20 Baddest Nigerian Rappers Dominating Music in the Country

Music remains at the center stage of entertainment in Nigeria. While Afro-pop maintains its position as the most renowned music genre in the country, rap music has equally been accepted, loved, and enjoyed over time. The rap genre continues to evolve in different ways and has become more popular since the late 1980s. Because of its popularity, fans and critics of the genre have found themselves debating who the baddest or greatest Nigerian rappers are and how much they have individually contributed to the growth of rap music.

In this regard, it is worthy of note that the best rappers in Nigeria and other parts of the world are measured by how much influence they have in rap music. They’re also measured by their lyrical content and flow, among others. However, these listed factors may come with the problem of subjectivity. For instance, not all hip-hop fans will understand that M.I is by far greater than any other rapper in Nigerian rap when it comes to lyrics. However, Olamide is head-and-shoulder above him in commercial success.

Nevertheless, in this content, instead of using only a factor to judge the greatness of these rappers, there are different parameters here set aside for judging the best Nigerian rappers. These criteria include the following:

  • Commercial success
  • Number of awards and nominations (Impact)
  • Number of successful hit songs and albums
  • Years spent in the rap scene
  • critical acclaim

Here Are The 20 Best Rappers in Nigeria Right Now

20. Erigga

  • Real Name: Erhiga Agarivbie
  • Age: 34 Years Old
  • State of Origin: Delta State
  • Popular Tracks: Mo Stret Gan, Motivation, Glory
  • Record label (Signed to): Emirate Empire
  • Active since: 2008

Erigga, who took to music in 2008, began it professionally in 2010 and soon found himself working alongside top artists such as M.I, Duncan Mighty, Brymo, Skales, and Orezi, among others. As a rapper, Erigga has gotten his music accepted and given positive reviews, and even endorsed by TV stations in Nigeria. His first song release also became Radio Continental’s theme song.

Erigga, who has skyrocketed in the rap career so fast with his unique, cherry, and resounding style, was in 2018 listed by Vanguard as the best rapper Nigeria had at the moment. Erigga has also had success performing on different stages, ade commercial success by selling his music and gaining over 14 million views on YouTube. These have contributed to his net worth of about $1 million in approximation.

Some Selected Songs of Erigga

  • Two Criminals ft. Zlatan (2019)
  • The Erigma ft, M.I and Sami (2019)
  • Situation Room ft, Brennu (2019)
  • Welcome to Warri (2010)
  • Death Bed (2018)
  • Paper Boi (2018)
  • Corporate ft, King Perry (2016)

His Studio Albums and EP

  • Before The Chaos (2021, EP)
  • The Erigma II (2019, studio album)
  • Okorowanta (2018, studio album)
  • A Trip to The South (2017, studio album)
  • The Erigma (2012)

Accolade of Erigga

  • He was nominated 3 times at The Headies in 2019 and 2012 for Best Street-Hop Artist (2x) and Lyricist on the Roll, respectively.

19. Lil Kesh

  • Real Name: Keshinro Ololade
  • Age: 27 Years Old
  • State of Origin: Osun State
  • Popular Tracks: Shoki, Gbese, Ibile, Lyrically
  • Record label (Signed to): YAGI, YBNL (former)
  • Active since: 2014

Lil Kesh has paved the way for himself among the sought-after Nigerian rappers. Although he began in 2012, he took music professionally in 2014, followed by his highly acclaimed single Lyrically. A year after, he won a nomination for Best New Act at the 2015 Nigerian Entertainment Awards. He has remained one of the artists that have added to the popularity of Olamide’s YBNL. He maintains versatility in his career, where he stands tall as a rapper who incorporates Afropop, afro beats, R&B, and Reggae into his music. His style remains peculiar to him, with an adaption of Yoruba as the major language of his music.

Some Interesting Songs and album by Lil Kesh

  • All The Way (2020)
  • Undertaker (2019)
  • Flenjor ft. Duncan Mighty (2018)
  • Bend Down Select (2016)
  • Y.A.G.I (2016, studio album)
  • Efejoku (2015)
  • Shoki Remix ft. Olamide and Davido (2014)

Lil Kesh’s Awards

  • Popular Song of the Year, City People  Entertainment Awards
  • Celebrity Award – Song of the Year, Nigerian Teen Choice Awards

18. Yung6ix

  • Real Name: Onome Onokohwomo
  • Age: 32 Years Old
  • State of Origin: Delta State
  • Popular Tracks: Green Light Green, Blessings, Shole, Energize, Notice (One Tweet)
  • Record label (Signed to): Kash Kamp/Trick Billionaire MusiQ
  • Active since: 2009

Dubbed King of the South, Yung6ix started his music career with rap battles while in secondary school in Warri, Delta State. Nurturing his love for rap, he started his career as a member of the G-Squad. Following that, he began performing in local shows in Warri until he moved to the South-West, where his career took a new turn after he made a cover of Ice Prince’s song Oleku. Since then, the rapper never looked back but excelled in many ways in his career and has collaborated with A-list artists such as Naeto C, E Kelly, Davido, Niniola, M.I, and Ghanian artist, Stonebwoy, among others.

Yung6ix has had a successful career that has lasted over a decade. With the current high competition in the hip-hop world, he has relatively marked his territory with his style that touches African and Western interpretations of rap, trap, and hip-hop. His stand in the music isn’t only in Nigeria but has also been listed as one of the most influential rappers that help in showing the other parts of the world what Africa is made of in terms of rap. While these may seem enough reasons for him to be on the list of the baddest Nigerian rappers, two of his albums also made it to iTunes World Top 10 albums.

His being good in rap music is also accompanied by great commercial success. Due to his being a great rapper and a prominent person, he became the first artist to become the Ambassador to e-commerce firm Patricia- the largest trader of Bitcoin in West Africa. According to him, the endorsement deal alongside his music has contributed to his net worth of about ₦3.7 Billion.

