Hey, rap music lovers! We present you a list of top 20 Nigerian rappers who became legends in 2018. They have received numerous awards and were at least nominated for a large number of the prestigious honors. We thoroughly selected candidates for the “best” list, so make yourself comfortable and read their names below!
Top 20 best Nigerian rappers
Checkout the titans of rap music.
Sodiq Abubakar Yusuf, better known under the pseudonym CDQ, is one of the most famous Nigerian rappers, songwriters, and musicians. The single “Nowo E Soke” brought him incredible fame.
In 2016, he received the Best Afro Hip-Hop Video award at the Nigeria Music Video Awards, as well as the 2017 Best Street-Hop Artiste at the Ghana-Naija Showbiz Awards.
He owns the label No Struggle No Success Entertainment, under which he still performs. The repertoire of the rapper is multifaceted, its particular feature is the tracks in the Yoruba language. He invented ad-libs, for example, “Woss Wobi.”
19. Eva Alordiah
Elohor Eva Alordiah is better known under the stage name Eva Alordiah or shortly Eva. She is not only the best female rap singer in Nigeria but also a person who can be called an erudite. BBC Radio 1Xtra recognized this girl as the most attractive rap artist. And this is not all her merits! In her free time, Eva Alordiah reveals makeup secrets in her class at her own beauty academy, “makeupByOrsela,” which she has founded at the age of 21.
Eva was nominated for music awards many times and received such titles as the Female Rap Artiste of the Year in 2011, the Most Promising Act to Watch in 2012, the Best Rap Single (Female) in 2012 for the single “I Don Did It.”
In 2016, she released her debut studio album “1960”. Because of the small number of rappers in Nigeria, particularly among women, Eva Alordiah admits that she wants to inspire girls to be creative, just as she was inspired by the musicians she saw on TV.
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18. Chinko Ekun
Oladipo Olamide Emmanuel, better known as Chinko Ekun, is a famous and hard-working Nigerian rapper. His journey to the top of music started back in 2011 when he recorded several freestyle videos on Instagram. In the end, he was noticed by the star of the Nigerian show-business Olamide and invited him to sign a contract.
“Alejo Oran” and “Emi Na Re,” are on the top of his most famous singles. He also collaborated with other Nigerian rappers such as s Reminisce, CDQ, Lil Kesh, and, of course, Olamide. Some time later, Chinko left Olamide and signed a new contract in Dubai with Dek-Niyor Entertainment. The first hit here was the single “Shayo” featuring Dremo and Falz.
17. Lil Kesh
Keshinro Ololade is mega-popular under the stage name Lil Kesh. He is a talented Nigerian rapper, singer, and songwriter. Initially, the guy wanted to connect his life with dancing, but he was soon inspired by music. Therefore, the choice became obvious. He began his musical career in 2012 but fame came to him only two years later, after the release of the single “Lyrically,” which was highly welcomed by Nigerian students. It was the first step to a great success.
The single “Shoki” has finally made him a star. After the release of this track, Lil was nominated for many awards, among which he won the Nigerian Teen Choice Awards in the category Celebrity Award – Song Of The Year (2015) and City People Entertainment Awards in the nomination Popular Song of the Year (2015).
In 2016, he released his debut album called Y.A.G.I, which was highly welcomed by the public. Some time later, Lil Kesh announced that he was launching his own label YAGI Records along with Olamide.
16. Jesse Jagz
Jesse Garba Abaga, better known as Jesse Jagz, is a rap artist who also specializes in hip-hop. His first music album was recorded with the group Gospel Insanity but was never released due to misunderstandings between team members. But this did not upset Jesse, he quickly formed a new group called “Eleven Thirty,” which right away became popular.
He works under the label Chocolate City, although he had a failed attempt to create his own label. “Wetin Dey,” “Nobody Test Me”, and “Pump It Up” are considered the best single in the musician’s collection. “Pump It Up” was the debut song and received positive feedback from listeners.
He received such awards as Splurge Magazine Best Rap Single (2008) in the category Best Producer of the Year, The Future Awards (2010) in the nomination Producer of the Year, and Hip Hop World Awards (2014) in the category Lyricist on the roll.
Aborimo Femi Raymond or simply Dremo is a famous Nigerian rapper, songwriter, and producer who, at such a young age, achieved a scale success in the country. Dremo’s musical style is unique, it combines hip-hop and Afro beats.
