Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My 10 favorite Nigerian songs

I already blogged about 10 African songs I absolutely love and wanted to share. Nigerian music is doing very well these days and their artistes are among the most popular around the continent. I will look at 10 Nigerian songs that mostly have lyrics in English. I understand the message of these songs and it is a major reason I love them. I have always been a big fan of conscious music, they end up being the most played on my iTunes or iPod. I hope you will check them out and listen to them. You may discover your next favorite song. Click the songs to find the lyrics, video, audio, etc.

Ebe like say - 2Face Idibia (Reggae/R&B)
This song is probably my favorite English song from an African artiste and one of the songs I sing most in the shower. 2Face Idibia is my favorite non-Ghanaian musician as well. The song talks about the relationship the voter has with politicians. It was released on Tuface's second album (Grass to Grace), just in time for Nigeria's 2007 election. The song talks about how politicians come with stories to tell the voting populace only to go back on their words. It implores our politicians and leaders to do better. Favorite lines - "But the power is nothing, If your people cannot get quality education; The power is nothing, If your people keep on dying of disease and starvation; The power is nothing, If your people have no peace; The power is nothing, If your people cannot live in unity" Buriful. More about my boy 2Baba later.

I go yarn - Eldee (Hip-hop)
This was one of the very Nigerian songs that I heard and loved. It's easy to understand why because of the lyrics. It spoke to me then and it still speaks to me now. Many Nigerians who live abroad can relate to this song, as Eldee was at the time, as well as Nigerians back home. "Me, I go yarn; Me, I go speak my mind; Me, I go yarn; Them think say we blind; Make we yarn; Why are my people so poor; We can't take this no more". Have you ever felt this way too? - "As I reach Yankee; I see say to solve our problem; Eno hard, common sense"

Celebrate - D'Banj (Pop/R&B)
The Koko master is known for his funny lyrics and up-tempo songs but my favorite D'Banj track is this one called Celebrate. It's an uplifting, happy, positive song that calls for time to celebrate. As the reigning best male artiste at the MTV Africa Music Awards, and different businesses in his Koko empire, he has a lot to celebrate. The track features his favorite sidekick, Wande Coal. "I go dance o; Them no fit trouble my mind o; Leave all my worries behind o; It's time to celebrate".

I no dey shame - Djinee (R&B)
Djinee is one of my favorite singers and the lyrics in this song are just heavenly. He sings in Pidgin English and he makes it sound so good. This song has been underrated since it came out and I can't understand why. "I no dey shame for you, for you anything I go do". Lovely. Check out Djinee's Ego as well.

Bi'banke - Asa (Soul)
I don't know where to start with Asa. Her music and lyrics are just so marvelous. Bi'banke is my favourite because of the great fusion of Yoruba and English lines and the emotion the song oozes. Bukola Elemide's voice is super, I love it and 2Face's as well. I'll listen to her songs just to hear her sing. "When I'm crying; When I'm dying, just leave me alone; I could cry you a river; Or a waterfall; Just leave me alone". Could a song about crying be this good?

If love is a crime - 2Face Idibia (R&B)
This song was hailed as the second coming of African queen though it never became as popular. The video was shot in Ghana and featured 2Face wearing a Ghana T-Shirt which caused a little uproar in Nigerian circles. 2Face shines at singing love and relationship songs and his songs have lasting effects. "If love is a crime, then I want to be wanted?" "If love is a crime, then I am willing to be hunted?" "If love is a crime, then I'd like to dey go jail?" Call it cheesy, but I love the track to bits. Another of my favorite songs to sing in the shower.

No one like you - P-Square (R&B)
Here comes the hottest African wedding song. I know for a fact that it will be played at mine. The video is spectacular. P-Square is probably the biggest African act these days and tracks like this prove their standing. Their use of Pidgin English and regular English is great and the lyrics to this song is great too. The song starts off really well in my opinion, "Hello how you doing; My angel, my one and only the only one that am missing". Aww.

With this woman - Darey (R&B)
This is another Naija song that I feel hasn't gotten enough props. It's another great wedding song. Erm, hmm, sign? Anyway, the lyrics are excellent in this one too and Darey is a very good singer. He's probably the king of African R&B when it comes to singing in English proper. "Even if her time is over and she has to leave; I'll be happy that I had the chance to be; With this woman, who takes care of me". Song's so good, I gotta give y'all bonus lyrics - "Have you ever had a girl who would make you cry (cry like a baby); You'll become so lucky you'll be asking why" :-D

Street credibility - 9ice (R&B)
This is one my favorite collabos of all-time featuring two heavyweights. I'm a huge 2Face fan, and I like 9ice as well. My favorite part is where they sing lyrics from gongo aso, african queen and ebe like say. Who doesn't want street credibility? It's all about the fans and the support. Because at the end of the day, 9ice and Tuface are guaranteed to always 'nice up' your party.

African Queen - 2Face Idibia (R&B)
It's impossible to complete this blog post without mentioning the biggest African song of the 21st century. When you have little kids from Guam singing an African song, you must know how popular it is. 2Baba, I salute you. His groundbreaking 'African Queen' hit set the pace for Nigerian songs to break into the African scene and for different African musicians to find markets in different African countries. African Queen became the favorite song of many African women and restored self-esteem across a continent. Who cares about what beauty is defined in today's Western world? The only important thing is that you are an African queen. And that you are loved. And that you love this song. :-)

These are the first 10 songs that came to mind. If I remember one injustice that I missed, I will comment about it. Just like last time, I want to list a few honorable mentions. Sound Sultan's Area (acoustic) sings about home so beautifully. I am a big fan of Sasha P's newest single called Gidi Babe. I adore Asa's Fire on the mountain as well as her collabo with Jeremiah Gyang called Comforter. Other favourites are Gongo Aso (9ice), Kpo kpo di kpo (Faze), Africa (Modenine), Omo too sexy (Justine), Oruka (Sunny Nneji), See me so & For Instance (2Face Idibia), Roll it (P-Square), Obi mu o & Onyinye (Obiwon), Ololufe by Wande Coal etc.

Long live Nigerian music.
Long live African music.
Long live Africa
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