Yung6ix Major Hits

  • Energize (2020)
  • Ferragamo (2018)
  • Let Me Know ft. Davido (2017)
  • Blessings ft. Oritse Femi (2015)

Mixtape, EP, and Album

  • Introduction to Trapfro (2020, studio album)
  • High Star (2017, studio album)
  • Billionaire Ambions (2016, EP)
  • 6ix O’clock (2014, studio album)
  • Green Light Green (2011, Mixtape)

He Has Won One Out of 5 Award Nominations

  • National Act of the Year, Abuja Music and Meritorious Award (2012).

17. Ladipoe

  • Real Name: Ladipo Eso
  • Age:  unknown
  • State of Origin: Osun State
  • Popular Tracks: Know You, Feeling, Lemme Know, Talk About Poe
  • Record label (Signed to): Mavin Records
  • Active since: 2014

Ladipoe fell in love with music and started a group called Lyrically Equipped while attending the University of North Carolina, Pembroke, United States. Apart from that, he is also a member of the Collectiv3 group. Alone, it was in 2017 that he got signed to Mavin Records and broke the record of being the first rapper to be signed to the label. His song with Simi, Know You, became a major hit that was used time and again on social media challenges and was also the number one song at that time in Nigeria and many other African countries.

Ladipoe is a rapper who does not only rap hip hop but different vibes that set him as a unique, versatile, and one among the best Nigerian rappers. He describes his sound of music as Lifelines since he always changes the sound. Apart from the big-name and accolades it has fetched him, his career also came with fortune due to commercial sales, which amount to an estimated net worth between $450,000 and $1 million, as reported by different sources.

Some Songs By Ladipoe

  • Feeling ft. Buju (2021)
  • Yoruba Samurai ft, Joeboy (2020)
  • Lemme Know You Rmx ft. Teni (2020)
  • Know You ft. Simi (2020)
  • Jaiye (Time of Our Lives) (2019)
  • Based on Kpa ft. Crayon (2019)
  • Talk About Poe (2018)
  • Are You Down ft. Tiwa Savage (2017)

Ladipoe’s Album and EP

  • T.A.P (Talk About Poe, 2018)
  • Know You (2020, EP)

Awards won by Ladipoe

  • Best Collabo (with Simi), The Headies Awards (2020)
  • Best Collabo (with Falz), Nigerian Entertainment Award (2015)

16. AQ

  • Real Name: Gilbert Bani
  • Age: 35 Years Old
  • State of Origin: Abia State
  • Popular Tracks: Agu Ji Ndi Men, Things That We Do, Distractions
  • Record label (Signed to): Hustle Inc, 100 Crowns
  • Active since: 2000

AQ’s rise to fame was a considerably slow one even after signing to Big Leaf Records a year after starting his career. However, when he finally found his footing, his music began to echo through many outlets, and there hasn’t been so much of a break for him until he opted to lay low for a while to complete his University education. His coming back was a new rise of one of the baddest Nigerian rappers. After a freestyle, Don Jazzy tagged him as one of the sickest rappers alive, while Native would go on to describe him as a veteran rapper who moved to a leader of a renaissance.

AQ’s style is accompanied by lyrics that may be mystical, wonderful, and thought-provoking. Even so, the music career has landed him critical acclaim alongside a fortune that is approximately $500,000 to $1 million.

Some of his popular Songs

  • Breathe (2021) ft Chike
  • You Must Feel Am (2020) ft Oxlade
  • L.A.M.B Cypher  (2019) with M.I Abaga, Loose Kaynon and Blaqbonez
  • God’s Work (2019)
  • Why (2012)
  • Champagne and Rum (2011)
  • Names (2010)
  • Make Money (2007)
  • (W)rap Nigeria (2005)

Albums, Mixtapes, and EPs of AQ

  • GOLDEN (2021, studio album)
  • God’s Engineering (2020, studio album)
  • The Live Report (with M.I Abaga) (2020)
  • Crown (with Loose Kaynon) (2018, studio album)
  • Blessed Forever (2017, studio album)
  • Rose (2016, studio album)
  • Son of John 2 (2015, studio album)
  • Son of John (2014, studio album)
  • Make Your Best Rapper Look Stupid (2012, EP)
  • The Past Present and Future (2010, studio album)
  • Love and Money (2008, Mixtape)
  • Maga Must Pay Mixtape (2006, Mixtape)
  • Listen and Overstand (2005, compilation album)

Accolades

  • The Headies, Best Rap Album (2021)
  • The Headies, Lyricist in the Roll (2020)

15. Y-Cee

  • Real Name: Oludemilade Martin Alejo
  • Age: 28 Years Old
  • State of Origin: Lagos State (state of birth)
  • Popular Tracks: Jagaban, Condo, Dakun, Juice, Say Bye Bye
  • Record label (Signed to): ANBT
  • Active since: 2012

Y-Cee’s impact as a rapper cannot be denied whether one is his fan or not. This is evident in his ability to make a hit song Condo that won him many award nominations only a few years after starting his professional career. He further signed a record deal with an American global company, Sony Music, when he was 23 years old in 2016, barely 4 years after his debut in 2012.

He got noticed by big artists, including Olamide, who called him out to be featured in his hit song Jagaban. Although he may not have many songs or released as many studio albums as other best Nigerian rappers, Y-Cee is undeniably one of the greatest. His music accommodates Yoruba, English, and pidgin, which go in sync with his spirited resonant voice. Among the many things that his being a good rapper has brought him net worth reported to be $1.5 million is added.