The guy began his way to success at the age of twelve. After signing a contract with Davido Music Worldwide, Dreamo finally became a popular performer. And the debut single “Ojere” made him a strong competitor for the rest of the rappers. His most popular songs include “That Way”, “Iro Nla”, “Fela”, “Bigger Meat”, “All Work”, “No Play”, “Zone Out.”
Michael Ugochukwu Stephens is known throughout Nigeria as Ruggedman or simply RuggedyBaba. He entered the world of music in 1999 with a few songs that received good reviews on the radio. After the success on the radio, he continued to grow rapidly and soon created his own label Rugged Records. The world tour with famous performers made him truly a high-level star. He became a recognized Nigerian rapper. Later he took part in the prestigious show Talve Show Star Quest Reality.
Oludemilade Martin Alejo is better known as YCEE. He is not only a rapper but also a songwriter who is very popular in Nigeria. He began working in the music field in 2012 as a freestyle performer. He was immediately noticed by Tinny Entertainment, with which he is working to this day. The debut song “Condo” immediately blew up all the music charts and was nominated for Best Collaboration of The Year and Best Music Video of The Year in 2015.
He gained popularity among music critics and Olamide after the release of the song “Jagaban.” When in 2015 he was nominated for the MTV Africa Music Awards and the All Africa Music Awards at the same time, YCEE realized what it was to achieve real success. Also, he won The Headies (2015) in the Rookie of The Year category and AFRIMA (2017) in the Best African hip-hop nomination.
Onome Onokohwomo known as Yung6ix perform not only in rap but also in hip-hop style. He began his musical career immediately after graduating from high school. The single “Oleku” brought him first popularity.
He is not afraid of difficulties or struggles with the musical crown. Therefore he purposefully moves towards his goal. So M.I. Abaga called him “King of the South.” He was nominated for the Nigeria Entertainment Awards (2012), The Headies (2012) and the Nigeria Music Video Awards, but won only the Abuja Music and Meritorious Award in the National Act of the Year category. Now promising performer continues to evolve.
Folarin Falana commonly known as Falz is not only a rapper but also a singer, songwriter, and actor. He began his way to success in high school when he along with his friend created a boys band “The School Boys.” Falz became popular after the release of the debut single “Marry Me” as a solo artist.
Every year he is nominated for many awards. But he managed to win only in the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (2016) in the Best Actor in a Comedy Movie/Series nomination for “Jenifa’s Diary”, BET Awards (2016) in the Viewer’s Choice category of Best New International Act, City People Entertainment Awards ( 2016) in the Album of the Year nomination (“Stories That Touch”) and the 9th Nigeria Music Video Awards (2016) in the Best Afro Hip-Hop Video category (“Karashika”). Now the musician owns the label Bahd Guys Records.
10. Naeto C
Naetochukwu Chikwe or Naeto C specializes in rapping and Afrobeat. “Son Of the Soil” debut album laid the foundation for his career. He has worked with many famous artists such as Dare Art-Alade, Sasha, GT the Guitarman, Saro-Wiwa, Nkiru, and Disconnect. In collaboration with them, he recorded over 60 songs, including the latest album. He received remarkable success after the release of the single “I Believe.” He won the MTV Africa Music Awards (2008) as Best New Musician, Channel O Music Video Awards (2009) as Video Of The EAR, and MTV Africa Music Awards (2009) as Best New Artist.
Olanrewaju Ogunmefun or simply Vector the Viper is a prominent representative of Nigerian rap and hip-hop. To preserve the spirit of Nigerian hip-hop in 2018, he released the mixtape “The Rap Dialogue.” His voice is also known for advertising Sprite, a refreshing drink that has been broadcast in Nigeria since 2009.
Vector, as a conveyor, continually releases singles and video clips. He very often collaborates with other famous rappers, that is why his songs fly to all radio stations of the country with lightning speed. He is developing rapidly, and this is noticeable, because he has numerous victories, such as Nigerian Music Video Awards (2011) in the Best Mainstream Hip-Hop Video category, DYNAMIX Youth Awards (2012) in Recognition Award nomination, Nigeria Entertainment Awards (2012) for Best Rap Act, The Headies (2012) for Best Rap Single and also for Lyricist On The Roll, Nigerian Music Video Awards (2012) in the Best Afro Hip-Hop Video category, The Headies (2015) for Lyricist On The Roll and Best Rap Single. It`s really impressive!
