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The 10 Best Songs of iLLBliss

The 10 Best Songs of iLLBliss

Veteran rapper iLLBliss

An Overview: The 10 Best Songs of iLLBliss

Nigerian Hip Hop has had its kings. Thirty plus years and we've mentioned many names as greats; there's one name, however, that we should mention more frequently. More proudly. That name is iLLBliss, the Oga Boss, the rapper who's cut his place in history by being true to himself, yet adapting and thriving as the times would have it.

iLLBliss has dabbled in Pop, Trap, Highlife, but through these songs, he maintained the core of his artistry, which is rap music. The Ibo Boy had cut his teeth as a member of The Thoroughbreds, a group founded in iLLBliss' university days, and boasted rapper Elajoe, the late great B Elect, Afro R&B act Obiwon, and Da Chief Rocka as its members.

Today, iLLBliss put out his tenth project, Illy Chapo X. To celebrate his consistency, we're putting forward –in no particular order– his ten best songs. Best, of course, being subjective; these songs are selected to reflect the wide scope of themes and sounds he's engaged throughout his career.

The 10 Best Songs of iLLBliss

The cover of iLLBliss' Illy Chapo X album

The 10 Best Songs of iLLBliss

EMI NI BALLER (Oga Boss)

A banging production from Legendury Beatz, feature verses from then label mates Tha Suspect and Chidinma, "Emi Ni Baller" is impressionism at its best, a tipped hat to the pop influences of iLLBliss. At its time, it was probably the biggest rap songs, and its video sold the bossy character the rapper casts.

HUSTLER'S FOOTSTEPS (Oga Boss)

Honest confession: I bumped the hell out of this song. An aspirational number, the Phyno chorus was a prayer to God, to keep the body strong and prosper one's business. Naeto C, slick and classy in his way, was also an epic performance. iLLBliss' verse was the crowning, and all acts took this home.

OSADEBE (Kenebe) [Illosophy]

Off the 2019's Illosophy, "Osadebe," is a  banger, a look-back at the communal life. From its first lines, iLLy is happy with the people around him, recognizing their place in what he's become, Tobechukwu Big Boy. "The streets know me, na dem wey blow me/ Na dem wey stand with me, believing in my bossy flows/ Made hits with Runtown, Mr. Eazy plus Reekado..."

BANK ALERT (Powerful)

Money plays a huge part in one's acclaim to prosperity, and Igbo men know this. iLLBliss, who taps into talk of getting bags as much as he can, is the one on show here. "Bank Alert" was a loud jam; Trap meets the Igbo-esque exuberance of iLLBliss, the chant-like words leading to the chorus. Perfect.

ANAM ACHI KWANU (Oga Boss)

Nowadays Phyno's mighty popular, but sometime ago, he was the lanky dude with the crazy mohawk, ink on screen, voice booming. Those qualities burnish the credibility of this song, which features a classic hook from the rising Phyno. iLLBliss is the boss here, delivering his authoritative lines a lá Notorious. 

COUNTRY (Illy Chapo X)

Off Illy Chapo X comes this socio-political commentary. iLLBliss' vision is precise, his lines cutting deep into the corruption-enabled poverty of Nigeria. He samples Burna Boy, the grit unmistakeable. The drums explode with a horn suggesting prophecy. The lyricism, personal, relative, skillful.

The 10 Best Songs of iLLBliss 

CHUKWU AGOZIGO GI (Powerful)

This song can be described as ebullient, maximalist production built from kicking drums and snares. On its chorus, iLLBliss points at the listener and says, When the good things –convertible in the song– begin to come, you'll know God has blessed you. Chukwu Agozigo gi.

AIYE PO GAN (Dat Ibo Boy)

Terry G was a phenomenon back in the day. The artist channeled the frenetic pace of the streets in his music. In this song he produced for iLLBliss –an evergreen offering of Street Hop– he and the Ibo Boy combine their talent for the outlandish to make a banger.

The 10 Best Songs of iLLBliss 

REMEMBER (Illy Chapo X)

Family is at the core of iLLBliss' life and music. When he raps about getting money, he makes it known it'll reflect on his family. It's an Igbo proverb. If you want to know how rich a man is, look at his wife and kids. Likewise, if you want know how rich this new album is, listen to "Remember," an eulogizing track. Sandwiched between Illy's evocative personal verses is a melting hook from Johnny Drille, who also produced the song.

GROWN MAN RAPS

iLLBliss loves B-Elect. In a interview, he credits his Thoroughbred mate as influencing the rapper he is today. On "Grown Man Raps," iLLBliss speaks life and lessons (the title reflects his artistic mission: giving game), setting his verses like a back pass to Elect, who smashes it home. Dedicating the IllyZilla tape to him shows how much iLLBliss loves and keeps him close to his heart. Reason why this song needed to be here.

The 10 Best Songs of iLLBliss 

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Ugo
Ugo
1 month ago

Na Alu Ekene.. is missing from the list.. That is a classic tune.. and will definitely age well as time passes.