We were promised hover cars by the turn of the Millennium – instead we had Game Boys and dresses over jeans. Luckily, it was an amazing time for music.
People thought that, after the turn of the Millennium, we’d be driving in hover cars and living with alien. In fact, what 2001 really looked like was Nintendo Gameboys without fictional biopic glitters and women wearing dresses over jeans (really).
Within the period of 2001-2009, a lot of Nigerian classic songs were released. Here are 5 of them which we believe you can remember. With regards to contemporary music and sounds, this period saw the rise of legends, the production of classic albums and evergreen songs. It was also this moment that helped shaped the sound of not only modern Nigerian pop song but laid the foundations for Nigerian rap hits as well.
It was a defining moment for our culture. Okay Vibes Music brings to you ‘Best defining urban Naija songs’ from 2001 to 2009. By no means is this list exhaustive but we believe these songs adequately represent the talent brewing during this period.
But at least the music didn’t disappoint. You couldn’t look over your shoulder without there being a brand new 2face verses going in your head. A whole bunch of nice tracks came out in 20’s – we tried to whittle it down to 5 to take you down memory lane.
*Not in ranking order
African Queen by 2face Idibia (2004/Kennis Music)
One of the singer’s best tracks of all time, ‘African Queen’ was revolutionary. Before the likes of Wizkid & Davido, there weren’t many unapologetically voluptuous singers who were just as brash and confident as their peers. In the video, Tuface was sending a love message in oversized, masculine looks fitting in with R&B’s established aesthetic, but he wasn’t as high fashion as he was now.
This is one of those songs that is timeless, never fades and flows from one generation to another. It’s a classic love song that has arguably influenced Nigerian love songs that came after it. There is hardly any Nigerian that doesn’t know the chorus to this love song.
Why it still sounds huge: The Tuface -produced African queen alongside all the love and best wishes he could send across.
Fall In Love by D’banj (2008/Mo Hits Records)
Remember that D’banj was on fire in 2000’s? Well, it was all because of this very song. An era-defining love track and a sampled fresh-faced introduces you to that infamous chorus we all picked up so easily – whether you were in diapers or studying for your Masters. It was the soundtrack to countless nights out telling a story about the love of a woman.
The production and backing vocals from Don Jazzy and Wande Coal adds to the reason why this song is one of the best of Dbanj’s career.
Why it still sounds huge: Dbanj’s gruff vocals contrast with the summery beats make it a unique musical experience tinged to remember.
Yahooze by Olu Maintain featuring LKT (2007/Kentro World)
After leaving the pop/rap group Maintain, Olu struck 21ct gold in ‘Yahooze’ a song that (very) subtly references the excessive lifestyle of “Yahoo boys“. It birthed a dance trend and one of the first songs that infused Fuji boldly into a pop song.
At the time, Olu Maintain felt like he were the best guy with money. Combining his star power and effortless grace and harmony, ‘Yahooze’ lives on in the hearts of ‘00s kids everywhere.
Why it still sounds huge: Ask G – boys or wait until you hear it sound as a ringtone from your neighborhood. Lol.
Gongo Aso by 9ice (2008/Alapomeji Records)
This song is more than a classic hit record, it is a monster hit record. Produced by ID Cabasa, the song remains one of the best pop songs of our generation. It is yet to decay in quality. Its impact is still felt today as it helped Nigerian pop music move towards more street and cultural content.
When you’re listing the best producers of the‘00s, you’ll naturally gravitate towards one like ID Cabasa. However, The ID Cabasa’s are the true dominators of 20’s era. 9ice’s deep voice and open delivery was a stark contrast to what made it stand out.
Why it still sounds huge: The track is a sonic representation of 9ice and his music. It’s sweet at the centre, but the overwhelming flavour is that of 9ice’s deliciously sour delivery.
Danfo Drivers by Mad Melon & Mountain Black (2003/Okoli Music)
Post-Ajegunle dominance in Nigerian music, the duo of Mad Melon & Mountain Black came up with this simplistic but catchy ode to the drivers of commercial buses in Lagos. Danfo Drivers was such a huge song that music lovers turned it into the name of the group.
Why it still sounds huge: Because Danfo buses are still operating in Lagos.