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by . RJL


2024! 12 Nigerian Rappers to Watch

by . RJL

2024! 12 Nigerian Rappers to Watch

by . RJL

Nigeria has long been a hotbed of musical talent, especially in the realm of hip- hop. As we enter 2024, the Nigerian rap scene continues to evolve, with a diverse array of artists making waves both locally and internationally. Here are twelve Nigerian rappers to keep an eye on this year:

1. Tobe Nwigwe

Tobe Nwigwe, with his distinctive style and thought-provoking lyricism, has been steadily gaining recognition. Known for his soulful beats and conscious rhymes, Tobe's music is a powerful blend of storytelling and introspection. Tobechukwu Dubem "Tobe" Nwigwe (born March 8, 1987) is an American rapper, singer and actor. As of 2022, Nwigwe co-stars in the Netflix television series Mo and received a nomination for Best New Artist at the 65th Grammy Awards. Nwigwe has collaborated with many other artists, including Pharrell Williams, D Smoke, Black Thought, Royce Da 5'9" and Nas. Nwigwe's The Pandemic Project was released in 2020. As he continues to explore new sonic territories, he is poised to make an even greater impact on the global hip-hop stage in 2024.

2. Lil Simz:

While Lil Simz hails from the UK, her Nigerian roots are evident in her music, blending influences from both worlds. Simz has been a force in the industry, garnering critical acclaim for her intricate wordplay and dynamic flow. Simbiatu "Simbi" Abisola Abiola Ajikawo (born 23 February 1994),better known by her stage name Little Simz, is a rapper, singer and actress. She rose to prominence with the independent release of her first three albums; A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons (2015), Stillness in Wonderland (2016) and Grey Area (2019), the last of

which was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize and won the awards for Best Album at both the Ivor Novello Awards and the NME Awards. We Expect her to maintain her upward trajectory and make more significant contributions to the rap landscape this year. 3. Wale:

Wale, a seasoned artist with a career spanning over a decade, remains a prominent figure in NigerianAmerican rap. Known for his clever wordplay and ability to switch between various styles, Wale continues to be a trendsetter. Olubowale Victor Akintimehin (born September 21, 1984), better known by his stage name Wale ,first gained recognition in 2006 when his song "Dig Dug (Shake It)" became popular in his hometown of Washington D.C., leading to Wale gaining local recognition as he continued recording music for the regional audience. In 2008, a three-label bidding war resulted in Wale signing with Interscope Records for US$1.3 million, releasing his debut studio album Attention Deficit in November of the following year. The album was under-shipped and underperformed commercially, but was met with positive reception and marked Wale's first Billboard Hot 100 entry with its lead single, "Chillin" (featuring Lady Gaga).

In 2024, anticipate Wale's continued impact as he navigates the everchanging rap landscape. 4. Skepta:

Skepta, a grime artist with Nigerian heritage, has successfully bridged the gap between the UK and Nigerian music scenes. Renowned for his energetic performances and razor-sharp lyricism, Skepta remains a key figure in the global

hip-hop community. Joseph Olaitan Adenuga Jr. (born 19 September 1982), known professionally as Skepta, is a British grime MC, rapper, record producer and DJ. Skepta released his debut studio album Greatest Hits in 2007 and his second album, Microphone Champion in 2009, both independently; while his third studio album Doin' It Again was released in 2011 by AATW. Keep an eye on him as he explores new collaborations and pushes the boundaries of the hiphop genre.

5. Tion Wayne:

Tion Wayne has been making waves with his infectious beats and catchy hooks. As a versatile artist who effortlessly blends Afrobeat and rap elements, Tion Wayne has caught the attention of fans worldwide. Dennis Junior Odunwo (born 1 September 1993), known professionally as Tion Wayne, is a Nigerian-British rapper and DJ from Edmonton, North London.

He appeared on three top-10 singles on UK Singles Chart as a guest NSG's "Options", "Keisha & Becky" with Russ Millions and KSI's track "Houdini" before getting his first top 10 hit as the lead artist with "I Dunno" featuring Dutchavelli and Stormzy, which peaked at number 7, and having his first number 1 with "Body" alongside Russ Millions. With his charismatic presence and evolving sound, he is undoubtedly one to watch in 2024.

6. Illbliss:

Illbliss, also known as “Oga Boss,” stands as a unique figure in the Nigerian rap scene, epitomizing the rich cultural diversity of the country. What sets him apart is his mastery of trilingual rap, seamlessly incorporating English, Igbo, and Yoruba into his lyrics. This linguistic versatility not only adds depth to his music but also reflects the multicultural tapestry of Nigeria.

