First off, when we say underrated, we don’t mean that these songs were not popular, or that they did not…’’blow’’ so to speak. We are simply saying that these songs are those that did not get a chance to cross boarders or bang all over the world as many Nigerian hits of today are doing. So even though some these tracks were loved by many, they deserved more recognition and international exposure than they got. Let’s go.
10. Yung L-SOS
A Timeless Bop
A typical example of a bop that was loved by many, but was easily forgotten. Yung L gave us this melodiously vibrant piece with a grimy video that most Nigerians can relate to. Cool kids were familiar with this one of course, but the song was not one of those that every DJ is spinning in the club, neither did it get that international appeal that would have so suited the entire vibe.
9. Solidstar- Omotena
Real Talk In A Sweet Tune
Have you ever had to explain to someone who loves you that they are too good for you, and they deserve better? That’s the entire theme of this song, but in a sweet singalong tune that makes you want to find someone to reject just so you can sing to them ‘’I just want the best for youuu’’. Solidstar’s first hit single was a rich composition of melodies and expressions. With such a catchy tune, the song did not even have to be that deep in message and lyrics, but as a cherry on top….you get that as well. This belongs in a Naija Hits Hall Of Fame.
8. Show Dem Camp Ft May D- Farabale
HipHop RnB Hybrid
See ehn, we can fill this entire list with SDC songs. In fact the entire SDC discography is a heartbreaking collection of underrated ingenuity. But for today let us consider this wholesome vibe featuring May D, which is a hiphop song with an RnB hook, but also sounds like an RnB song with hiphop verses. Farabale is richer and more powerful than so many more successful singles out of Nigeria, but it just never got the clout that it rightly deserves.
7. Leriq, Burna Boy, Ozone, Mojeed & Dammy Krane- Comment Tu T’appelle
Cool Kids Anthem
Another cool kids vibe that popped off on the radio but just never made it to the clubs and international stations where it deserved to live and breathe. This song was a loaded assemblage of forces, we had Burna Boy with a killer intro and bridge, we had Mojeed on super fresh rhymes, we had Ozone on another bar riddled verse, then came Dammy Krane lacing one of the sweetest hooks of 2014, all on a thumping Leriq beat. Please what again do we want in this country?
6. Bez- Zuciya Daya
A Diamond in the rough
Many people know and love this song. But equally as many people have no idea who Bez is, or what this song is. Mind you that as far as International recognition, the Supersun album where you find this track was actually featured on The Boston Globe in an article titled African Albums of the year back in 2011.
Zuciya Daya is a beautiful piece of audio perfection with heartfelt vocals and lyrics. The song just rides…and rides…and rides….and towards the end Bez turns it up like a rockstar and hits some sweet sweet notes before descending gradually and letting the song slide to a glorious finish. Now the question is, why is this song not a national romance anthem?
5. Black Magic & Ikon- Bastard
One of the most brilliant songs we have ever made in this country, from another underrated genius…named Ikon. Black Magic and Ikon came together and made a societal satire with honest humour, conscious topics and heavy hitting bars on a banging instrumental, with a core Nigerian hook. This song is flawless. The depth of the lyrics matched with the sweet melody of the entire duration of the song makes it worthy of radio play, club play, roadside play, even church play sef. Bastard is a song obviously could not have been appreciated by every member of the mass public, because let us face it, brilliance does not resonate with the crowd. But if you will, please listen to those bars.
4. Timi Dakolo- Wish me well
A Hidden Treasure
A true hustlers anthem, and a sound so profound that it could pass for something from outside Africa. Timi Dakolo brought that John Denver feel to his Wish Me Well, on what may have been an intentional attempt at a country sound which he kind of nailed, from the heartfelt vocals to the pacing of the instrumental. Wish me well had the power to reach other nations as it has a powerful melody and a message that every hustler can resonate with while the croon along to it.
3. No be you- Waje
Waje went hard on this one. If ever there was going to be someone referred to as an African Whitney Houston, this is where Waje would have claimed that Title. No be You is one of those songs where the artist comes with an unrestrained intent to just SING!! |The entire song is a session of vocal stunting by Waje and a conclusion where she really gets into it and slays notes, knocking every tune down and not looking back while everything goes boom.
2. Temi Dollface- Pata Pata
Ahead of its time and home
If there was one artist we could say the Nigerian industry did not deserve or was ready for…….its Temi Dollface. Temi was on another level and in a whole new class of her own. She was playing in a league that she alone could rule and dictate. Her sound, her visual interpretations and even lyrical content was an unprecedented rush of uniqueness and Pata Pata was a banging piece of all these elements, which maintained a sweet authentic Nigerian vibe. Temi Dollface was the new next big thing and as much as this song was a fantastic gift to the airwaves, it just faded away unappreciated. She was ahead of her time and her environment.
Before we unveil the number 1 song, here are a few honourable mentions;
Darey Art Alade- Pray
1. Black Magic- Repete
Feel good music at its finest
At number 1, a widely praised and acclaimed song by a pioneer of what is currently called the Alte Vibe in Nigeria. Black Magic’s holy grail of audio. From the first 3 seconds of the song as it signs in, you can already feel a captivating hold as the song rides into Black magic’s lyrics. Its smooth all through the verses, the hooks and even the bridge that floats into a subtle rap verse. This song has all the elements of epic Nigerian hits that crossed boarders like Davido’s Aye, Tuface’s African Queen.
Repete should be remembered now and forever as a classic representation of Nigerian talent, proving that kpangolo music or club bops are not the only forms of brilliance we can boast of. This song on that note is what we consider the most underrated Nigerian song of the decade. Do you agree with our list.