The evolution of Hip hop in Nigeria could be traced to the late 1990s. On the mainstream were such groups as The Remedies, Maintain, Trybesmen and single acts like Rasqie Mono.
In other parts of Nigeria, underground groups such as Swatroots, Coal City Finest and Tuck Tyte could be heard representing the game as much as possible. Mainstream hiphop at this time till the early 2000’s was characterized by a lot of Afro beat, native language and junk rap.
Owing to heavy radio rotations and publicity, these misrepresentations of the art dominated for a long time. In 2003, the genre was revolved by the release of ‘Ehen’ by Ruggedman. A diss song that sent all the so called mainstream hiphop acts to the cleaners. From this time on, Hip hop was born again. A new dawn that woke every sleeping head and sent them back to the studios. Ruggedman released a few other controversial records addressing sternly a lot of issues in the Nigerian Hip hop scene.
This rebirth of Hip hop lowered the activation energy and there was an explosive influx of cats into the game. The appreciation of Hip hop grew across the populace and hiphop heads could confidently walk into radio stations to present their songs for airplay. Rap shows started getting hosted on some radio stations and the love for the art increased tremendously.
We’ve decided to Celebrate 5 of the pioneers of Nigeria’s Hip-hop Which are Remedies, Dbanj, 2face, And Dj Jimmy Jatt;
Remedies: The Remedies was a group of 3 young musicians who helped shape the Nigerian Hip-hop scenery living a lasting impression on the Naija Hip-hop culture both with there music and used it also to create a fashion culture the Baggies jeans, Baseball hat, Tinted hair of Tony Tetula. The 3 men were Tony Tetula, Eedris AbdulKareem and Eddie Remedy.
Dbanj: Its actually difficult to talk about Dbanj and his music and his influence on The Naija hip-hop Culture with out talking about Don Jazzy and the Mo Hits crew. Don Jazzy with his walking stick and slightly tilted to the left Baseball hat, Dbanj with his shirt first two missing, They gave us banging hits like “Why Me”, Tongolo, Oliver Twist, Mono Gbona Feli Feli.
2face: 2face‘s ability to still be of such huge relevance in the Naija Hip-hop and Afrobeat is unprecedented. 2baba as he’s usually referred to, Is a living legend that help popularized a culture and help made it survive and stand the test of time, well talking about 2baba’s fashion influence there isn’t that much to mention but one thing he has stuck to and you can’t miss is his clean well-shaved hair that has become is logo and walked its way to one of his album cover and his record label’s logo.
Dj Jimmy Jatt: Dj Jimmy Jatt is regarded by many has probably the father of Naija Hip-hop culture and as The Grandfather Dj, almost every hip-hop artist of the early 90s and late 90s and after the turn of the Millennium all say Dj Jimmy Jatt helped them achieved their dreams of being a successful hip-hop artist. He led a nation, a culture, a way of life and would forever be a legend of the hip-hop culture in Nigeria. He was famous for his Baseball Hat, he made it his logo. As close as it is to his trades he even has a baseball hat making label and business. Photo Credit: Getty