Songs by Y-Cee

  • Dakun (2019)
  • Say Bye Bye ft, Eugy (2018)
  • Bubbly ft Falz (2017)
  • Juice ft Maleek Berry (2017)
  • Omo Alhaji Rmx ft. DJ Maphorisa (2016)
  • Jagaban (2015)
  • Condo ft. Patoranking (2015)
  • Smile on Me (2012)

Studio albums and EPs

  • Ycee vs. Zaheer (2019, studio album)
  • Late Night Vibrations with Bella Alubo (2018, EP)
  • First Wave (2017, EP)

Awards and achievements of Y-Cee

  • Best African Hip-Hop, AFRIMA (2017)
  • Rookie of the Year, The Headiess (2015)

14. Eva

  • Real Name: Elohor Eva Alordiah
  • Age:  33 Years Old
  • State of Origin: Delta State
  • Popular Tracks: I Done Did It, Shuga, Lights Out
  • Record label (Signed to): Nill
  • Active since: 2008

Eva is often considered one of the best female Nigerian rappers – if not the best! Although she has taken a break from music, her impact since her career began in 2008 has remained an important one in the Nigerian rap scene. Eva fuses the genres of reggae and hip hop in her music to give it recklessly merry originality. Eva is most renowned for her rhyme scheme, rap/trap style, and ability to freestyle with ease. The model, artist, and rapper’s career have contributed to a net worth estimated at $1 million.

Selected Songs of Eva

  • Shuga (2014)
  • Deaf (2014)
  • Mercy (2013)
  • Biggie Biggie (2012)
  • I Done Did It (2011)
  • Down Low ft. Shank (2010)
  • Relentless (2010)

Eva’s Studio Albums, Mixtapes, and EPs

  • 1960: The Album (2016, album)
  • Because You Been Waiting (2016, Mixtape)
  • Eva (2014, Mixtape)
  • The GIGO E.P (2011, EP)

Eva’s Awards

  • Best Rap Single (Female), YEM Awards (2012)
  • Most Promising Act, Nigeria Entertainment Awards (2012)
  • Female Rap Artiste of the Year, Eloy Awards (2011)

13. Skales

  • Real Name: Raoul John Njeng-Njeng
  • Age:  30 Years Old
  • State of Origin: Edo State
  • Popular Tracks: Shake Body, Komole, Mukulu, This Your Body
  • Record label (Signed to): Baseline, OHK Music
  • Active since: 2000

Skales grew up with an interest in music, and by the time he was in secondary school, he had already started writing songs. Soon after, he climbed the ladder of success following his signing to Banky W‘s E.M.E Music Records. Skales, although successful, has been dubbed as one of the most underrated musicians ever in Nigeria. He has performed in many countries across the world. He became renowned after releasing his debut song Mukulu and has since remained at the top of his game.

He is a versatile artist who influences different genres of music in Nigeria that include Afrobeats, Hip Hop, and R&B. In addition, he was nominated for a Grammy award (2020). This is a level many Nigerian rappers are yet to attain. He is also a producer and record label owner who has amassed a net worth of about $2 million in his over 2 decades career.

List of the Major Songs of Skales

  • This Your Body ft. Davido (2021)
  • Currency ft. Davido (2018)
  • Temper (2017)
  • Shake Body (2014)
  • Take Care of Me (2013)
  • Emergency (2013)
  • Mukulu (2009)
  • Ori Mi ft. Wizkid (2009)

Skales’ Albums and EPs

  • Healing Process (2020, EP)
  • Afro Dance (2020, Compilation Album)
  • Mr. Love (2018, Album)
  • The Never Say Never Guy (2017, album)
  • Man of The Year (2015, Album)
  • Empire Mates State of Mind (2012 compilation album)

Awards of Skales

  • Nigerian Teen Choice Awards for Best Upcoming Artist (2013)
  • 2x The Headies Awards for Best Collaboration with E.M.E crew (2013) and Best Collaboration with Runtown and Patoranking (2014)

12. Naira Marley

  • Real Name: Azeez Adeshina Fashola
  • Age:  30 Years Old
  • State of Origin: Lagos State
  • Popular Tracks: Issa Goal, Soapy, Am I A Yahoo Boy, Mafo
  • Record label (Signed to): Marlian Records
  • Active since: 2014

Naira Marley has been in the music scene since 2014 and has not turned his head towards quitting or taking the road to not giving his fans songs worthy of attention. His greatness in music lies in his ability to make music using the Afrobeats and Hip Hop genres with ease. Even though he lived many years of his life in the UK, his music style is greatly influenced by the Yoruba language, English, and pidgin. His style, rhythm, and unique voice have made him a sought-after artist among Nigerian rappers.

Since he has found a footing in rapping and afrobeat using his skills, Naira Marley has gained international recognition over the course of his music career. He has further made a concert that is one of the biggest in Nigeria – Marlian Fest. Apart from earning him fame, Marley’s career has also earned him a net worth estimated at over $500 thousand.

Some Hit songs of Naira Marley

  • Am Coming ft BasisWa (2021)
  • Idi Oremi (Opotoyi 2, 2020)
  • Am I A Yahoo Boy (2019)
  • Opotoyi (Marlians, 2019)
  • Soapy (2019)
  • Tesumole (2019)
  • Tingasa (2019)
  • Japa (2018)
  • Issa Goal  Ft. Olamide and Lil Kesh (2017)
  • Kosi Werey ft. Olamide (2016)

His EPs and Albums

  • Gotta Dance (EP, 2015)
  • Lord of Lamba (EP, 2019)

Awards and Achievements

  • Soundcity MVP Awards in the category of Viewers’ Choice (2020)

11. Zlatan Ibile

  • Real Name: Omoniyi Temidayo Raphael
  • Age: 26 Years Old
  • State of Origin: Ekiti State
  • Popular Tracks: Zanku (Legwork), Able God, Bolanle, Yeye Boyfriend, Soro Soke, Lagos Anthem
  • Record label (Signed to): Zanku Records
  • Active since: 2011

After completing his secondary education in 2011, Zlatan chose music as a career, and in 2014, he became the winner of the One Mic talent show, which Airtel sponsored. However, it was not until 2016, following the release of his song Odun Yi ft. Spaceboi that he began to be noticed in the world of music in Nigeria. Zlatan’s major career breakthrough was in 2018 when he released Zanku (Legwork).

