The early 2000s were a pivotal time in Nigerian music history. The decade saw the rise of many stars and legends, the production of classic albums, and a plethora of evergreen songs — all of which laid the foundation for Nigerian music as we know it.
For so many of us, this era (2000-2009) seems like just yesterday. So it’s difficult to believe that some of our favorite Naija classics are almost 18 years old! This means we’ve been singing these iconic songs for almost two decades. So while Nigerians get ready to vote in the upcoming elections, here are 6 classic Nigerian hits that will soon be old enough to join us at the polling units:
P-Square – Bizzy Body (2005)
Right at the top of the list is P-Square’s legendary hit single, Bizzy Body from the duo’s second studio album Get Squared which consisted of 13 fire tracks. Featuring talented Nigerian singer, Waje, whose sweet vocals added that special touch to the song, Bizzy Body had both young and old dancing along, and can still drive a crowd of music lovers wild today!
Lagbaja — Far Away (2005)
Still good enough to give you tingles down your spine, this beautiful love song has certainly stood the test of time. Featured on his 2005 album, Africano, Far Away combines Lagbaja’s groovy and distinctly African sound with rich classical music, all tied together by Ego Ihenacho’s memorable vocals. Although more than a decade and a half has gone by, this song never gets old.
Ego — Djinee (2005/6)
Now here’s a song that had many of us in a chokehold (and possibly even close to tears) back in the day. The masterpiece Afro-RnB single, Ego was produced by Cobhams Asuquo, and quickly became one of Djinee’s most popular and beloved songs. From the singer’s uniquely soulful voice to the heartfelt lyrics that are perfect to sing along to, there’s no doubt this song is a certified classic.
Styl Plus – Olufunmi (2005)
If we’re talking Nigerian classics, then this song barely needs an introduction! Often hailed as one of the most highly requested love songs across major Nigerian R&B radio stations between 2004 and 2005, the song is one of the many evergreen tunes that the group gave us back in their heyday. Watching how people still passionately sing along whenever the song comes on, it’s hard to believe almost 18 years have passed since it was first released.
Tongolo, je ka tongolo
Omoge wa je a tongolo
Tongolo, she wo le tongolo
Omoge wabi make me tongolo
After being released as the lead single off his debut studio album ‘No Long Thing’, Tongolo was one of the songs that brought D’banj into the spotlight as a solo artist (and the only man with a degree in womanology!).
Produced by Don Jazzy, who also featured on the track, the music video for the song won the Best Newcomer award at the 2006 Channel O Music Video Awards, and is still considered a blueprint for many music videos today.
Danfo Driver — Mad Melon ft Black Mountain (2006)
We can’t talk about the history of the Nigerian music industry or Nigerian classics without mentioning the massive impact of artists from Ajegunle such as Mad Melon and Mountain Black, who dominated the music scene with popular street anthems like Danfo Driver. The song spread like wildfire in its time, and even now, almost 18 years later, still has the power to get you out of your seat and move your feet whenever you hear that unmistakable intro.
RIP Oghenemaro Emeofa (Mad Melon).