handsome, most people wanna hold me for ransom,” that had everyone feeling themselves back in 2008. 

4. Jailer- Asa; Asha, 2008

2008 was a golden era for Nigerian music which had ushered in an awakening of talents and Asa’s Jailer which had grown into an anthem was one of the songs that had served as a flag of this revolution. Different as it had been, Jailer which was the intro into Asa’s eponymous debut, had made its way to the hearts of every listener, defying the norm to become the breakout song on an album that inspired other musical acts to find their voices in different ways. 

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Best Intro Songs on Nigerian Albums 2000s-2022;

5. Intro- Davido; A Good Time, 2020

It is widely argued that Davido’s third studio album, A Good Time is his best in terms of cohesion and storytelling and the intro song titled simply as that leaves little room for argument as it tells a captivating story on who Davido is. Intro by Davido had instantly struck a chord within its listeners from day one and carried over into the next year even when an acapella version of it was posted up. In fact, the impact of the song is so far-reaching that in the latter end of 2021, singer and songwriter, Yonda, who’d penned the lyrics for Davido claimed that the record had been the now-buried bone of contention between Davido and Burna Boy

While we may never know for sure, it remains undisputed that the Intro track was a blissful buildup record that perfectly captured the larger-than-life persona of Davido.

6. Asalamalekun- Reminisce; El-Hadj, 2016

Classic hip-hop records have several diverse elements that add up to them being recognised as such but one easy standard of measurement is the head-bopping factor that generates waves of self-assuredness and confidence within the listener whether or not they can hear every rap line or understand what is being said. The starter track to his El-Hadj album, a follow-up to his Alaga Ibile which had placed the hardcore rapper in the limelight, Reminisce’s Asalamakeun has oodles of that confidence-booster shot. His bars and impeccable flows eventually lead up to the climactic chorus which goes "Asalamakekun fun awon tan ko mi je proper" (peace be unto those that recognise my artistry proper), and it is at that moment it is fully established that this project is a minefield of slapper lines. 

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Best Intro Songs on Nigerian Albums 2000s-2022;

7. Level Up- Burna Boy; Twice As Tall, 2020

A multi-talented and uber versatile singer, Burna Boy had always put himself to task on his albums and bodies of works, so on his albums like LIFE; Leaving an Impact For Eternity and On A Spaceship, he’d given poignant intros like that of the former titled Intro; My Life where he’d chronicled his childhood and his journey into becoming Burna Boy and later infused a voiceover from his grandfather and manager to the late Fela Kuti, Benson Idonije, speaking highly of him. The latter had been a case of situational irony with a sample of media personality, Osagie Alonge’s speech where he had stated that controversy would kill the artiste’s career. 

The Burna Boy intro that however gets the cake is the intro to his latest album, Level Up which is every bit the quintessential world music style introduction to his Twice As Tall album. Starting up with a sample from a soundtrack from the classic film, Journey to the Center of the Earth and then broadening into a melodic narration from Burna Boy who allowed for a rare moment of vulnerability, the addition of three-times Grammy awarded Youssou N’Dour, makes Level Up an unforgettable intro. 

8. No Longer Stupid- Blaqbonez; Bad Boy Blaq Re-Up, 2019

When Blaqbonez took the stage at his show; Breaking the Yoke of Love, he’d done so in the highest energies, swaggering to 4 Door Jeep, the intro of his Sex Over Love album which makes his most commercially successful project. But the entry for best album intro from Blaqbonez preludes his commercial success era and acts as a precursor to these times, dating two years back to his Bad Boy Blaq Re-Up album. No Longer Stupid, was the intro where Blaqbonez had declared the beginning of a new dimension for him as a rapper. First, he’d opened up with an inspiring and hilariously narrated story of how he’d almost been denied from performing at a Soundcity show for being an up and comer, only to take to the stage to cheers from the crowd. Marking an awakening in the rapper and an end to his feuding era, on No Longer Stupid, Blaqbonez had said, "Fuck the negativity, focus on profit." Next thing we know, we have this insanely talented rapper doing music marketing like we’ve never seen before to get his records to the top of the charts. 

Best Intro Songs on Nigerian Albums 2000s-2022;

9. AG Baby- Adekunle Gold; Afropop Vol. 1, 2020

Albums past and present on Adekunle Gold’s discography will reveal that he has no bad intro on any of his albums, with Ire off his second studio album, About 30, becoming one of the hits on the project. His most recent album started up with a Fatoumata Diawara feature on Born Again also shows his hand as a musician skilled at making global records. But the glory and the numbers go to the intro of his Afropop Vol.1 album, AG Baby. An album put together with sparkling cohesion, his collaboration with Trinidadian singer, Nailah Blackman was uber fluid and was not only a smooth intro track but a blissful re-introduction to AG Baby who had morphed into the daddy. 

10. Cast, Ayra Starr- 19 & Dangerous, 2021

Members of the much-talked-about Gen Z demographic have been labelled as many things. And on Ayra Starr’s debut album, 19 & Dangerous, she makes it unequivocally known that they’re unapologetically audacious and true to self no matter what through her rousing intro song, Cast, alternately known as the Gen-Z anthem. With a chorus that goes, ‘If I cast, yeah I cast, anything wey wan sup go sup,’ Ayra Starr makes it clear over vocoder-backed vocals that over there, slip-ups are welcome and invites everyone to live a little on the wild side. 

Best Intro Songs on Nigerian Albums 2000s-2022;

11. Daniel Benson- Bnxn, Sorry I'm Late, 2021

Buju may have recently changed his name to Bnxn, a stylised version of his name, Benson, but in retrospect, it seems the talented singer had been preparing for the switch. Releasing his much-anticipated and requested debut project with his Sorry I'm Late EP, he had given us a proper self-introduction with the honeyed starter self-titled track, Daniel Benson, assuring us that he had within him an ever-flowing river of melodies to make us dance to his tune without pause. 

12. Ghetto Dreams- DaGrin ft Sossick; CEO, 2009

DaGrin had revolutionised the rap game in Nigeria from his singles to his singular body of work; C.E.O, blending classic rap cadences with the indigenous like he’d been birthed with the hip-hop blueprint. On C.E.O, he’d similarly given a perfect example of what an intro rap track should sound like while blending two cultures and making superb use of Sossick’s vocals to give a golden wake-up track. With his introspective narration on the many paths he'd followed before music found him, he had in turn stirred up many rappers to approach their pen game in a different way. 

Other GOATed intro songs on Nigerian albums include Chizoba by Phyno featuring The Cavemen off his Something to Live For album, Adura by Tiwa Savage from her R.E.D album, Brymo's No Be Me from Oso, Blessed Forever by A-Q featuring Good girl LA off his similarly titled album, Zoom off Cheque's debut EP, Razor, Beautiful People by Chike from his Boo of the Booless album debut and a host of others.

This list is clearly an inexhaustive one and without a doubt, several other GOATed intro songs from Nigerian albums from the 2000s-2022 exist so we'll love to hear from you on the other starter tracks you think deserve to be on this list.