Hip hop is a principled genre with specific ground rules and defined music arrangement formulae. But every once in a while, genre rebels break numerous codes of conduct to produce something absolutely genius by genre-breeding with artistes outside the hip-hop realm. Over the years, Nigerian music has had a few of its own cross-genre collaborations.
Though we have stayed away from official ranking these songs for technical reasons, we will examine the best of them anyway.
Jealousy (feat. Pasuma) – Remedies
This 1996 hit by the Remedies began a trend where home grown music was fused with the imported hip hop sounds. Pasuma brought the fuji, remedies brought the hip hop It was not the first of its kind, but it is one of the must successful till date.
Number one (feat Flavour) – M.I
Off M.I’s sophomore album, Number One was one of the songs that built anticipation for the album’s release. There was something exceptionally brilliant about the overlap of M.I’s flow and Flavour’s sonorous high life. It has stood the test of time as one of the best songs ever recorded by M.I
Share my blessings (feat. Asa) – Neato C
Neato C premiered Share My Blessings on the first day of 2011 to commemorate the new year. Between the depth of Neato C’s lyrics and Asa’s ever insightful vocals, there is something haunting, beautiful and damn near depressing that makes the song a work of genius.
Higher (feat. Bez) – Olamide
Olamide’s Baddest Guy Ever Liveth album marked a renaissance in his career.Higher was one of the better mixed and executed songs on the album. With a chorus from Bez and a choir providing background vocals, you only need a few seconds before you admit you haven’t heard anything like it.
Soldier (feat. Simi) – Falz
We can’t stop talking about Falz and Simi’s Soldier because we haven’t had any song this smooth. Simi’s vocals glide through the song’s vocals as Falz tells a very convincing story of love by force.
Oleku (feat. Brymo) – Ice Prince
Placed on a mid-tempo beat by Jesse Jagz, Oleku has Brymo supplying sleek vocals to Ice Prince’s rap. The result is a song so hot, it served as the bed rock for the careers of both Brymo and Ice Prince to spring board from.
Cry (feat. Nnnena) – Mode 9
Mode 9’s Cry is a story telling masterpiece off his 2006 album E’ Pluribus Unum.
Raise da roof (feat. Adewale Ayuba) – Jazzman Olofin
Summer 2002 was never the same after the release of rapper, Jazzman Olofin’s Raise Da Roof featuring Adewale Ayuba, a Fuji-Bonsuwe singer.
Thank God (feat. Omawunmi) – DaGrin
Reaping off the sonic romance between Omawunmi and Dr Frabz, DaGrin slipped two rap verses into an already made hit. The instrumentation is fast paced without being tedious and Omawunmi’s chorus is retained on the chorus for DaGrin to take the rest of the song away.
Ruggedy Baba (feat. 9ice) – Rugged Man
At the peak of his career, 9ice provided a lot of hooks for songs that have withstood the test of time. While Ruggedman raps, 9ice provides a chorus epic enough to stop you dead in your tracks in the middle of the street to properly digest the wisdom you’re about to be imparted.
Wheel Barrow (feat. Beenie Man, Emmy Ace) – M.I
From the clustered bass drums on the instrumental, M.I’s Wheelbarrow is evidently your typical sweaty basement party jam where everyone is dressed in net-holed shirts and ripped jeans.
Whiskey (feat. Sunny Nneji) – Ice Prince
Ice Prince shows a more introspective side on this song. Two depressing stories are laid before the audience about the effects of alcohol and reckless behaviour. Of course, none of the stories end happily, but the Sammy Gyang produced highlife instrumentation and stellar verse from the veteran, Sunny Nneji kept the song alive and breathing.
Oga nla (feat. Pasuma, Lil Kesh) – Olamide
Off Olamide’s fourth studio album Oga nla was produced to give exactly the effect the song delivered. Pasuma opened the song with a haunting throaty refrain before Olamide and Lil Kesh are allowed to step in with verses. The background kicks and drums on Pasuma’s refrain are so evident of his Fuji music style, the follow-up verses from Olamide and Lil Kesh are almost disconnected from the hook’s brilliance.