Some of the best of the LP we are grateful for in 2018.
Burna Boy had shut down the internet with his vibrant collaboration with Lily Allen in the song “Heaven’s Gate” while M.I Abaga diversified his sound in an experimental album. Political maverick, Seun Kuti with his fourth album, Black Times with Egypt 80, proved again that afrobeat and protest music is embedded in his DNA and Mr Eazi’s new album is a celebration of his newly found global audience and influence. Here are a selection of the best of the albums we are grateful for in 2018.
1. Burna Boy
Prior to the release of Outside, Burna Boy had shut down the internet with his vibrant collaboration with Lily Allen, British pop star, and Grammy award winner in the song Heaven’s gate. Outside is a 38 minutes unapologetic offering of fine-tuned afro-fusion, it contains 13 tracks and 3 guest appearances in Jhus, Lily Allen and Mabel. The album is Burna Boy’s most honest and creative project with beats from Nigerian and British producers like Leriq, Jae 5, Jhuls, Chopstix, Steel Banglez and Fred Gibson.
2. M.I Abaga
Following the release of his controversial single “You Rappers Should Fix Up Your Lives” – a track that challenged the state of Nigerian hip-hop, M.I promised to released his fourth album, Yung Denzl in 2017 but failed to deliver on his promise. He released a new project, Rendezvous few hours after revealing that the much-anticipated album will be released in May. The 15 track playlist, as M.I. prefers to call it is a daring work of genius that only a few rappers can boast of. In the project which featured South African rappers like Cassper Nyovest and AKA to Nigerian stars like Falz the Bahdguy and Wande Coal, M.I Abaga diversified his sound, and emotions in an experimental style.
Brymo’s 6th studio album, Oso (The Wizard) is an eleven track album that runs for 38 minutes. In the past, Brymo has proved to be a lyrical genius, from “Merchants, Dealers & Slaves,” to “Klitoris”, he is an entertainer popular for his illuminating and intellectual mastery of music.
His latest album, Oso reeks of maturity and class while keeping his signature intact. With tracks like “No be me”, “Bá’núsọ” “Heya”, “Patience and Goodluck”, Brymo continues his philosophical approach to music and attempt at realism that won him a loyal fan base.
4. Seun Kuti
Seun Kuti is a political maverick, his fourth album, Black Times with Egypt 80, his father’s band further proved that afrobeat and protest music is embedded in his DNA. In Black Times, Seun via eight tracks of protest statements fights the prevailing corruption in Nigeria and other African countries. He also attempts a lyrical roll call of African leaders like Kwame Nkrumah, Thomas Sankara, Patrice Lumumba, Abder Nasser, Marcus Garvey, Shaka Zulu. Seun’s Black Times is a continuation of Fela’s musical ritual, “I be Fela Kuti” he needlessly reminds us in Last Revolutionary.
5. Adekunle Gold
Adekunle Gold’s About 30 saves us from the prevailing pop sound dominating the year. After leaving YBNL, Adekunle established the 79th element band and released the most anticipated album of the year so far. With only two pre-released track, “Ire” and “Money”, Adekunle teamed up with DYO, Flavour, Seun Kuti and the Lagos Community Gospel Choir to create what is beginning to look like the best alternative music album of the year. About 30 is Adekunle’s mature, cohesive and creative attempt at progressive music.
6. DJ Neptune
DJ Neptune’s influence, coupled with his talent is the elements in the greatness of his debut album. Greatness, the album titled after its potential is a long overdue boast. Neptune’s Greatness features talents like Jesse Jagz, M.I Abaga, Burna Boy, Mayorkun, Kizz Daniel, Olamide, Maleek Berry, Skales, Davido, Patoranking, Mr Eazi, Yemi Alade, Small Doctor, Pasuma and some of the best producers. DJ Neptune didn’t just pitch artist together, he was extremely careful with the pairing and their collective renditions propelled the greatness of Greatness.
Bad Boy Blaq
The album is 10-track and 32 minutes long rap finesse. Bad Boy Blaq featured rising talents like Oxlade, Terry Apala, Alpha and label bosses, Loose Kaynon and A-Q with production credits from Alpha and MI Abaga. Bad Boy Blaq is one of the most creative projects in 2018.
Bad Boy Blaq is the third project of the LAMB August series executively produced by rap star and Chocolate City boss, MI Abaga intending to rejuvenate the Nigerian hip-hop scene. In 2017, Blaqbonez released his transformative project ‘Last Time Under’ that signalled his Afropop influence. With, Bad Boy Blaq, the singer democratize his bars, sound and style.
8. Odunsi The Engine
rare is obviously the most daring and pop distinctive project of the year. The album is inspired by the pop culture of the 80s and 90s and features pop stars like Davido, Runtown, Duendita, Santi, Zamir LOS, Tay Iwar, Nasty C and Hamzaa. Odunsi (The Engine) is the poster boy for the African sonic revolution coming from Lagos: Afrofusion, he released his first EP ‘Time of Our Lives’ (T.O.O.L) in August 2016.
Afrofusion is a blend of different sounds, culture and influences and Odunsi’s rare is significant for its extricating choice of classic funk and disco vibes. rare confirms Odunsi’s expressive personality as the 13-track rare collection shades on personal and vulnerable experiences and emotions.
9. Mr Eazi
Life Is Eazi Vol.2: Lagos To London
Lagos To London has all the Mr Eazi’s elements, melodious with a global appeal. Lagos To London fuses elements of highlife, reggae, dance-hall, hip hop and disco. The standout track of the album is his Simi assisted ‘Surrender’ that has joined our wedding playlist. Mr Eazi also shows of his heterogeneity in Lagos To London by sampling diverse sounds, producers and featuring guest artists like Burna Boy, Mi Casa, 2Baba, Giggs, Slim Case and others.
Mr Eazi’s third project, Life Is Eazi Vol.2 – Lagos To London is a celebration of his newly found global audience and influence. After releasing Life Is Eazi Vol.1 – Lagos To Accra, he toured the world, performing at venues in Europe and America.
10. Kizz Daniel
No Bad Songz
Kizz Daniel’s sophomore album is an ambitious Afropop hit with no bad song. The boldly titled project has the usual Afropop elements with a groovy and infectious vibe. No Bad Songz is Kizz’s first from his independent imprint, FlyBoy inc.
The 20-track album features Diplo, Dj Exclusive, Diamond Platnumz, Wretch 32, Sarkodie, Davido on the viral single ‘One Ticket’and recent FlyBoy inc signing, Philkeyz with production efforts from Major Bangz, Philkeyz, DJ Coublon, Luush, MOG, Killertunes and JayPhizzle.