Nigerian music is as diverse as music comes. One trait that stands out across all genres is the flexibility of the music and its ability to assume different forms based on different factors like the artist, the audience and so much more.
Roughly 7 years ago, the street hop subculture was born out of a mix of Afropop and indigenous rap. This sound was characterised by faster beats — faster than the typical uptempo Nigerian pop songs. Today, the tempo speed can vary, but the raw, cheeky, spot on lyrics that qualifies the music then, still remains today.
The streets of Nigeria continue to vibe to street hop songs, with trap infusions, Amapiano elements, Dancehall and even RnB with the vivid storytelling that is typical of Nigerian music. Combined with the experimental and fluid nature of new-age artists, it is undeniable that Nigerian street music has seen some of its best days in this past decade.
Here are some of the greatest Nigerian street anthems in the last 10 years.
Penalty – Small Doctor
Released in 2016, Penalty is Small Doctor’s groovy hit song that talks about making money and spending it lavishly. With the popular line “if you no get money, hide your face,” Penalty won The Headies for “Best Street Hop” in 2018.
Legbegbe – Mr Real
Legbegbe is arguably one of the songs that influenced the Shaku Shaku sound, with its distinct beat and accompanying dance step. Released in 2018, Legbegbe which means “side by side,” street talk for being pickpocketed, generated a lot of conversation especially with certain camps claiming it was inspired by Seun Egbegbe — a Nollywood actor who allegedly attempted stealing nine iPhones from Computer Village.
Soapy- Naira Marley
In 2019, Naira Marley released Soapy, his sixth single of the year just days after his release from prison. The song received a lot of backlash, with the majority questioning the meaning of the lyrics and terming it dirty. Soapy, slang for jerking off was accompanied by the soapy dance step, which equally received backlash and was called vulgar.
KPK – Rexxie ft. Mohbad
KPK was one of the most popular slangs of 2021, and one of the most popular songs too. With its Amapiano undertones, KPK was one of the hottest street songs of 2021, with its additive road bounce sound.
Fada Fada – Phyno ft. Olamide
Released in 2016, Fada Fada is one of the greatest street anthem collaborations to ever come from Nigeria. With an Igbo and Yoruba rapper delivering bars in two different Nigerian languages, catchy lyrics, and an up-tempo beat, Fada Fada was a hit for many obvious reasons.
Tesojue – Reminisce
Reminisce’s 2014 banger Tesojue was an instant street fave the minute it dropped. Its catchy hook “wa fe ku laleyi,” and steamy video — at the time, made Tesojue even more popular despite criticism for its lewd lyrics.
Efejoku – Lil Kesh ft Viktoh
One of the most groovy tracks to come out of the last decade, Efejoku was famed for being a party starter. Released in 2016, Efejoku boasts one of the most authentic song deliveries, with an impressive amount of versatility exhibited by both artists.
Wetin We Gain – Victor AD
After featuring on Erriga’s 2017 hit song, Motivation, Victor AD released Wetin We Gain in 2018. In the song, AD engages in dialogue with God, asking him to remember him and bless the work of his hand.
Bobo – Olamide
In 2015, Olamide released Bobo, one of the songs that was instrumental to the creation of street pop. With its special dance step — shakiti bobo, Bobo had the streets on lock for a considerable amount of time.
Able God – Chinko Ekun Ft. Lil Kesh x Zlatan Ibile
Able God was released in 2018, with the “no more insufficient funds” line that trended all year long. It was also responsible for the Able God challenge that trended on Twitter and Instagram, and brought artist, Picazo to the limelight.