The entertainment scene in Nigeria has witnessed immeasurable growth like no other sector in the Country, most especially Nigerian music. Aside oil, music seems to be our second largest export to Africa and with collaborations with established acts in the US I can comfortably say we are taking it to the world.
A few of us can recall how the pioneers struggled to build the multi million dollar industry that has changed the fortunes of individuals and improved the reputation of the country in the international community. However, it is noteworthy to recognize some individuals that have put out evergreen projects that can be labelled as defining moments in the music industry. The journey of Nigerian contemporary music known as Afro Pop/ Afro Beat cannot be complete without mentioning 5 of the greatest albums most especially in an industry where the culture of releasing albums is fast fading.
These are the Top 5 Albums of all time (at least till date).
5. Wizkid – Superstar
Ayo Balogun popularly known as Wizkid hit the airwaves hard with his powerful single ‘Holla at Your Boy’. The remarkable feat he achieved with this single was that the single was not the usual ‘party track’ expected from Artiste hoping to be commercially successful and famous. However, Wizkid registered his presence and went ahead to deliver a 5 star performance on the Superstar Album. At the launch of the Album he sold out tables like its nothing and we can say he and his label organised the first successful concert in the music industry.
4. Dagrin – C.E.O
A movement of indigenous rappers has taken over the HipHop scene in Nigeria, they all have Dagrin to thank for the bold statement he made with his sophomore album C.E.O Chief Executive Omota. Dagrin single handedly gave a voice to the streets. His delivery, swag and flow just out classed and silenced all other rappers. His boldness and success encouraged other rappers like Olamide and Reminisce to switch their style to accomodate indigenous lingua more.
C.E.O was indeed a masterpiece that opened our eyes to the new order.
3. PSquare – Get Squared
The brothers made perfection when they dropped this album. The first single of the album gave them away as Usher fantastic but every other track was a hit. I remember attending one of their shows back in school, we sang every track they performed along with them. Probably at a time when the music industry was still scanty, they kept releasing and promoting single after single for a space of 18 months and the fans kept taking it with much love. This Album defined pop culture in the music industry and put the brothers name in every household.
2. 9ice – Gongo Aso
At a time when Festac and Ajegunle boys were running the industry this man made us look towards the slums of Bariga for the new diamonds in the gutter. His debut album ‘Certificate’ showed he has got what it takes to make an impact in the music industry but it wasn’t till his Sophomore Album ‘Gongo Aso’ that he discovered himself fully. Just like many other Artistes he was able to shake himself of the influence of his ‘Music Daddy’ Wyclef Jean on his Sophomore and he Presented the raw talent in him. Even though he was more of an indigenous act his art received nation wide acceptance, most especially his ID Cabassa produced hit single ‘Gongo Aso’ which had all dance floors across the nation on fire.
1. 2face Idibia – Face to Face
Undoubtedly and Undisputably the end to a new beginning. When a third of the famous boy band Plantashun boiz broke away, the heart of many broke but only if we had known the phenomenon that would precede the break we would not have wasted our tears. Even to the last member of the group, the break was favorable.
‘Face2face’ was the the first million naira album contract, it had the first single that was exported out of Africa ‘African Queen’ and it fetched the first multi million naira endorsement deal. In short, the success of the album changed the way the music industry was viewed in its entirety. Tuface or TuBaba as he is now called redefined the music industry with this album and breathe a new life into the industry as a whole.
After these albums quite a number of other individuals have hit commercial successes and fame in the industry, we cannot but talk about the Don Jazzy’s produced ‘Mushin to Mohit’ by Wande Coal, MI’s ‘Talk about it’ and Faze’s Independent which made the cut as great albums too.
Though the tradition of releasing album is fading we are still proud we have an industry that can afford us a decent or better still a luxurious lifestyle.
If you disagree with this selection you can as well make and email your pick of the top 5 best album of all times to [email protected].
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DJ STiphBami – Beats and Juice (BJ 2021)
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TareeQ – Medicine
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