The 10 Best Nigerian Music Videos of 2017 So Far

Here are the 10 best Nigerian afrobeats music videos to come out so far this year.

In this list, we select the best music videos from Nigeria's thriving afrobeats artists released so far this year. It's a stellar line up of some truly impressive visuals.

This is also a special note of appreciation for the often uncredited work done by music video directors, stylists, creative directors, backup dancers, many models and, to a lesser extent, the man dem which includes day one brethren and trusted weed-men there t0 make the most of their two-second shots.

Check out our list of The 10 Best Nigerian Afrobeats Music Videos that have come out so far in 2017.

Runtown “For Life” / directed by Meji Alabi

Runtown’s claim to being a 'Sound God' cannot be disputed. His debut, Ghetto University, is a truly outstanding 'afro-fusion' album which ought to get more praise. His evolution as a 'Style God' has been fascinating to watch. Early videos for “Gallardo” and “Walahi,” and even “Lagos to Kampala,” now look like rehearsal runs for the all round flyness that is “Mad Over You,” which dropped in December last year. In it, Lagos Fashion Week was condensed into a near-four minute video featuring gorgeously-dressed models who ooze elegance, baring way less than you’d find in other videos.

Director Meji Alabi has made the model as much a focus of the video as the artist, sometimes blurring out Runtown, when other directors would slavishly train the camera on the artist. Neither does Alabi’s lens linger and leer, when drawn for an up close-up shot, a rare show of dignity in a medium that isn’t well known for it. Shot in London, film stills press home the movie-as-music video concept and the chic costuming cannot be faulted in what, to this viewer, must be the flyest video by any Nigerian pop artist living or dead.

Davido "If"/ directed by Director Q

The man with “30 billion for de account” is in no doubt about his stature in afro-pop. He is like Phillip Seymour Hoffman's theater director Caden Cotard in Synecdoche, New York who, propelled by artistic ego, built an increasingly huge but impossible to manage stage for a play about his life.

Davido appears to be managing well in this music-video-set-as-music-video, in which the scenes and characters switch from actual video to behind-the-scenes. As if to outdo himself, Davido's follow-up music video for “Fall” features the types of Venetian masks and elegant dances that must have walked off a production by Ballet Black.

Wizkid “Come Closer” / directed by DAPS / Alan Ferguson

Let's be frank, Wizkid’s big video was always going to be special—and it is. What will be interesting to know is why the heads at RCA chose the official video released in April, which was directed by Daps, over the “redux” version that came out in July, which was done by Solange's husband Alan Ferguson. Both videos are tasteful and artistic, with one incorporating the studio it was shot in, while the latter is the tropical edition. Which one do you like better?

Seyi Shay “Yolo Yolo” / Directed by Meji Alabi

If you’ve been waiting for a heir to the celestial Yinka Davies, you might have found her in Seyi Shay whose voice has a real sparkle that serves well in R&B and jazz. It's the latter she and DJ Coublon (who is perfect for the job) have utilised for “Yolo Yolo,” a potpourri of jazz in its Latinate and West African iterations.

It's easy to play at having fun in a video, but Shay's energy is is infectious  and you envy the extras who don’t even get a two-second shot. Shay also manages to be both elegant and sultry in outfits styled by Swanky Jerry. Full marks all around.

Niniola “Maradona” / directed by Mex

Niniola has saved what must be her best video yet, for her best single yet in “Maradona,” which happens to be her best collaboration with SARZ thus far.

'Best' might be too final a description as what she appears to be doing is refining regular features from her videos—similar formations of dancers behind her, sultry but somehow stately dancing—all done better this video.

Iyanya “Hold On” / directed by Ogu Okupe

As if to test people’s patience, Iyanya has made a 7-minute long minute music video, which you have to wait until almost almost 30minutes before any music is heard. It's set in the not so distant future, when one could order a lover to spec and have him delivered as you would a box of pizza. But this lover could develop his own consciousness and preference in women. Nothing like men today then.

Director Ogu Okupe does a great job of fine-stitching varied elements that include lovers in a domestic dispute, borrowings from Terminator and Ex Machina complete with a credit sequence which audiences won't even sit through in a cinema. Bold.

Odunsi The Engine “Desire” / directed by Ademola Falomo & Odunsi

Elegance and emo levels reach peak elegance on “Desire” by Odunsi The Engine off his EP, Time of Our Lives.

