This is a list of 9 top underground Nigerian rappers who are lyrically superior to most of all your favorite mainstream Nigerian rappers. But let’s define who an underground artiste is;
“Underground music comprises musical genres beyond mainstream culture. Any song that is not being legally commercialized is considered underground.
Such music may tend to express common ideas, such as high regard for sincerity and intimacy, freedom of creative expression as opposed to the highly formulaic composition of commercial music, and appreciation of artistic individuality as opposed to conformity to current mainstream trends”
So its safe to say that an underground rapper is one who makes underground rap music. A mainstream artiste can switch because it all depends on the content of the work being put out. Therefore, this list includes rappers who have devoted more time to making predominantly underground rap music.
Top 9 underground Nigerian rappers in the industry 2017
1. Lord V
Remember that Young six diss? That was him. Lord V is a top underground Nigerian rapper and lyricist. His intelligent word play and laid back, made-to-measure rap style has made him a favorite among many followers of Nigerian underground hip hop.
The rapper cites UK based rapper Kano as one of his major influences. He’s been watched by a number of record labels in Nigeria and has been hailed as the next Nigerian underground rapper to blow up.
He holds a Masters degree in Architecture and another Masters in Land and Property Development from the A&M University in Texas. Being a qualified architect as well as a a rapper means that his art has to share time with his day job.
He also started “Vino” a clothing line which the he hopes to establish as a leading modern fashion label. V first burst onto the scene in 2012 but hasn’t grown bigger in music since then. He has one mixtape to his name.
Download “Knowledge” by Lord V featuring Tec
No one knew who this guy was until popular music sharing site Notjustok published the controversial list of Nigeria’s most gifted rappers. The list included Ice Prince and Vector; and that was what inspired the entrance of Ruckus. He recorded a fiery diss track aimed at the two mega stars.
Had Ice Prince fired back in kind Ruckus would have maimed him and blew up like Remy ma did on Nicki. But he wouldn’t be so lucky as Ice Prince decided to ignore the whole drama and mock Ruckus in a series of tweets. Ruckus was signed to Eldee’s Trybe records at the time but has since fallen out of consciousness since.
However, he makes this list as one of the prominent underground Nigerian rappers who never had a breakthrough hit song.
Download “I’m the best” freestyle by Ruckus
3. Boogey Odey
Boogey is my favorite Nigerian lyricist after Mode 9. He is no stranger to you and we all know he needs no introduction. The artistes is listed here as a top dog among other underground Nigerian rappers in the industry.
He was nominated at the hip hop world awards under the lyricist in the roll category. Mode 9 once held this category hostage. That goes to tell you about his pedigree. However Boogey could go mainstream and perform whatever kind of songs he wants. Whatever be the case, he has paid his dues.
Download “Stay” by Boogey
4. Ms. Chief
Born Yemi Hassan, she is a graduate of accounting from the University of Lagos. Not only is she book smart. She also happens to be Nigeria’s most impressive female Rappers. She’s not just a rapper with dope bars, she also a sexy diva with a mainstream sultry appeal.
She stepped into the spotlight with her first single “Wanting” ft Ex-O. Its been up and up for her since then.
As of now she’s being managed by Beatbuxx360 Entertainment. Her skills don’t just stop at lyricism. Her stage performance is top notch, no wonder event organisers love to have her on stage. She’s performed at Copalagos, Felabration 2011, One Mic Naija, Koffi Live and Naija Rap Concert.
She’s also dropped two mainstream singles namely “That Gal” feat Wizkid and “Like Friday” feat the late Dagrin.
Download “Skushi” by Ms. Chief
5. Ace the Emcee
He is a strong believer of hip hip culture in Nigeria. Ace is one of my favorite underground Nigerian rappers. He has a straightforward approach to issues reminiscent of Charlemagne tha God.
In an interview with Abiola Solanke of Pulse, he shares his opinion on the current state of rap music and Hip Hop in Nigeria. On what he feels about Nigerian rappers becoming singers as well, Ace says;
“Being a rapper, if you can’t even transform the music sometimes yourself, it’s a fault on your own part because you get stuck in a box at some point, if you can open that branch of yourself for that extra flow regardless of what people think, as long as you’re comfortable with it, you are fine, ”
Download “Sins of the father” by Ace tha Emcee
His names are Ifeanyi Chukwuebuka Ibegbunam. The self styled limitless African youth is a skilled Nigerian underground artiste. Fecko’s agrees that his artistry was heavily influenced by his environment.
The rapper is a true emcee, he featured on Public Enemy’s radio show and covered magazine publications like HYPE and Hip Hop World Magazine. His Teckzilla produced single “Real African Poetry” was nominated as radio AFRO Australia’s 2013 Song of the Year.
Fecko has has three EPs and numerous singles and collaborations so far. Fecko is also a prolific writer and editor at E.C.H.O magazine. He is also a graphic designer and an actor.
Download “Top the top” by Fecko featuring KadinaL
7. MC Skill tha Preacha
Born 4 April 1988 as Olawale Aremo, he is an outspoken artiste and prolific writer. He is one of my favorite underground Nigerian rappers. MC Skill has been in the Nigerian Hip Hop scene since 2010. He released his debut project titled “Metaphysical Induction” in 2011.
He recorded another mixtape in 2012 titled “Get Dope Or Die Wack” which featured fellow Nigerian underground rappers like Mschief and Rez ThaPoet. Both mixtapes were hosted by veteran producer Stormatique.
In June of 2013 he released “Free Throws which featured fellow Nigerian underground rappers like Lord V, Cyrus Tha Virus etc. This project like the others before was hosted by Stormatique. The rappers is heavily affiliated with the Temple Of Hip Hop.
He dropped his “Diary Of A Supernatural” album on December 16th 2016.
His projects include:
Diary of a Supernatural
Get Dope or Die Wack
Download MC Skill tha Preacha’s 2017 freestyle “First 32″
His names are Gilbert Bani. He was born on the first of August in 1986. AQ is a prolific Nigerian rapper and recording artist he started making music at the age of 12 while in secondary school at Kings college Lagos.
Don Jazzy has hailed him as one of the sleekest and stylistic Nigerian rappers in this decade.
His albums include;
Anticipation of New
Son Of John: History Untold
Download “Wish me well cover“, a freestyle by AQ
Paybac has been one of the most consistent underground Nigerian rappers in the last two years. He stepped on the scene by dropping a few freestyles and getting on a number of underground collaborations. Paybac dropped The Iboro Tape which went unnoticed to a lot of hip hop heads in Nigeria.
Two months later, he released an EP With producer Charlie X called The Broken Symphony EP, which was released with a self written E-Book titled Diary of a Super Hero and also features Artistes like Boogey and Ruby Gyang.
The project was better received than the last one. It set the stage for his new project “The Other Side of The Radio”, another collaboration with Charlie X. The 13 Track Mixtape is inspired by the current state of Hip Hop Music in Nigerian music industry.
Download “BBQ & Shayo” feat Rex by Paybac and Boogey
What do you think, drop a name in the comment box if you think we missed anyone.