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Reekado Banks 'Rora'

The 12 Best Nigerian Songs of the Month

Featuring Reekado Banks, Tiwa Savage, Wizkid, Yemi Alade, Blaqbonez, Phyno, Peruzzi and more.

Read ahead for our selection of the best Nigerian songs of September.

For more Nigerian hits, follow our NAIJA HITS playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.


Tiwa Savage '49-99'

Written by Olamide, the producer Pheelz and Tiwa Savage, "49-99" borrows its lead line—as well as its themes of survivalism—from Fela Kuti's "Shuffering and Shmiling," rendered tastefully in the current idiom of Nigerian pop. Savage's own ease with melding R&B, pidgin, Yoruba and English is mirrored in Pheelz' production which, among other tinkerings, cleverly builds a swell of orchestral strings over an afrobeat rhythm section.


Reekado Banks 'Rora'

Reekado Banks came back after a quiet period with "Rora," his first single of 2019 and the lead track from his upcoming album. "Rora" (translated from Yoruba as 'Take It Easy') is a highly-addictive production built on mid-tempo beatwork, highlife influences, and playful lyrics aimed at a love interest. The new single was produced by Tuzi and Altims.

Yemi Alade 'Shake' feat. Duncan Mighty

The slink and bounce of twin guitars introduce "Shake," a fine duet from Yemi Alade's fourth album, Woman of Steel. The song, which features Duncan Mighty, sees the pair take turns sounding off sex overtures with fair warning: "don't start what you cannot finish." Her intentions are clear: "I really want you to do am again" and she will boost his ego to get it: "You get head, no be mouth." Playful, inventive and effective, "Shake" is the gem off a satisfying album from the afropop giant.

Blaqbonez 'Shut Up'

"Everything big, everything fresh, everything clear" pronounces Blaqbonez on "Shut Up," proving to be a maximalist in his lyrics as in person, introducing himself to a crowded Lagos traffic with a loudspeaker to promote his new single. The song's title rebuffs strong opinions about him recent claim to being the "Best Rapper In Africa." The video serves up images of mean-mugging male models with machine guns in fluffy dresses, bringing to life the album cover for "rare" by Odunsi in a most vivid fashion.


Phyno 'Vibe' ft. Flavour

Of the different musical turns with which Phyno impresses on his third album, Deal With It, "Vibe" is the show-stopper. The track is an energised interpretation of Igbo traditional music by the mercurial Masterkraft, whose choice of a cheery one drop piano on "Vibe" ventilates the brilliant polyrhythms of an ogene-udu ensemble. This brilliance is matched by Flavour's charged singing and Phyno's engaged presence whether rapping or ad-libbing.


WizKid 'Ghetto Love'

"Ghetto Love" sees Wizkid staying true to his dancehall-inspired sound. The track, which was produced by both Killertunes and Kel P, has an incredibly infectious beat and catchy lyrics you'll be singing along to in no time.

Peruzzi 'Nana'

"Strike a pose, it's a perfect picture" sings Peruzzi assuring a love interest on "Nana," which may have started as a melodic lead line—"na, na, na"—over soft synths, occasional strings, and drumming, but is also a name and has made for the near perfect pop song.

Seyi Shay & Teyana Taylor 'Gimme Love Remix'

While host Seyi Shay renders pidgin English in an R&B cadence on the remix of "Gimme Love," guest Teyana Taylor toes a more careful line free of Nigerian-isms.


Naira Marley 'PXTA'

Whether as an aesthetic scene change or morality tale, the models in bathing suits in the video for "PXTA"—mostly set at a pool party—turn up in the second verse heavily pregnant and yet able to twerk without restrictions. "How water get into coconut" is the philosophical nugget Naira Marley is either puzzled by or asks rhetorically in the second verse of "PXTA." The song itself may borrow propulsive drumming from Young John's work on "Bobo" by Olamide but it is Marley's drawl and developed songwriting which remain the draw here.


Reminisce 'OGB4IG'

It's hard to begrudge Reminisce's claim: "aged 38, still the best rapper off of these streets" from his new single "OGB4IG" especially with four full length albums and a near-decade of music-making in a genre that is obsessed with youth and fads. The song is a career overview and show of vitality, and just as appropriate is the solid production by Sarz, his long term collaborator dating back to Book Of Rap Stories, his debut album released in 2012.

Shaydee 'Badman'

Produced by Masterkraft, "Badman" is Shaydee's first solo release since "Make Sense" with Wizkid, released back in November 2018. It is fitting return for the singer whose 20 song debut album, Rhythm & Life (2016), deserves more praise.

CKAY 'DTF'

Ckay's love interest on "DTF" is perhaps convinced of his offer of a "no strings" relationship but is yet to give in despite his assurances that "feelings get messy / it's the last thing we need." "DTF" is the first song off Ckay The First, the sophomore EP from the singer/producer.



For more Nigerian hits, follow our NAIJA HITS playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.


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Burna Boy. Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage (via Getty Images).

The 20 Best Nigerian Songs of 2019

Featuring Burna Boy, Rema, Tiwa Savage, Zlatan, Mr Eazi, Wizkid, Teni, Davido, Lady Donli and many more.

2019 was another huge year for Nigerian music.

Zlatan's presence was ubiquitous and powered by the zeal for zanku, a dance which is now de rigueur. Rema led the charge for a group of young breakthrough artists that include Fireboy DML and Joeboy. They all represent an exciting crop of talents that point the way forward for Nigerian pop.

Burna Boy's new dominance, built around his excellent African Giant album, delivered on his rare talents, while the long wait for Davido's sophomore album, A Good Time, paid off in satisfying fashion. Simi's Omo Charlie Champagne Vol. 1 announced her departure from her longterm label. Tiwa Savage also made a highly-discussed move from Mavin Records to Universal Music Group. Meanwhile, Yemi Alade exuded female strength with her latest record, Woman of Steel.

Not to be left out, Wizkid sated demands for his fourth album with a new collaborative EP following a year of stellar features that included his presence on Beyoncé's Lion King: The Gift, an album which also boasts Tekno, Mr Eazi and Tiwa Savage. Mr Eazi also notably launched his emPawa initiative to help fund Africa's promising up-and-coming artists.

Asa returned in a formidable form with Lucid, while buzzing artists like Tay Iwar, Santi, and Lady Donli all shared notable releases. Lastly, the beef between Vector and M.I climaxed and sparked a resurgence of Nigerian rap releases from Phyno to Ycee, PsychoYP and more.

Read on for the best Nigerian songs of 2019. Listed in no particular order. —Sabo Kpade

Follow our NAIJA HITS playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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Photo by Ahmed Gomaa/Xinhua via Getty

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