Interestingly, the song also came along with a dance, which set social media on fire. The Zanku dance put the name of Zlatan at a level above many other Nigerian rappers and singers. It became a dance not only in Africa but on many other continents. As time progresses, he broke through many walls as far as it had to do with music in the Nigerian music industry as he continues to release hit songs. He topped many charts, got many positive reviews, performed in many countries, and made a commercial success that has added to his multi-million dollar net worth.

Zlatan’s ability to switch from hip-hop to Afrobeats music is an added advantage in his music career. He added this with a slang Kapaichumarimachopaco that fans easily identify with. His style has further put him on the ladder of a successful artist as it is seen as unique and creative, infused with English, Nigerian Pidgin, and his native Yoruba language.

Zlatan’s Major Hit Songs

  • Lagos Anthem (2020)
  • Soro Soke (2020)
  • Bolanle with IVD (2019)
  • Yeye Boyfriend (2019)
  • Killin Dem with Burna Boy (2019)
  • Zanku (2018)
  • Omoge (2017)
  • My Body ft. Olamide (2017)

He Has An Album Zanku (2019) to his name

Zlatan Has 8 Award Nominations and 4 Wins

  • Best Collaboration, The Headies (with Burna Boy for Killin Dem, 2019).
  • 3 African Muzik Magazine Awards for Best Act, Best Collaboration (with Burna Boy), and Song of the Year (with Burna) (2019).

10. Jesse Jagz

  • Real Name: Jesse Garba Abaga
  • Age:  37 Years Old
  • State of Origin: Taraba State
  • Popular Tracks: Jargo, Bad Girl, Pump it Up
  • Record label (Signed to): Jagz Nation
  • Active since: 2003

At the age of 7, Jesse Jagz joined the choir and started learning to play the drums. However, his professional career started in 2003 as a member of Gospel Insanity before starting another group called Eleven Thirty. Following the group’s disbandment in 2006, he went solo and dropped his first hit single titled Africa (2006).

In the coming years, Jesse Jagz soon rose to become a sort after rapper and producer. He produced hits and award-winning songs such as Oleku (Ice Prince ft. Brymo) and Superstar (Ice Prince), among others. Jesse Jagz’s music career as a rapper has landed him a huge commercial success that has fetched him an estimated net worth of $2 million. What mostly sets Jesse Jagz high in the ranking of Nigerian rappers apart from critical acclaim and commercial success is his lyrical content and his unique rhythm that recently has a touch of hip hop and reggae.

Best Songs of Jesse Jagz

  • Jargo (2013)
  • Bad Girl ft, Wizkid (2013)
  • Redemption (2013)
  • Wetin Day (2012)
  • Pump It Up (2010)
  • Nobody Test Me (2010)

His EPs and Albums

  • Garba (EP, 2020)
  • Oddysseus (2017, studio album)
  • Jagz Nation Vol. 2: Royal Niger Company (2014, studio album)
  • Jagz Nation Vol.1. Thy Nation Come (2013, studio album)
  • Jag of All Tradez (2010, studio album)

Awards won by Jesse Jagz

  • Lyricist on the Roll at The Headies (2014)
  • Music Producer of the Year at The Future Awards Africa (2010)
  • Best New Act of the Year at the Nigerian Entertainment Awards (2010)

9. Naeto C

  • Real Name: Naetochukwu Chikwe
  • Age: 38 Years Old
  • State of Origin: Imo State
  • Popular Tracks: I Believe, 10 over 10, Kini Big Deal, 5 and 6
  • Record label ( Signed to): Storm 360, Cerious Music
  • Active since: 2006

Unlike many rappers, Naeto C has passed a decade in his music career, but he seems to grow with each passing day and let his craft develop into the new era of music. His rapping is accompanied by rhymes, rhythm, and lyrics, which the rapper has interestingly interwoven into each other in his career. He reached a milestone after releasing his I Believe song, which was followed by several other songs, tours, concerts, international performances, among others.

Naeto is still famous for being one of the few Nigerian rappers to have their debut album become one of the popular in the country and sold over a million copies in 2008. However, in recent time for about 5 years, Naeto C has not released an album, but his singles are still breaking through. His career has won him fans in Nigeria and beyond. He has a net worth estimated at $7.5 million.

Naeto C’s Interesting Songs

  • Killin’ Me Softly ft. Sarkodie (2017)
  • What You Want ft. Ajebutter22 & Boj (2014)
  • Tony Montana (2012)
  • 10 over 10 (2011)
  • You Know My P (2008)
  • Kini Big Deal (2008)

He Has 4 Studio Albums

  • Festival (2008)
  • Day 1 (2011)
  • Super C Season (2011)
  • U Know My P (2008)

Naeto Had 2 The Headies Nominations and 3 Awards

  • Best New Musician, MTV Africa Music Awards (2008)
  • Video of the Year, Channel O Music Video Awards (2009)
  • Best New Artist, MTV Africa Music Awards (2009)

8. Reminisce

  • Real Name: Remilekun Abdulkalid Safaru
  • Age: 40 Years Old
  • State of Origin: Ogun State
  • Popular Tracks: Fantasi, OGB41G, Asamalekun, Local Rappers, Government, If Only,
  • Record label (Signed to): LRR Records
  • Active since: 2008

Even those doubting Reminisce’s career understands that he is so much of a versatile artist. He does Afrobeats, Rap, and Hip-Hop to maintain quite a dignifying status in the rap world of the music industry. It is no rumor that Reminisce may have had a slow start in his career with recording an album that he never got to release. But when he made a comeback in 2008, it marked the beginning of his rise as one of the best Nigerian rappers. He was listed among Time Magazine’s 7 world rappers to meet. This may be partly due to his rapping style, influenced by some of the world’s greatest rappers, including Jay-Z, Nas, and Snoop Dogg.

