With new artists like Kel, Illbliss, MI, Wande Coal, Bracket, Omawunmi, Sleek, Deebee having the charts all to themselves last year & consequently outshining the already established acts like P square, Styl plus, 9ice etc. One is inclined to think that this year might be no different as there are a lot of upcoming acts waiting on the sidelines to have the torch passed on to them. 9jahiphop will be taking a look at 10 of the most promising ones that might come out on top in 2010.
PLUS ONE - COMMERCIAL CLASS
Chances are high that the naija music scene might get bracket-ed again, not by the yori yori boys but by these talented brothers. When you are confronted by the talent of the boy group plus one, two thoughts come readily to your mind, 1. P square was probably thinking of them when they recorded “danger” and 2. This is surely the end of Styl Plus.With the SARS & Puffy T produced “tinkonko” (supported by a Clarence peters video) already taking them places they never imagined and the follow up single “yaa ya” bubbling beneath the surface, 2010 might just be their year.
MO CHEDDAH - THE FRANCHISE CELEBRITY
The first lady of knighthouse and undoubtedly the brightest female talent in the naija music industry successfully crafted one of the biggest hooks of 2009 on knighthouse’s first single “the finest” and didn’t stop there as she kept the fire burning with her singles “shampoo” & “if you want me”. Not one to rest on her laurels she released a free Christmas mixtape “true Christmas” for her growing fan base and her hard work didn’t go unnoticed as she graced the cover of the December edition of true love magazine. What sets her apart from the crowd is her versatility as she can croon with the best of them and at the same time deliver mind blowing rap lines. All eyes are on her as she prepares to release her eclectic debut.
DR SID - TURNING POINT
Compared to every other artist on this list, Dr Sid is a veteran. The dentist turned rapper started his career with Trybe records and cut his teeth under Eldee, Freestyle & Kaboom.. While his fellow label mates Del & Timi fell off along the road to stardom, Sid remained focused, stayed true to the game & kept on grinding until he finally succeeded in finagling a record deal out of Don jazzy and ever since has been playing a major part in the rise & rise of mohits records. Sid’s major strength lies in his ability to identify his weakness hence opting for the singing route on his debut LP after the lukewarm response to his singles “something about you”, “when this song comes on” & “pops something”. Knowing that this might be his last chance will definitely make him pull out all the stops to make his debut hot.
MAYE HUNTA - MAYEFESTATION
Maye Hunta burst on the scene late last year with the housegirl/master relationship dilemma song "ekaete" which has since found a home on the charts. As if that is not enough, the follow up single “owo faaji” is steadily gaining momentum after been released to radio stations nationwide and is getting major spins in clubs. If things go according to plan then Maye Hunta might have the number one album spot all to himself in the coming months.
TIMI DAKOLO – TIMI
Timi wouldn’t have been on this list if the organizers of idols West Africa had kept their promises. After winning the maiden edition in 2007, Timi sat back thinking his dreams were about to come true until 2009 when he finally realized that he had been a victim of corporate maga & then decided to take matters into his own hands. Hooking up with Cobhams was a fruitful venture that resulted in the release of two singles “heaven please” featuring MI & “I love you” featuring Jesse Jagz which has been receiving massive airplay & has set the stage for the release of his self titled debut album.
GENERAL PYPE – TBD
It is one thing to sound like Sean Paul, it’s another thing to release an album like “dutty rock” & be as successful as he is. The self proclaimed 7 star general started his steady climb up the naija music ladder by notching up guest appearances on songs such as Sasha’s “strong thing”, MI’s “teaser”, Illbliss’s “blessing”, Sheyman’s “showa”, Jahbless’s “street rules (remix)” & Bigiano’s “its over” just to mention a few and has further more solidified his hold on the music scene with the release of two blazing singles “keep it cool” & “champion”. With the latter already topping radio & video charts nationwide, General Pype’s debut is already shaping up to be one of the biggest debuts of the year.
VECTOR - THE STATE OF SURPRISE
In Nigeria we have the state of harmony, the state of the living spring and 34 other states, so it is understandable when people are shocked at the mention of the state of surprise. Maybe it is the 37th state where vector hails from or the hip hop mindstate where he currently resides, we will find out soon enough as the young cat prepares to unleash his debut album on the unsuspecting public. The MC who has kept his buzz strong by appearing on Bigiano’s shayo (remix), Paul play’s smoking and J.martins’s good & bad (remix) has also leaked some songs from his upcoming album like “Kilode” (ft Emmsong), “warm n close” (ft Ade piper) & “I love Nigeria”. In addition, his freestyle on jimmy’s jumpoff & his DJ mighty mike exclusive certainly boosted his street credibility.
JESSE JAGZ – TBD
After successfully producing the album that propelled his brother (MI) to the pinnacle of the crowded naija rap game, Jesse Jagz swung into action immediately by jumping on tracks off MI’s “illegal music” mixtape and guest appearing on Djinee’s “overkilling (remix)”, Darey’s “style na style (remix)”, Timi dakolo’s “I love you” & Rooftop MC’s “sitting on the roof top”. Not one to let an opportunity pass him by, the J-town MC took full advantage of the chocolate city movement to drop “pump it up” & “jagga swagga” off his upcoming untitled debut project. When his album finally drops we will see just how far his brother’s fame and the vocoder have taken him.
YQ – TBD
When you think of YQ, think of Wande Coal before M2M (raw talent). YQ hit the mainstream in 09 courtesy of his cameos on songs like Knighthouse’s “ijinle pam pam”, Kel’s “turn by turn” Naeto C’s “duro” & 2 shotz’s “oyoyo”. The man renowned for crafting ingenious hooks also released 2 singles “I like girls”, "money can't buy me love" & “efimile” featuring Da grin off his upcoming debut album and the latter even got him a nomination in the last edition of hip hop world awards. With a solid foundation already laid for his career & with the right direction, YQ might just be naija’s next superstar.
BEAZY - TBD
If you thought MI was good, wait till you listen to beazy. If the naija music scene was the NBA, then be would have been the draft pick of the year. With 2 critically acclaimed mixtapes under his belt, “the affidavit” & “get money, stay fly”, beazy's debut album is definitely something to look forward to. The London based MC makes your favorite MCs sound like amateurs. Armed with witty punch lines, sharp wordplay & fierce delivery, I guess it is safe to say beazy’s music is hip hop at its finest and he will be right up there with the best when his untitled debut album drops.