Nigerian music has undoubtedly taken an impressive turn for the better in the past couple of years. The industry is fast becoming self sufficient as artistes have stepped their game up to becoming key players in the international arena.
Unlike afropop (which is currently the biggest musical export), Hiphop is one that forever runs deeper than merely a nice beat and a catchy hook. With its own elements and technicalities, the genre heavily dwells on artistic and lyrical prowess and recently, the ability to be up to par with its other musical counterparts in the mainstream.
Despite the emergence of some of the finest lyricists till date, Hiphop in the Nigerian scene took a lot more beating than other popular genres in terms of acceptance until the likes of Mi Abaga repackaged it into lyrical bite sizes for easier consumption.
As is the nature of this ever so controversial type of music, there is always the question of who is better lyrically, who murked what beat, who is doing numbers in terms of sales, who should get a day job etc.
That being said, we the good people of Vibe NG *insert cheesy smile* have decided to play God by carefully dissecting the Nigerian rap hemisphere into these categories and subcategories of relevance. For better understanding of the list below, here is an overview of the classes.
Tier 1 : The Elite
These are the guys doing the most numbers. Their styles are regularly criticised but: these are the guys who get the most recognition home and abroad due to how they have finely blended their artistry with premium music business.
Tier 2 : Talented but not elite
You cannot deny the hustle of these fellows. They stay flexing lyrical muscles and can switch it up to give you an undeniable banger. Unlike the guys above, they are certified but are not exactly in the forefront of things yet.
Tier 2.2 : The new wavers
This subcategory consists of the latest youngins who currently hold down the urban shift of Hiphop indigenously and otherwise. They have created their own unique styles without exactly veering completely off the genre’s radar and are steady putting in work.
Tier 3 : Underrated
Here, we have the ones who have most of what it takes to become the front liners. Only problem is most of them either do not have the “political” backing to flourish as they should or the financial strength to weave through the industry’s bureaucracy and shenanigans. This although has not stopped them from being the best versions of themselves in terms of their musical offerings.
To be very honest, this category definitely has quite a number of artistes bubbling under. The likes of D-Truce, Mars and Barzini, Paybac, Phlow, Cyclone Artemis, Bella Alubo, Mojeed and a ton of others are worthy mentions.
Tier 4 : Low Key legends
If we say these people blazed the trail in Nigeria hiphop wise, we would not be exactly wrong. These are the unsung heroes upon whose backs the basis of the Naija rap culture was greatly formed.
Tier 4.2 : Overhyped OGs
There is no doubt that these guys once ran things. We are just not sure if their offerings still match up to their current recognition.
Tier 4.3 : Rappers extinct
The only question on our mind for this section is, where the hell did these guys go with all that talent they were packing?
Tier 5: Overrated
Their hustle is definitely not denied but as far as hiphop goes, we think these guys might have at some point tricked us with blowing hot air content wise.
Tier 6: Straight up Trash
Without the intent to disrespect, we give these ones E for effort. We also give them our blessings to find a befitting 9-5 as we do not think this music thing is really their calling. We find their musical content a little too below the grid to be classified in the hiphop/rap genre.
Do you agree with our list? Are there names you think are missing? Are there people you feel should not be in certain categories? Do kindly share your opinion in the comment section as we would really love to hear your thoughts!