He has received praises for centering the language of his rap in Yoruba, with a touch of Nigerian pidgin and English. He has made music with many Nigerian and international artists, including Wizkid, Davido, Sean Tizzle, Olamide, and Ice Prince, among others. Reminisce has to his belt many hits songs like If Only and Local Rappers, among others.

Many of his works have become a great commercial success, with Alaga Ibile (2013) selling estimated millions of copies before the fall of 2014. His EP Vibes and Insha Allah gained 4.5 million streams only on Audiomack in its first 4 months of release. All these have equally added to his millions of dollars net worth.

Major Hits Songs of Reminisce

  • Toxic ft. Adekunle Gold (2020)
  • Prosperity ft. Falz (2020)
  • Ogaranya ft. Fireboy (2020)
  • Jensimi ft. Niniola (2019)
  • Oja (2019)
  • Ponmile (2017)
  • Owo Re  (2016)
  • Local Rappers (2015)
  • Sunkere (2013)
  • Eleniyan ft. Wizkid (2013)
  • Daddy ft. Olamide, Endia (2013)
  • If Only (2012)

He Has 4 Studio Albums and is one of the most successful EPs in Nigeria

  • Vibes and Insha Allah (2020, EP)
  • El-Hadj (2016)
  • Baba Hafusa (2015)
  • ALAGA IBILE (2013)
  • Book of Rap Stories (2012)

List of Awards won by Reminisce

  • Best Rap Album, The Headies Award (2018, El Hadj)
  • Best Collaboration (Local Rappers ft. Olamide and Phyno), The Headies (2017)
  • 3x winner of City People Entertainment Award for Rap Artist of the Year (2016), Rap Album of the Year, City People Entertainment Award (2015 and 2014).

7. Illbliss

  • Real Name: Tobechukwu Melvin Ejiofor
  • Age: 41 Years Old
  • State of Origin: Imo State
  • Popular Tracks: Remember, Emini Baller, Bank Alert, Aname Achi Kwanu, Chukwu Agozigo Gi
  • Record label (Signed to): CAPital Hill Music/The Goretti Company
  • Active since: 2000

Illbliss, popularly known as Oga Boss, has remained relevant in the music industry for over 2 decades – a level many Nigerian rappers have not reached. Although his music is mostly in his native Igbo language, non-Igbo speakers still relate with his songs through unique rhythm and a little infusion of English and pidgin. Illbliss makes his rap in a rather tongue-twisted way in the most energizing way.

Apart from his rap career, he is responsible for launching Chidinma and Phyno’s careers through his Goretti Company. He is also an actor who made his debut in the King of Boys movie.

Some Major Hit Songs of Illbliss

  • Remember ft. Johnny Drille (2020)
  • Country (2020)
  • Grown Man Raps (2019)
  • Osadebe (2019)
  • Emi Ni Baller ft. Tha Suspect & Chidinma (2012)
  • Hustler’s Footsteps (2012)
  • Aiye Po Gan (2009)

He has 7 Solo Albums, 2 EPs, and 1 Collaborative Album

  • Illbliss – Illy Chapo X (2020)
  • Illosophy (2019)
  • IllyZilla (Collaborative album with Teck Zilla) (2019)
  • Illy Bomaye (2017)
  • Illygaty:7057 (2016)
  • #Powerful (2015)
  • Position of Power, Vol. 2 (2014, EP)
  • Position of Power, Vol. 1 ( 2012, EP)
  • Oga Boss (2012)
  • Dat Ibo Boy (2009)

His First Major Award Was Presented to Him by Nas

  • Rap Album of the Year, City People Entertainment Awards (2016)
  • 2x The Headies  for Best Rap Album and Lyricist on the Roll (2016)
  • The Best Hip-Hop Video, The NMVA (2012)
  • The SSMA for Most Popular Video, South-South Music Awards (2009)
  • The SMVA for Best Hip-Hop Video, Sound City Music Video Awards (Presented by Nas, 2008)

6. Phyno

  • Real Name: Chibuzor Nelson Azubuike
  • Age: 34 Years Old
  • State of Origin: Anambra State
  • Popular Tracks: Parcel (a BIG Nwa), O Set, Alobam, So Far So Good, Fada Fada
  • Record label ( Signed to): Sputnet, Penthauze
  • Active since: 2003

At a young age, when he was in secondary school, Phyno took an interest in music and learned to play different musical instruments. However, it was in 2010 that he headed to Lagos to pursue a career as a rapper. In 2015, he started the Phynofest festival that began with 12,000 people in attendance to a large crown of 30,000 a year later. His being one of the greatest Nigerian rappers and in Africa further proved itself in the Phynofest in 2017 when he had the biggest concert in Africa by an Artist with over 50,000 people in attendance and performances by A-list stars such as D’Banj, Timaya, Flavour, Duncan Mighty, Runtown, Lil Kesh and Mayorkun, among others.

Phyno remains one of the richest Nigerian rappers, with an estimated net worth of about $10 million. His music flows so well in his native Igbo language unapologetically. This has rather helped shape his career, where he is known for promoting the African culture through his rhythm. In addition, he is among the greatest musicians ever are known for creating relatable lyrics, as his music is inspired by his everyday activities and real-life societal issues. He is further a producer who has produced songs for artists like J-Martins, Timaya, and Flavour.

