Igbo rap is solid stuff and it has come a long way. We must recognize the top 10 Igbo rappers who have made impact in the Nigerian music scene. How is the criteria? Its simple, we look at their influence and acceptability in the music industry.
At first Igbo rap didn’t seem like a standalone sub genre since it was usually accompanied by the eastern high-life sound. But with Igbo rappers now able to create national hits on trap and traditional hip hop instrumentals; its now clear that we must pay attention to it. Could this be the new direction of Nigerian hip hop?
How the sub genre began is a story for another day. We will bring you the history of Igbo hip hop on this platform. At the end of this post you will find a poll where you can vote for your favorite artiste on this list.
This is not a list of rappers of Igbo decent. Rather its a list of rappers who have built their careers by appealing to the eastern hip hop music fan base by making music predominantly in Igbo Language. So let’s jump to it, in no particular order:
Top 10 Igbo Rappers in Nigeria
10. Zoro Swagbag
He is a charismatic Igbo emcee and you’d know he’s got what it takes when you watch him jump around.
His full names are Owoh Chimaobi Chrismathner. The artiste hails from Agwu in Enugu state. Zoro SwagBag is a really big deal in the east. He was born in Onitsha on the 20th of March in 1990.
He has the looks of a super star. I’d say he’s coming for Phyno’s throne if he continues this way. Zoro Swagbag’s record label last time I checked was Swagbag Entertainment. He is definitely one of our top 10 Igbo rappers.
Download “Land Lady” by Zoro
9. Slow Dog
He is a well respected cultural pillar and a pioneer of Igbo rap music. He was doing it back in the days when the sub genre wasn’t so hot. Although he’s vest days are well past him, he remains a local legend. His full names are Nnenna Okechukwu Emmanuel and he was born on the 27th of November in 1978.
Slow Dog has a proud and heavy “Igbotic” accent which makes him uniquely original. However in recent times, his flow delivery has come under fire. However we still believe Slow Dog is one of the best Igbo rappers ever.
Download “Igbotically” featuring Slow Dog
When i first heard the Mp3 version of “Maka Chukwu” I got stuck on it even though I did not understand the language. Igbo has a way of holding your attention. Aifee’s delivery is smooth, sharp and precise. The Igbo rapper also has a hit track in “chairman Sir”; a 2012 song you must hear on radio if you’re traveling through the east.
Although he hasn’t cone up with a hit for some time, he still makes our top ten Igbo rappers list.
Download “Chairman Sir” by Aifee
What comes to your mind when you hear the name “Bosalin” ? I’ll tell you what comes to my mind; I think of importer and exporter. Everything about this Igbo rapper is concrete and Ndigbo. Guess what, he has Biafra tattoed on him arm. That tell you a lot about his loyalty.
Born as Bosah Nwako the Rapper, he is a law graduate from Nnamdi Azikiwe University. Bosalin is one rapper who is actually raw and honest about his personality. Although he hasn’t gained the mainstream acceptance yet, I feel there is something up his sleeves. We expect new songs from him on major outlets soon. I regard his as one of the best in Igbo rap in Nigeria.
Download “Echi” by Bosalin
6. X Busta
Xbusta is a prolific freestyle rapper reminiscent of the legend Busta Rhymes. No wonder he got the title “busta”. Artistes like X Busta who can have a go off the dome deserve a place on our list of best Igbo rappers.
Born as Okafor Golden Chinedu, X Busta is signed to E-money led Five Star Music. The artiste was born in Lagos on the 27th of February in 1994. He hails from Orlu local government in Imo State.
He was on a freestyle session with M.I Abaga; and some believe he took the veteran to the cleaners on that session.
Download “Runs” by X Busta
You would be a learner if you haven’t heard of Splash. This petite lady is venom personified. Now imagine if Phyno was a girl, Splash is what you’d get. She is definitely one of our top Igbo rappers no doubt.
Born as Genevieve Ogbuewu, she hails from Ebonyi state. The female Nigerian rapper holds a degree in English Language from Ebonyi State University. She is Signed to August pee entertainment, a Nigerian record label.
Her guts and stubborn personality make her a contender for the top spot. Splash is not scared to flash her body too. She is as good as any male you can find. Its amazing how well she’s done in this misogynistic masculine hip hop sub genre.
With females rappers in Nigeria fading away, she’s not giving up. She’s the Igbo rapper all the guys drool over.
Download “Come Over” by Splash featuring Cynthia Morgan
This guy is a battle cat; a raw an controversial Igbo rapper. He is never shy to dish out diss songs for anyone he deems unfit. The self claimed “last man grinding” has put out beef songs for A list artistes like Yung6ix. He has also had altercations with fellow Igbo rapper XBusta and even the police. LMG just can’t stay away from trouble.
He has all the qualities of a complete emcee and has never failed to deliver expertly on a verse. He believes that only pure hip hop can heal hip hop.
His “disinfectant” mixtape contains fiery songs that can make you rinse your ear after a listen. This shows that LMG is the hot kid in Igbo hip hop that you can’t fack with. He is definitely on of the best Igbo rappers around.
Download “Mbo” by LMG
3. K Large
You probably thought Phyno was the first to create bumpy and dance-able Igbo rap tunes. You would be wrong, K Large has been in the industry for as long as I can remember. He raps at a lightening fast and fluent pace, just picture Busta Rhymes rapping in Igbo.
K Large combines pidgin English and his local lingo to create something lovely. For the kind of skill he possesses; Its unfortunate that he hasn’t achieved the amount of success he deserves.
This might be due to his inconsistencies, he switches off and goes on long breaks. He is definitely on of the top 10 Igbo rappers in the country.
Download ” Onye Gba Oso Nma Ya!” by K Large
There is no need for us to spend any time here. You already know who he is and what he is capable of. He did for Igbo rap what M.I Abaga did for Nigerian hip hop music. Igbo rap music had always existed but Phyno brought and edge to it.
This rap genre was majorly relegated to the east but now it has gotten a major outlet in the Nigerian music industry. Acts like Zoro are now feeding off it.
I do not want to sound biased but most non Igbo speakers are following Igbo rap music because of how rhythmically pleasant it sounds in Phyno’s voice. The Penthouse records artiste is taking the eastern street gospel across border. He’s international!
Download “Ghost Mode” by Phyno
1. Mr Raw
He is the grand master of this genre. The lord and grand father of all Igbo rappers. All the other names on this list bow to him in respect; not because he is better artistically but because he held the torch and paved the way for the others to follow.
Mr raw is the Mode 9 of this genre. He kept it real and original before it became fresh to rap in a dialect. Before now, he was known as N*gga Raw, but maturity set in and he had to drop the monicker for other fatherly titles.
Download “Obodo” by Mr Raw featuring Klint da Drunk