Beyond his musical prowess, Illbliss has made significant strides in the entertainment industry, showcasing his acting skills in roles like Odogwu in the acclaimed movie “King of Boys.” This dual proficiency in both rap and acting allows him to contribute to the narrative of Nigerian culture on multiple fronts, solidifying his status as a multifaceted artist.

Moreover, Illbliss has demonstrated a keen understanding of the Lagos Hip-Hop economy. By staying

attuned to the pulse of the city’s vibrant music scene, he actively shapes and contributes to the evolution of Lagos as a hip-hop hub. Through his involvement, Illbliss not only uplifts his own career but also paves the way for emerging talents, fostering a dynamic and thriving hip-hop community.

7. Olamide:

Olamide, often referred to as the “King of the Streets,” has consistently delivered hits that resonate with a wide audience. With his unique blend of Yoruba and English lyrics, Olamide’s influence is set to persist, contributing to the vibrancy of Nigerian rap. Olamide’s recent Grammy nomination is a testament to his enduring impact and the global recognition of Nigerian hip-hop. The nomination not only underscores his talent but also signifies a significant milestone for the entire Nigerian music industry.

8. MI Abaga:

MI Abaga, a true legend in the Nigerian rap scene, brings a level of artistry and storytelling that has earned him widespread acclaim. He gained recognition in 2006 with the popularization of his track "Crowd Mentality" in Jos, Nigeria. His debut studio album, Talk About It, was introduced in 2008, followed by MI 2: The Movie (2010). Subsequently, he unveiled his third studio album, The Chairman, four years later. Additionally, Abaga released the playlist Rendezvous in February 2018, followed by his fourth studio album, A Study On Self Worth: Yxng Dxnzl, in August of the same year. As he continues to innovate, MI Abaga’s impact on the genre remains enduring, making him a crucial figure in 2024.

9. Vector

Vector, often hailed as one of Nigeria’s finest lyricists, brings a poetic finesse to the rap game. His intricate wordplay, social commentary, and versatile flow make him a force to be reckoned with. As he navigates the ever-changing landscape, Vector’s commitment to lyrical excellence ensures that he remains a standout artist in 2024. 10. Reminisce

Reminisce, known for his gritty narratives and authentic street style, continues to make waves. His ability to capture the essence of everyday life in his lyrics

resonates with a broad audience. As he keeps his finger on the pulse of the streets, Reminisce is set to maintain his influence and contribute to the dynamic tapestry of Nigerian hip-hop this year. 11. Tyler The Creator

Tyler, the Creator, has carved a niche for himself with his genre-defying approach to music. His innovative production, thought-provoking lyricism, and fearless creativity make him a standout figure in the global hip-hop landscape.

Tyler Gregory Okonma (born March 6, 1991), known professionally as Tyler, the Creator, is a Nigerian- American rapper and record producer. He is one of the founding members of the music collective Odd Future. Okonma has won two Grammy Awards,three BET Hip Hop Awards, a BRIT Award, and a MTV Video Music Award.

Okonma self-released his debut mixtape Bastard in 2009 and rapidly gained attention among the online music press for his horrorcore-influenced sound and violent, transgressive lyrical content. His debut studio album Goblin (2011) brought him mainstream exposure, which was aided by the popularity of the single "Yonkers" and its accompanying music video

As he continues to push boundaries, Tyler brings an international perspective that adds a unique flavor to the evolving sounds of 2024.

12. Odumodublvck

Tochukwu Gbubemi Ojogwu (born 19 October 1993),popularly known as Odumodublvck, is a Nigerian rapper, singer and songwriter.He is known for his stage performances, genre-blend and his often portrayal of Okpu Agu. Odumodublvck is a member of the hip-hop collective Anti World Gangstars. He currently resides in Abuja, Nigeria and is fast becoming a rap sensation in the afro music industry.

In 2022, he signed a record deal with NATIVE Records, in partnership with Def Jam. On 23 November 2022, he released his first single under the NATIVE, titled "Picanto" featuring ECko Miles, and Zlatan, which earned him his first chart entry on the Nigeria Top 100 at number 79, and reached number 65.On 23 January 2023, he ranked number 4 on TurnTable's NXT Emerging Top Artistes. In 2023, Def Jam Recordings signed an exclusive deal with Odumodublvck upon the release of EZIOKWU mixtape.

In conclusion, the Nigerian rap scene is flourishing, and these artists are poised to shape its future. Whether through thought-provoking lyrics, dynamic performances, or genre-blending sounds, these rappers are set to leave a lasting impact on the global hip-hop landscape in the coming year.


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