Some Major Songs By Phyno

  • Bia (2021)
  • Chop Life with Flavour (2020)
  • Ride For You ft. Davido (2019)
  • Augment ft Olamide (2017)
  • So Far So Good (2017)
  • Fada Fada ft Olamide(2016)
  • Financial Woman ft. P Square (2016)
  • Pino Pino (2016)
  • Alobam (2014)
  • Ghost Mode with Olamide (2014)
  • O Set ft. P Square (2014)

He has 3 studio albums and a collaborative album with Olamide

  • Deal With It (2019, studio album)
  • The Playmaker (2016, studio album)
  • 2 Kings (Collaborative album with Olamide, 2015)
  • No Guts No Glory (2014, studio album)

Phyno has more than 30 award nominations and more than 5 wins

  • Indigenous Artist, Nigeria Entertainment Award (2017)
  • 4x winner of The Headies Awards in the categories of Song of the Year (ft. Olamide,2016), Best Rap Single (2014), Best Collabo (with Olamide, 2013), Best Rap Single (2013)
  • Rap Artist of the Year, City People Entertainment (2014)

5. Vector

  • Real Name: Olanrewaju Ogunmefun David
  • Age: 37 Years Old
  • State of Origin: Ogun State
  • Popular Tracks: King Kong, Gunshot, Mad, Get Down
  • Record label ( Signed to): GRAP Entertainment Limited (YSD Entertainment Limited, former)
  • Active since: 2008

Putting the parameters of critical acclaim, commercial success, influence, hit after hit, the number of singles and albums, Vector definitely and undoubtedly makes it to the list as one of the baddest Nigerian rappers. One of his most memorable works is his first album, State of Surprise. The work was rated among the next big one and anticipated albums of 2010. It has also been listed as one of the best albums Nigeria has witnessed.

Vector further proves that he deserved the title of one of the best when he made the history of becoming the longest African Freestyle ever on Live Radio when he rapped for about 2 hours. What was more surprising was his ability to rap using all the words thrown at him. To date, in Nigeria, no rapper has broken that record.

Vector Tha Viper is also considered one of the most intelligent Nigerian rappers with his incoherent and extravagant use of lyrics and style, with his melodious and graceful voice. All these exploits have helped him achieve an estimated net worth of $1.2 million.

Hit Songs of Viper

  • Crown of Clay with M.I ft. Pheelz (2020)
  • Comfort ft. Davido (2020)
  • Mad (2018)
  • Gunshot (2017)
  • King Kong Remix ft. Phyno, Reminisce, ClassiQ, and Uzi (2015)

Vector’s Albums, EPs, Collaboration Albums, and Mixtapes

  • Crossroads (2020, EP with Masterkraft)
  • VIBESBEFORE TESLIM: The Journey to Self Discovery (2019, EP)
  • The Rap Dialogue (2018, EP)
  • Lafiaji (2016, studio album)
  • A7 (2014, Mixtape)
  • The Second Coming (2012, studio album)
  • Bar-Racks The Mixtape (2012, Mixtape)
  • State of Surprise (2010, studio album)

He has more than 10 award nominations and has won 8

  • 4x winner of The Headies in the categories Best Rap Single and Lyricist on the Roll, The Headies (2012 and 2015)
  • 2x winner of the Nigerian Music Video Awards (NMVA) for Best Hip-Hop Video (2012) and Best Mainstream Hip-Hop Video (2011).
  • Recognition Award at the Dynamix All Youths Awards (2012)
  • Nigeria Entertainments Awards for Best Rap Act (2012)

4. Ice Prince

  • Real Name: Panshak Henry Zamani
  • Age: 36 Years Old
  • State of Origin: Plateau State
  • Popular Tracks: Oleku, Superstar, Aboki, I Swear, Aboki, That Could be Us
  • Record label ( Signed to): Super Cool Cats (Chocolate City, former)
  • Active since: 2004

The ability to create anthem songs that will live for decades and have similar value as the initial stage of their release makes one a great artist. Ice Prince had given that in his Oleku, Superstar, and Aboki – songs that took over the Nigerian music scene like a wildfire in autumn when they were made public. But those weren’t his first, and neither did he make it his last. Ice Prince first rooted himself in music when he started writing raps in 1999 at age 15 before taking it professionally in 2004.

Ice Prince has also won a space among the best rappers in Nigeria and Africa due to his original and exceedingly copious songs. This has also led to his being one of the most awarded Nigerian rappers. He is also one of the few Nigerians ever to win a BET award when he was nominated alongside A-list artists from Nigeria (2Face), South Africa (Toya Delazy, Donald), Uganda (Goodlyfe Crew), and Ghana (R2Bees).

As much as indigenous Nigerian Languages help some artists, Ice Prince maintains his lyrics mostly in English and pidgin. Many of his songs have an above-average positive review and generate good commercial sales that add to his net worth of about $5 million.

Ice Prince Has 4 Studio Albums, 2 EPs, and a compilation album with Chocolate City artists.

  • C.O.L.D (2018, EP)
  • Jos to the World (2016)
  • The Indestructible Choc Boi Nation (2015)
  • Trash Can (2015, EP)
  • Fire of Zamani (2013)
  • Everybody Loves Ice Prince (2011)

Ice Prince has been nominated for awards more than 50 times and has won more than 16

  • Best Male Hip Hop Artist, Ben TV Awards (2014)
  • Best Rap Act, Nigerian Entertainment Awards (2014)
  • Best Hip Hop Video, Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA) (2013)
  • Best Rap of the Year, Nigerian Entertainment Awards (2013)
  • Best International Act: Africa, BET Awards (2013)
  • Best Male Hip Hop Artist of the Year, City People Entertainment Awards (2013)
  • Best Rap Album, The Headies (2012)
  • African Artiste of the Year, Best Rap Single, and Song of the Year at the Ghana Music Awards (2012)

3. Falz

  • Real Name: Folarin Falana
  • Age:  30 Years Old
  • State of Origin: Ekiti State
  • Popular Tracks: Soldier, This is Nigeria, Karashika, Squander
  • Record label ( Signed to): Bahd Guys Records
  • Active since: 2009

Falz may not have lasted as long as some of these rappers listed here, but since the beginning of his career, he has made a consistent presence in different charts and continues to make hit songs. In 2014, he was listed as an artist to watch out for. The rapper/actor is so good at rhythm, and his lyrical content dealing with societal issues is his major game-changer.

