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Urban Central

The Best Nigerian Songs of 2018

Honorable Mentions:

Remy Baggins and EriIfe — YLLW

Yinka Oshodi — Waves

Santi — Rapid Fire

The list proper.

18. DMW feat Davido, Peruzzi and Duncan Mighty — Aza.

Davido rolled out hits upon hits in 2018 and it looks like he is not ready to stop, 2017 was literally fire for Davido and his crew, 2018 didn’t him see him slow down at all. Duncan Mighty’s verse and especially chorus were divinely chosen for this song. A smash hit in the year 2018 and it is thanks to all the artists‘ work ethic on this song.- Dominic (@Durhminick)

17. SDC featuring Worlasi — Malibu and Palm wine.

Instantaneous shoulder movements are guaranteed when this song comes on, this could really be the song that ends the Jollof wars between Nigeria and Ghana, Biko why fight for rice when we can share kegs?.

16. BOJ and Ajebuttah22 — Tungba

BOJ and Butter are the Hardy Boys of Nigerian music, Tungba is their main event title winning fight.

15. McSkillThaPreacher featuring Freeborn — Trust The Process.

No words, just let this song sip into your mind while the angelic, yet piercingly feline vocals of Freeborn runs your rule.

14. Adekunle Gold — Ire.

Someone on my Twitter TL called Adekunle Gold a “male Funmi Aragbaye.” I’m pretty sure he meant it as a slight, but he’s not totally incorrect. AG is probably the only mainstream artist that your grandmother, mother and yourself would probably enjoy together. He has a good mix of contemporary gospel, and alternative afro-pop sound and content. If I were to defend what I just said in front of a panel, Ire would be the song I would point to.

An alternative song competing with the myriad afro-pop hits this year is no mean feat, but Ire has fared pretty well. It is no Amaka, but AG’s promotion ensured that we all listened to Ire, and felt the inspiration that it is.- Samuel Ishola (Tweets @UncleSmish)

13. Burna Boy — Gbona.

What do you do when you are having the best year of your career? (a) Your release more heat, (b) you promote existing songs (c) you headline a show, (d) all the above. You already know the answer and so did Burna Boy. Gbona doesn’t have the same grandeur as the tracks on Outside but it makes up for that deficit by being a fantastic party starter and controlling you when the gbedu enters your body.

12. Psycho YP featuring. Santi and Ayuu — Heartless.

A truly spectacular, uptempo song from a decent debut album from the very promising Abuja-based artist, Psycho YP.

It also harbors the brilliance of a man whose year was underrated, Santi and Ayuu, another Abuja-based act who has the uncanny ability to make switches seem effortless.

11. Burna Boy- Heaven’s Gate .

Burna Boy as an artist prior to 2018 divided opinion, as he constantly got praise for his talent and slander for the perceived inability to fulfill potential. Then Heaven’s Gate was released, showing all the signs of the talent we knew he was, he deftly combined elements of Hip-Hop, house music, disco, grime and Lily Allen’s Soubrette vocals with his ever impressive patios to open the gates of heaven and present a hard knocking Jam to set his 2018 up to be the biggest in his career.

10. Loose, A.Q,SDC — Crown.

Nigerian Hip-Hop song of the year and arguably the best Nigerian posse cut since 2013’s 4 Horsemen barfest brought to you by A.Q and LK, who had a session with TEC and Ghost.

9. Brymo- Banuso .

A quality soundtrack to the Nigerian subconscious; the soliloquy of times that impact key decisions and inspire a range of emotions. Have you ever been on a lonely road, plugged in with earphones, filled with thoughts while the gentle breeze of times and the aggressive gusts of speeding cars sent your clothes flying like flailing, sun-beaten sails on an aged ship? This is the song you want to listen to, a true masterpiece and a chameleon for changing emotions, despite its somber tendencies .

8. M.I Abaga — The Self Evaluation of Yxng Dxnzl.

Music is at it’s best when it is evocative, from making you burst into the latest dance steps to striking a chord with your spirit,the best songs are felt. Yxng Dxnzl is music that you can feel and the high point is his self evaluation .

7. Odunsi, Santi and Zamir — Alte Cruise.

A niche anthem to a niche crowd that represents the evolution of another cultural Nigerian movement after the galala, konto, wobe and shepeteri movements made Nigerian airwaves. Like it or hate it, alte needed a signature; a soundtrack to their very worthy entry into the Nigerian music sphere. Play this song for the right crowd and you’ll get a raucous response.

6.. SDC featuring Burna Boy — Legend .

The Israelites had the pillar of cloud and fire to guide them as they made their way to the promised land , I imagine that the SDC had Palm Trees and a siren who appears only to deliver gourds of palm wine as they prepared Palm Wine Music 🌴🌴. Such is the potency of the project that every track oozed flavor. Legend which is one of the best efforts on the project finds a floating Burna Boy teaming up with the Camp to declare legendary status over a instrumental that is punctuated by rhythmical scatting by Efya.

5. Victor Ad- Wetin We Gain.

How do you describe a song that manages to capture the ethos of a demographic?- or at least a large section. Implementing the bare minimum in lyrics and instrumentation, Victor AD is the outlet for the cry of so many who just want to make money, a realization that has occasioned questions as to whether the song is benign or nocuos.

While the Messiah may have issued warnings as to gain in Mark 8:36, Victor AD is asking a different set of questions here, who has the answers?

4. Olamide- Science student.

Olamide could probably make music about killing your parents for money and make it stick… wait, didn’t he do that already? Damn!Grand irony is when a song titled “Science student” is probably your chemistry teacher’s nightmare, but everyone else, from the hood “pharmacist”, to your youth pastor is grooving to the lyrics.

Olamide has morphed into a masterful, all-round musician with an ear for hits, and Science student was 2018’s annual reminder. Culturally, Science student also contributed to the virality of the Shaku Shaku dance, which is arguably the most popular Naija pop-culture “item” of 2018.Samuel Ishola (Tweets @UncleSmish)

3. Teni — Wait.

It is rumored that if you play Teni’s wait at 12 midnight in front of a mirror you will be possessed by the spirit of a long suffering lover.

Wait as a love song manages to describe all the actions expected of a hapless romantic,this is the calm before the storm that is CASE.

2. 2face ft Peruzzi — Amaka.

Amaka is 2018's Folake. The ghost of the songs — Tekno’s “Duro” and Falz’s “Regards To Your MomC” — that made the name, Folake, the butt of corny jokes in 2017 visited Amaka in 2018. And all Amaka’s worldwide, are still reeling off it. I guess that subtly explains how huge Tu face’s hit song with Peruzzi was. I mean, the virality — and the accompanying corniness — that took two mega stars in afropop and hip-hop to create, was doubled by one song. It says all you need to know about the song.

Great songs impact culture, and as far as we know, in Naija urban lexicon, Amaka is now synonymous with disappointment. Thanks, Tu Baba and Peruzzi. Samuel Ishola (Tweets @UncleSmish)

1. Burna Boy — Ye.

Ye is undeniably the Nigerian song of 2018, from the way it begins to the how it ends, it is difficult to believe that it is a product birthed from streams of consciousness.

It is so beautifully crafted that you don’t only have to rate Burna Boy’s performance, you also have to commend the Producer’s intuition to create such a template for not just only Burna but his listeners to vibe to. Dominic (@Durhminick)

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