In this video, sepia is used to tantalising effect with any amount of longing, nostalgia and melancholy being induced in stunning scenes that would impress Andrew Dosunmu.

Olamide "Wavy Level" / directed by Mr Moe Musa

The Blonde Brigade came out en masse for this one, doing the most they can with the bleached hair trend Dennis Rodman never started.

Everything comes together here—impressive dancing, a hot catchphrase, and melodies that stick by a hood royalty, over a beat which both knocks and soothes. 'Wavy' is the new 'swag,' a successful rebranding which Olamide has turned into a summer smash drenched in night glow.

Falz  “Jeje” / Directed by Mex

The Nigerian-Ghanaian cultural exchange lives on in what sounds like a dope rehash of Seyi Sodimu’s “Love Me Jeje” (1997) by a fan who grew up to be Falz the Bahd Guy.

The video, shot by Mex, has tasteful Benetton colours that somehow blend well with the decaying coastal building set, in what must be Jamestown in Accra.

BankyOnDBeatz x Lady Donli “Fale Comigo” / Directed by Ronald Olaibi

If there's such a thing as an 'anti-afrobeats' video, this would be it. If there's one video which best illustrates the phrase 'less is more,' this would also be it.

Courtesy of Jojo Abot.

Let Jojo Abot's New Afrofuturistic Video Hypnotize You

The Ghanaian artist releases the new video for "Nye VeVe SeSe," an entirely iPhone-recorded track.

Jojo Abot is rounding out a strong year which has seen her tour South Africa, release the NGIWUNKULUNKULU EP and work with institutions like the New Museum, Red Bull Sound Select and MoMA on her art and performances.

Jojo is now sharing her latest music video for "Nye VeVe SeSe," a song featured on her iPhone-only production project, Diary Of A Traveler.

"Nye Veve Sese is an invitation to let go of the burden of pain and suffering that keeps us from becoming our best and greatest selves," a statement from Jojo's team reads. "Asking the question of why pain is pleasurable to both the one in pain and the source of the pain. Often time the two being one and the same."

Watch her new "meditative piece," which was shot in Bedstuy, Brooklyn, below.

Jojo Abot will be playing her final US show of the year in New York City alongside Oshun on October 26 at Nublu 151. Grab your tickets here.

A Nigerian Label Is Suing Nas For Not Delivering a Good Verse

M.I and Chocolate City filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court claiming Nas didn't deliver the verse they wanted.

Nigerian star M.I and his label home Chocolate City are suing Queenbridge legend Nasir Jones.

In the lawsuit, which was filed in the New York State Supreme Court, Nas and Mass Appeal Records' Ronnie Goodman are accused of ripping off Chocolate City after they'd paid the rapper $50,000 for the verse.

According to the lawsuit, back in 2013, Nas and Goodman agreed to contribute a verse to a track from M.I. The stipulations were that Nas was supposed to mention "M.I, Chocolate City, Nigeria, Queens, New York—NAS's hometown—, Mandela, Trayvon Martin, and the struggles of Africans and African Americans" in his verse.

Nas did, in fact, deliver a verse but it didn't mention any of the subject matter Chocolate City had asked for.

The Nigerian label requested that the Queens rapper to re-record the verse, which now three year later, has never happened despite them delivering the $50,000 payment. Hence, that's why they're now suing him, they mention.

It's not all fighting words, though, as Chocolate City is very complementary to Nas in the lawsuit calling him "a highly respected lyricist in the music industry" and writing that they wanted a verse from him "because of NAS's exceptional talent as a lyric writer."

Unfortunately that talent and lyricism was no where to be found in the verse they got, in the eyes of Chocolate City and M.I.

Revisit M.I's "Chairman" above.

Photo courtesy of TEF.

5 Things We Learned From the TEF Entrepreneurship Forum

Over 1,300 African entrepreneurs, business leaders and policymakers attended the 3rd Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum in Lagos—here are the highlights.

The Nigerian Law School in Lagos, Nigeria, was transformed into a buzzing enclave of substantial conversation, intentional encouragement, and unbeatable energy.

The third Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum was the most inclusive gathering of African experts in business, entrepreneurship and policy, where all 54 African countries were represented with more than 1,300 attendees. These entrepreneurs and thought leaders are innovators across a diverse array of sectors like agriculture, technology, healthcare, fashion and energy/power generation.

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