As a result, his hip-hop style has been tagged Political Hip-Hop. He further sees his style as Wahzup Music – a fusion of comic lyrics with contemporary hip-hop in a faux Yoruba accent. Furthermore, Falz’s style is peculiar to him. Most rappers in Nigeria do not switch from one accent to another, create humor, and still send vital messages through music – Falz does all and even more, which has contributed to making him an important part of the Nigerian rap game. Apart from these, he still finds a way around the genre of Afrobeats, which has also contributed to his journey to becoming renowned and one of the best.

Falz’s career has won him critical reviews from music critics. Above all, he has worked with many artists within and outside Nigeria, gained about 20 million views from his This is Nigeria song, a cover of Paul Gambino’s This is America. The song is one of his successful songs, which was capped with a share by Diddy on Instagram. His commercial success continues and has contributed to his net worth of an estimated $5 million.

Best Songs of Falz The Bahd Guy

  • Bop Daddy ft. Ms. Banks (2020)
  • Marry Me Ft. Yemi Alade(2018)
  • This is Nigeria (2018)
  • Wehdone Sir (2017)
  • Child of the World (2017)
  • Foreign with Simi (2016)
  • Soft Work (2015)

He has released 4 studio albums

  • Moral Instruction (2019)
  • 27 (2017)
  • Stories that Touch (2015)
  • Wazup Guy (2014)

Falz’s Accolades

  • 5x winner of at The Headies in the categories of Best Collabo (with Simi, 2016), Best Rap Single, Best Rap Album, and Album of the Year (2019); Best Rap Single (2020).
  • Nigeria Music Video Awards for Best Afro Hip Hop Video (2016)
  • City People Entertainment Awards for Album of the Year (2016)
  • BET Awards for Viewer’s Choice Best New International Act (2016)
  • Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards for Best Actor in a Comedy Movie/Series (2016)

2. M.I

  • Real Name: Jude Lemfani Abaga
  • Age: 39 Years Old
  • State of Origin: Plateau State
  • Popular Tracks: African Rapper, You Rappers Should Fix Yourself, Huma Being
  • Record label ( Signed to): incredible Music, Chocolate City
  • Active since (year): 2004

In 2004, when rap music was more challenging in Nigeria, M.I took the challenge and opened a new chapter of the rap genre in a most rewarding way. He has maintained a position that even newer generations of hip-hop artists have not surpassed. With his song Crowd Mentality, he became widely known. He then continued with making hits, maintaining a top spot on charts, performing across many countries, and gaining international accolades in South Africa and America, to mention a few.

However, what really makes M.I stand out is that he never backs down in his position as one of the most lyrically diverse and great artists. His music remains mellifluous ceaseless over the course of his career. His style and flow also remain witty, easy-going, but packed full of punches. The rapper’s style and ego have been compared to Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Lil Wayne.

However, his greatness does not stop at his building a great wall of giant music around himself. He is also responsible for helping the careers of Phyno, Jesse Jagz, Wizkid, Ruby Gyang, Brymo, Ice Prince, Yung6ix, and KhaliGraph Jones, among others. Indeed all of these have kept him in a position where he is still seen as a father in raps, a mentor in music, and one of the all-time best Nigerian rappers. He has also often been described as a rap living legend.

In addition to his rap career, M.I is a producer, founder of Loopy Records and Incredible Music. He has also featured in many Nigerian films, such as Chief Daddy and Namaste Wahala. His rap career has landed him great commercial success, with a net worth estimated at $3.9 million.

Some of M.I’s songs

  • All My Life ft, Oxlade (2021)
  • Crown of Clay with Vector (2020)
  • Monkey ft. Chigul (2014)
  • One Naira ft Waje (2010)
  • Undisputed Champion (2010)
  • Number One ft. Flavour (2010)
  • Fast Money Fast Cars ft. Wizkid (2008)

His studio and compilation albums, mixtapes, and EPs

  • The Live Report (with A-Q, 2020 EP)
  • Judah (2020, EP)
  • Rendezvous (2018, Mixtape)
  • A Study on Self Worth: Yxng Dxnz! (2018, Album)
  • Illegal Musi 3: The Finale (2016, Mixtapes)
  • The Indestructible Choc Boi Nation (with Chocolate City, Compilation album, 2015)
  • The Chairman (2014, Album)
  • Illegal Music 2 (2012, Mixtape)
  • M.I 2: The Movie (2010, Album)
  • Illegal Music (2009, Mixtape)
  • Talk About It (2008, Album)

Awards Won By M.I

  • He has more than 30 award nominations and above 15 wins.
  • 3x The Headies Awards for Best Rap Album (2015), Best Rap Single (2018), and Lyricist on the Roll (2018).
  • Orange Wall of Fame for Most Amiable Brand (2010)
  • National Daily’s Artist of the Year (2010)
  • City People Entertainment Awards for Musician of the Year (2010)
  • Malaysian African Entertainments Awards in the category of Musician of the Year (2010)
  • The Future Awards, Musician of the Year (2010)
  • 3x Hip Hop World Awards for Best Rap Album and Hip Hop Revelation (2009) and Best Rap Single (2008)
  • Nigerian Entertainment for Best New Act of the Year (2009)
  • 2x Nigerian Music Video Awards in the categories of Best Use of Special Effects in a Video and  Best New Act of the Year (2009)
  • MTV Africa Music Awards for Best Act (2009)
  • Mode Men Awards for Musician of the Year (2008)

1. Olamide

  • Real Name: Olamide Gbenga Adedeji
  • Age: 32 Years Old
  • State of Origin: Lagos (as believed)
  • Popular Tracks: Eni Duro, Bobo, Melo
  • Record label (Signed to): YBNL Nation, Empire
  • Active since: 2010

Olamide is the most awarded Nigerian rapper with more than 20 accolades to his name in his professional career that began in 2010 and lasted over a decade. He is mostly remembered for being one of the few music acts to become famous after releasing their debut songs. His song, Eni Duro, paved the way for him in the music industry, and it was interestingly his first-ever single. The same year his career kicked off, he got the attention of many and landed himself a spot to perform at the Hip Hop World Awards. He started his career signed to Coded Tunes, and in no time, he started his own label, YBNL.

