The Illegal Music 3 aftermath.
M.I closed February with the release of his highly anticipated Illegal Music 3 mixtape. The collective featured clap backs to critics, hard-hitting braggadocious hip-hop numbers and a call for the industry to transform itself within itself. But all these supposedly well-meaning messages and themes seemingly got lost in translation and for the next couple of days, the Nigerian social media was locked in a furious exchange of words between music enthusiasts about the best rapper in Nigeria. This unnecessary argument saw nearly every rapper in Nigeria get dragged to the Twitter trending topic sidebar. Though the arguments came back inconclusive as usual, it was really interesting to see how much influence M.I still has on the industry.
The hip-hop phenomenon of Face Off by The Lost and Found.
When the talents of producer Charlie X, rapper PayBac and Boogey come together, the result is probably the most hip-hop album/mixtape Nigeria has seen in a while. With each song telling a different story or sharing a different experience, both rappers, weave witty rhymes around linear narratives while Charlie X does well to provide intelligently sampled instrumentals for them to spit bars on. We won’t be getting anything this craftily hip hop in a while, so you may want to grab your headphones.
The Soldier video.
With his critically acclaimed sophomore album Stories that Touch still getting major buzz in the media, Falz brought a bit of his secondary industry Nollywood into the production of the adjoining visuals for Soldier. Directed by Clarence Peters, the video played like a Nollywood rom-com starring a stubborn suitor and an unyielding lover, only Falz’s story was better plotted than any locally made flick we have seen recently. Of the myriad of talents that make up the new wave of Nigerian artistes, Soldier proves Falz as one of the most talented.
Lil Kesh finally dropped his debut album.
Debut albums are always career pace setters and for Lil Kesh, Y.A.G.I was more than just the music, it was becoming a mouthpiece for untold stories from the streets. There are expected shortfalls on the album of course, but Lil’ Kesh shines gloriously on the album’s highest points. This is an artiste that is here to stay whether anyone likes it or not and we can’t wait to see what’s coming next.
Yemi Alade goes for the Mama Africa crown.
Though many artistes have essentially discarded the need to make traditional LPs, Yemi Alade is not to be counted as part of that bandwagon. The singer finally released a follow-up to her King of Queens album with a bold Mama Africa claim to her name in the process. Though the album didn’t necessarily reflect absolute Afrocentrism as she teased in the media, within a few hours of the Mama Africa‘s release, Yemi Alade shared screenshots of the album being featured on iTunes top selling charts thanking her fans for support. Take that critics.
Sasha Is back.
Between Eva’s announcement that she was quitting music over the weekend and M.I’s call for rappers to remake Tay Iwar’s The Box as he’d done on his Illegal Music 3 mixtape, we still don’t know what exactly dragged Sasha out of hibernation. But either way, she’s back and kicking. The rapper released her own refix of M.I’s The Box, encouraging her fellow female rappers who have mostly been silent in recent times. We hope her cry is loud enough to be heard because all we can hear from Nigerian female rappers, for now, are chirping crickets.
P-Square reunion or something like that.
After another series of internal family drama that threatened to split up the P-Square formation, the Okoye brothers chose to end their laughable public spectacle with synchronized social media posts apologizing to fans and industry stakeholders. Things have been hush from their end ever since and we hope it’s for good reason.
Davido goes hard back to back in the U.S.
Davido performed at the Fader Fort in Austin Texas USA earlier this month opening for headliner Drake. The next day, the singer took the stage at the South by South West SXSW interactive media festival for its “Sounds from Africa” event. Both shows were performed to an energetic crowd of a vibrant audience. Davido was especially happy to represent Africa on the international fronts at such prestigious events.
GidiFest was lit.
“Lit” is not just a word guys, it is a social construct and going by Heineken’s Gidifest this year, that’s the only way to describe the musical event. Taking cues from European music festivals of the same size, organizers Eclipse West Africa in partnership with Heineken brought all the lights and tech gear to deliver a memorable concert-going experience where fans could control the music. Did we mention it was hosted on a beach at Lagos’ futuristic Eko Atlantic City? Way to go to set the bar right?