The pitiful truth is that Nigeria’s great emcees of the past are easily forgotten. No thanks to arrival of new music act and the stiff competition in the industry.
This article covers Nigerian artistes who penetrated the Reggae/Afro beat music within the year 1996 and 2002.
Maintain was a hip hop group that started making music in the late 90s. This group Maintain was not as lyrically or socially equipped as the Swatroots but the had their own ways.
They relied on their abilities to create slangs and catch phrases in Nigerian pidgin.
The pidgin in the language of the streets. Most people only know Olu Maintain because of his runaway hit single “Yahooze”. They did the remix for Ludacris’ “area codes” that went something like “I catch cold, kpele”. I was in Jss 2 at the time and it was hawwwt!
The group, consisting of notable hip hop artistes such as Elajoe, Obiwon, Illbliss and B-Elect, copped the award for the Best Hip Hop song by a group/duo at the 2006 maiden edition of Hip Hop World Awards for the massive radio hit “Streethop”. The group had a brief stint with storm records.
B-elect born Andrew bright igho, founded the crew along with Illbliss. He has been involved in hip hop since his days as a kid in the late eighties and early nineties, and in some ways has been involved in every aspect of the game as a scholar. The vet is undoubtedly one of the most versed individuals in Nigeria when it comes to rap and its culture.
He now writes for various hip hop magazines and has spoken at various hip hop forums. Belect presently works in advertising but still finds time to run his label and studio, Blightz recordz.
Last year they released their first artist, Protek with the album “Zion Republican” produced by Jonah the Monarch. His vocal style was pretty fresh with a semi monotone flow, similar to Guru of the roots.
3. RUFF RUGGED & RAW
Ruff Rugged & Raw crew teamed up with Tony Tetuila and afro R&B legend, 2face Idibia to cooke up one of the hottest joints of the mid 90’s. Omode Meta was one of the first beef songs to enter the Nigerian music scene. This song rocked the late 90’s.
The diss song was birthed from a falling out Tony Tetuila had with hot blooded rapper Eedris Abdulkareem and fine boy vocalist, Eddy Montana.
That aside, it reminds you of the humble beginnings of 2face Idibia whose high tenor cannot be missed out on the joint. Ruff Rugged & Raw rapped like MOP, I’m not sure of what they were saying.
6. THE REMEDIES
They were the first major rap group to ever get signed to a credible commercial record label in Nigeria. They comprised of Tony Tetuila, Eedris Abdul Kareem and Eddy Montana.
The remedies we’re the most successful hip hop group in Nigeria before the breakup. They could owe their commercial appeal to the marketing expertise of label bosses Dayo D1 and Kenny Ogungbe. The Ogungbes were partners with AIT (African Independent Television) at the time.
So they were getting adequate airplay on ray power and TV coverage on MBI and AIT. After their infamous split. Tony Tetuila created hits like “you don bash my car” and “I’m in love with two women” before going silent.
Eedris Abdul Kareem, the groups outspoken choleric was probably Nigeria’s most prized mainstream asset in the early 2000s. He dissed Plantshun Boiz and reigned as an untouchable Nigerian rap prince till Ruggedman knocked him upside the head.
Abdulkareem would later enjoy palatable levels of independent commercial success with hits like “Mr Lecturer” and “Igboro ti Daru” featuring Klever Jay. We will remember him for his audacity, he was the one who started a fight with 50 cent. He also hit controversy when he drew an angry reaction from president Olusegun Obasanjo with his “Nigeria jagajaga”.
5. WEIRD MC
Weird MC was born Adesola Adesimbo Idowu. The 47 year old Ogun native was born in the United Kingdom to conservative parents who did not encourage her to go into show business.
She had her secondary school education in Nigeria, where she made friends with four other girls with whom she formed the hip-hop group Weirdos .
Despite their popularity on the campus circuit, they failed to land a record deal, and soon disbanded, and Idowu gained admission into Ogun State University to study Law , but left after a year to focus on her music career.
In 1996 she released the album Simply Weird; a blend of American-style hip hop and Afrobeat and featured the self-produced video single “Allen Avenue”. This made her the first Nigerian female artiste to release a hip hop project.
Source: Hip Hop Head