Saturday, April 4, 2009


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.
Hardcore hiphop was still making its way to the mainstream and this saw the rise of cats like Modenine (a member of the Swatroots). With his first single ‘Elbow Room’, he redefined the game and took Hip hop to its roots. By the release of his debut project ‘Malcolm IX’ , he reiterated the place of poetry, word play, punchlines and metaphors in hiphop articulation. He showcased the elements of Hip hop namely emceeing, dee-jaying, break dance and graffiti were also present in his videos. His subsequent projects maintained that standard of serving undiluted Hip hop music. Modenine is generally referred to as the king of underground hiphop in Nigeria. He succeeded in putting hardcore or underground rap music on the mainstream.
Today, we have a lot of names to reckon with in the Nigerian Hip hop music industry: The Thoroughbreds, Terry tha Rapman, Pherowshuz, Overdose, Eldee the Don, Sauce Kid, Blaise, Freestyle, M.I, Sasha, Gino, Naeto-C, Jimmy Jatt, Ikechukwu, Str8 Buttah to mention but a few.
Also worthy of mention are radio hosts/O.A.Ps who have contributed immensely to the elevation of the game. They include:- JAJ the Mecca Don, Mike Magic, Eldee XL, HNIC Dr. Gee, Chucks da Spaceman, Kemistry, Andre Blaze, S-Dot e.t.c.
Thumbs up to the beat makers and dee-jays who have made it happen. Such as, G-Lynx, OJB, Mr. Callen, Jo-Kaynie, ID Cabasa, DJ Humility, Kraft, Mr. Ish, Jonah de Monarch, Frenzy, Kokomikor e.t.c.


  1. Nice to see this.
    Question though: wat's with Rasqui Mono being part of our Hip hop history?! I don'n get that.

    Big ups to Trybesmen - Legends! KB where ya at?!

  2. What can i say? Back then, anything done by anybody was Hiphop! Thank God Hiphop is on the streets now, we know what the real is.

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