Illbliss or iLLBLISS succeeded in rap and hip-hop styles. He is the owner of the company “The Goretti Company”, which is engaged in the search and promotion of young unknown talents. For example, thanks to him we have heard about Chidinma and Phyno.
He achieved great success not only in producing but also in the rap. He won the Sound City Music Video Awards (2008) in the category The SMVA for Best Hip-Hop Video, South South Music Awards (2009) in the nomination The SSMA for Most Amateur Video for “Aiye Po Gan! (Enuf Space)” and The The NMWA (2012) in The Best Hip-Hop Video category.
Remilekun Abdulkalid Safaru is better known as Reminisce and ALAGA IBILE. He performs rap songs both in English and in his own language Yoruba. He realized his debut single in 2006, but it did not bring him much success. He returned to music in 2008 with the track “Bachelor’s Life,” which was included in his album along with love songs, was successful.
Now the musician is the founder and also creative producer of the company LRR Records. In 2014, Nigerian music website NOTJUSTOK named him the best musician of the year, and TIME magazine – “one of the seven World Rappers You Should Meet.”
Munachi Abii is not only a rapper, songwriter, TV presenter, model but also the winner of the beauty contest MBGN 2007. She works under the stage name Muna. Before winning the beauty contest, the girl was a member of the rapping group “The Specimen A.” Initially, she performed under the stage name Babyrella. But then she changed it to a sounder one – Muna.
The girl is also a talented songwriter, she has written lyrics for many Nigerian stars. After cooperating with many music artists, she finally signed a contract with Ayo Shonaiya’s RMG company and set to work on her debut album “The Goddess, The Hustler.” Muna was the first female rapper to introduce Nigeria at the famous BET Cypher for the BET Awards in 2011.
5. Ice Prince
Panshak Zamani is better known as Ice Prince. Everybody’s debut album, Everybody Loves Ice, the Prince immediately lifted the musician to the top of the show business, so four years later he became the new vice president of Chocolate City. An incredible number of awards, the most significant of them are Best Rap Act of the Year, Best International Act: Africa, Best Hip-Hop Artiste of the Year, Best Rap Album, Song of the Year, speaks about his achievements.
Chibuzor Nelson Azubuike better known as Phyno is a famous Nigerian rapper, singer, producer, and songwriter. He began his musical career as a music producer in 2003. Phyno loves his Igbo culture. Therefore, most of his songs are a combination of his native language and English. The musician admits that roots are of great importance to him.
It is difficult to count the number of his music awards! Among them Rap Artiste of the Year and Man of the Year.
3. Mode 9
Babatunde Olusegun Adewale better known as Mode 9 or Modenine, is a famous Nigerian rapper. He is the owner of seven studio albums and five mixtapes. Seven times he became the winner of The Headies Lyricist on the Roll.
2. M.I Abaga
Jude Abaga, better known as M. I. Abaga, is a talented rapper and successful music producer. Since 2015, he is the CEO of Chocolate City label. He began his journey to the music peak in 2003, but fame came to him only in 2006 thanks to the song “Crowd Mentality.” The first studio album called “Talk Talk It” saw the world in 2008.
Jude, like his star colleagues, was nominated for many awards. The most outstanding were the nominations for the MTV Africa Music Awards (2009) and the International Act for BET Awards (2010).
Who is the best rapper in Nigeria?
Olamide Adedeji mega-popular under the stage name Olamide is also called Olamide Baddo or BaddoSneh. Olamide works with his native language Yoruba because almost all of his musical compositions can be heard in this language.
When Olamide was asked why he chose music, he answered:
“I found out I was gifted in it so I had to explore it, it’s my life, my hustle, my world.”
His debut album was released in 2011 and was called “Rapsodi”. It brought him fame and popularity. Therefore, the next album has already been released under his own label YBNL Nation. There are almost all existing music awards in the Olamide`s collection. At the moment, the musician is actively engaged in producing and searching for new music trends.
So you found out who is the best rapper of 2018 and who entered the top 20. Opinions, of course, may differ. Therefore we will be glad to hear your point of view. Which performer would you put in the first place?