2017 is gone already and we’re all looking up to the next year, 2018. Although rappers weren’t on fleek this year, I believe 2018 is going to be a big year for hip hop across Africa. Hopefully, Olamide and other gone-commercial guys will get back to rap. M.I and Vector should drop projects too.
However, in this piece, we are paying attention to upcoming Nigerian rappers. Particularly those bright ones who are only waiting for the right opportunity to hit it big time.
This is a list of ten upcoming Nigerian rappers that are expected to blow up in 2018. Some of the names here have already been in the mainstream but are yet to “hammer”, while some are new faces who are doing just fine. Make no mistake, these guys are good. Let’s get down to business;
The rapper has had an impressive 2017 so far. The Edo-born 24-year-old emcee, got into limelight in 2016 after signing a record contract with Davido Music Worldwide. He then went on to drop his viral “Fela”, a cover of Desiigner’s break-out single, “Panda”. He has performed at Felabration and Coke studio alongside Africa’s finest stars..
For Dremo it has been a streak of hits including “Ojere”, “Iro Nla”, “12 Bang” featuring Davido and recently “Who”. He has toured UK and participated in the Hennessy Artistry’s cypher in 2016 and 2107. Thus, 2018 is just a blank page waiting to be filled.
2. Wale Turner
Since dropping that Pheelz-produced “NO” in 2016, Wale Turner’s gone on to be one of most talked about new kids on the block. He has a unique delivery style that complements his lyrical job. He’s dropped “Faya Faya” and “Wa Freak’n Wu” featuring Pheelz. He was also on the Hennessy Cypher alongside Yung6ix and Payper in 2017. He’s a cat to watch .
3. Zoro Swagbag
After Phyno, Zoro is next. He is a bad-ass rapper with a very good delivery. When his song “Ogene,” featuring Flavour hit the streets of Lagos in 2016, we suddenly realized that Phyno was beatable. He’s done songs with the likes of Lil Kesh, Ycee, Flavour, Phyno and Falz. And he’s surely going get hotter in 2018.
I first saw this guy on a MTN TV show in 2015, where he freestyled with some random words thrown at him. It was amazing, I was wondering how “monstrous” this guy was to have delivered off the dome. I did not heard of him for a while until Mavin signed him alongside DNA and Johnny Drille. He’s currently the only rapper on the label.
He attended the 2017 VS Class, and his single “Are You Down” featuring label mate, Tiwa Savage, is holding the city down. 2018 might just be the year of his big break.
5. Ola Dips
He is one of the Yoruba rappers we’ve all been watching for quite some time and I expect him to blow anytime soon. With stuff like “Chache”, “Yahoo Boi” and “Champagne”, I think I’ll have to tell no one that Ola is hot, and might just hit that jackpot come 2018.
After his verse on Vector’s “King Kong” in May 2015, Arewa rapper, Classiq hasn’t relented a bit. He has stayed consistent by dropping a lot of jams; Can’t Touch This, Ana Haka ft. Reminisce, Juya, Zauna, Ban Son Reni, An Fara, Barka Da Sallah, Hoto and many more.
This dark handsome guy you’re looking at also got a Kannywood actress banned in 2016. So far, he’s the only Hausa rapper that’s managed to rank with his Yoruba and Igbo counterparts in the entertainment capital, Lagos. And he’s also expected to get bigger in 2018.
Finally, we find a femcee here. Phlow has been very impressive in 2017. Since her appearance at The Cypher we couldn’t resist her anymore. Her single “STR8 UP” was hot and a lot more are to come from the fiercest female rapper in Africa. The new year might just be her year, you know.
“Back to the wrap / hustle like Efe / but I can actually rap”
Blaq raps on Hennessy Cypher 2017. He is one of the coolest kids in Africa and definately one to watch out for as we slide into 2018. Apart from his delivery and lyrical ability, he has also been very consistent, dropping Mixtapes and singles every time.
His “Last Time Under” Mixtape should really be the last time he’s under. He’s about to catapult out into the mainstream. And yeah, I think he’s Nigeria’s No.1 mumble rapper. Ycee go still come learn.
Although, it’s been like forever since 2016’s “Festival Bar”, Davolee hasn’t been able to deliver anything hot again. But he’s dropped two critically acclaimed jams in “Cirocing” and “Gbeff” featuring Olamide. To be honest, he is talented and unique. Signed to YBNL, we can only expect big things to happen in 2018.
10. Oga Micky
You may or may not know him. But I tell you, he is one of the most promising Igbo rappers you’ll find out there. He claims to be the “Next on the List from the East, after Zoro”. He’s got many singles under his belt; “One Naira”, “Carpenter” ft. Bosalin, “Olugbajie Boys”, “Waveboy” and “Bolaji”.
Oga Micky has worked with artistes like Slowdogg, Veecko Kyngz, Hype MC, Dialect and many more. With productions from Kezyklef, Killertunes and Yuzy and a couple of awards at the maiden edition of Abia Music Awards, we expect him to break out from the East, into the main-ocean.
Happy new year, in advance!
About the author
Tylz Ceazar Yo is a young rap artiste and an outspoken music industry commentator. He writes in a very controversial manner and is known to “never let the sleeping dogs lie”. In October 2017, he was inducted into HipHopHead as a contributor.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of HipHopHead.