In addition to his never relenting in releasing songs that end up becoming hits, he is one Nigerian rapper with probably the highest number of studio-released albums, which have equally end up becoming some of the best released in Nigeria. The greatness of Olamide has often been compared to that of DaGrin who had a similar music style with the rapper. He sings in his native Yoruba language with a little fusion of English and pidgin. Even listeners of his music who understand little or nothing in Yoruba still find his songs interesting as the rhythm never goes off balance, and his rhymes stand tall.

His use of the Afrobeats genre amidst his hip hop earn him a place in dance halls, and his song Bobo is a major in that category. Olamide is a great rapper in Nigeria and the African continent. His greatness reflects in his music and has extended to many other artists whose careers he has helped to shape. Some of them include Lil Kesh, Phyno, Adekunle Gold, CDQ, Chinko Ekun, his brother DJ Enimoney, etc. Besides having a great positive review, his career has contributed to his wealth of evaluated $12 million to make him one of the richest Nigerian rappers.

He has 9 studio albums, 3 Collaborative albums, and an EP

  • UY Scuti (2021, studio album)
  • Carpe Diem (2020, studio album)
  • 999 (2020, EP)
  • Carpe Diem (2020)
  • YBNL Mafia Family (2018, Collaborative album)
  • Lagos Nawa (2017, studio album)
  • The Glory (2016, studio album)
  • 2 Kings (collaborative album with Phyno) (2015)
  • Eyan Mayweather (2015, studio album)
  • Street OT (2014, studio album)
  • Baddest Guy Ever Liveth (2013, studio album)
  • YBNL (2012, studio album)
  • Rapsodi (2011, studio album)

Olamide’s Accomplishments and Awards

  • Olamide has over 50 award nominations and more than 20 wins.
  • He has the highest number of The Headies Awards in Nigeria (15 awards) in the categories of the Best Street-Hop Artiste and Artiste of The Year (2015), Best Rap Album of the Year, and Album of The Year (2014 and 2013).
  • 4x Nigerian Entertainment Awards (NEAs) for Album of The Year and Rap Act of The Year (2016); Best Indigenous Artist and Best Best Collabo – with Phyno (2013)
  • City People Entertainment Awards for Rap Artist of The Year (2015).
  • 7x TooXclusive Awards in the categories of Certified Banger of the Year, Video Wonder of the Year, Artist of the Year and Male Artist of the Year, Best Hip-Hop Track, Mixtape of the Year (with Phyno), and Album of the Year (2015).
  • Channel O Music Video Awards for Most Gifted West (2014)
  • Nigeria Music Video Awards for Best Afro Hip Hop Video (2013)

<strong>Recap of The 20 Baddest Nigerian Rappers</strong>

  1. Olamide
  2. M.I
  3. Falz
  4. Ice Prince
  5. Vector
  6. Phyno
  7. Illbliss
  8. Reminisce
  9. Naeto C
  10. Jesse Jagz
  11. Zlatan Ibile
  12. Naira Marley
  13. Skales
  14. Eva
  15. Y-Cee
  16. AQ
  17. Ladipoe
  18. Yung6ix
  19. Lil Kesh
  20. Erigga

5 Notable Nigerian Rappers To Look Out For

1. CDQ

Born Sodiq Abubakar Yusuf, CDQ is a 36–year-old rapper who began his career in 2008. He is one of the best Nigerian rappers at the moment and is one act to look out for. He is already making a good wave with many awards from his Nowo Soke album, among others. His songs include Salaro (2015) and Make We Run ft. Wizkid (2016). With his current pace, CDQ might soon be one of the biggest artists in Nigeria and head for several awards.

2. Blaqbonez

Born Emeja Akemefule, Blackbonez is a 25year-old rapper known for Mamiwota (2019), Haba (2020), and BBC remix ft. Tiwa Savage (2021). Although he has lasted a while in the industry, as he started in 2012, his style keeps opening paths that may earn him a place as one of the best Nigerian rappers in a little while.

3. Psycho YP

His real name is Nicholas Ihua – Maduenyi. Already, he has over 50 singles to his name at his age of 22. His songs include Ball, Long Way From Home, and YKTFV. He has won nominations at the Headies for Best Rap Album (2021) and two others.

4. Dremo

In his few years in the Nigerian music industry, Aboriomoh Femi Raymond, who is 28 years old, has already made heads turn with his songs that include collaborations with Davido (Mabel, 2020 and Kpa, 2018), Reekado Banks (Ringer, 2019), among others.

5. Mz Kizz

Akindele Justiona Omowinmi, who is currently 119 years old, is not new among Nigerian rappers. But she is currently pushing hard to become one of the best. She has already been nominated 3 times, including in The Headies (2016) as Rookie of the Year. She is known for Braa (2019), Igara (2018. Merule ft. Slim Case (2018) and Stoopid ft. Falz (2015).

Nenpan Ngwan
Nenpan is a linguist, reader and writer who can spend hours thinking of the right words. She believes that with each thought comes words, and with each good word comes a great writing that can change how we see things.

Recommended

Featured Today

Read This Next