Meet the Artists Driving Nigeria's Trap Music Scene

Get to know the likes of PsychoYP, Straffitti, Zilla Oaks, Marv OTM, Trill Xoe, Tochi Bedford and Kiienka.

In Nigeria, a slew of young and emerging rappers are exploring the gritty Southern American trap sound in enterprising ways, collapsing conventions and fusing local sensibilities to create Afro-trap or Naija trap. Of course, this hasn't happened in a vacuum. Rap music in local languages like Yoruba and Igbo was pivotal to how trap currently operates today, exploding from the realm of SoundCloud with youth and vitality. Although still burgeoning, these are the artistes championing the wave of Nigerian trap.

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Blaqbonez Has No Interest In Being A Fool For Love

We talk to the self-professed 'Best Rapper In Africa' about wanting Sex Over Love as his debut album so loudly proclaims!

All Akumefule Chukwuemeka needed was a challenge. When he was 12 years old, his cousin dared him to write a rap verse and that was all the motivation needed to turn him into the self-appointed 'Best Rapper In Africa' (BRIA), Blaqbonez.

Since 2018, Blaqbonez has graced the Nigerian music scene with consistent work, undeniable talent and a bold attitude that seems to suit his skinny frame best, helping him push his music and stand out at the same time.

"I think right now for artists, it's not only about music anymore. You're selling yourself as a person, so they either like you or they don't," says the 25-year-old "Haba" crooner. "The moment they like you, they like everything that you do. So my focus is on being myself, knowing that there are people out there who will see me and love me for being me."

After three EPs and a series of singles, Blaqbonez has released his debut album Sex Over Love. The lead track "Bling," featuring Buju and Amaraae, hit the number one spot on Apple Music's Top 100 Nigerian Songs during early May. Like every Blaqbonez project, Sex Over Love is unconventional.

Below, the buzzing rapper discusses his debut album and what it's like to be different in Nigeria's super-saturated pop market.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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