Music

Top 20 21st century monster hits in Nigeria

Top 20 21st century monster hits in Nigeria

So I googled monster hits, and it came up with the Hits compilation Series, which was released in 1989  in the United Kingdom. But that’s not what this article is about. We’re talking about the greatest Nigerian songs of the 21st century. These songs did not just resonate in Nigeria, destroying music charts but also conquered the international space.

For a song to be considered a monster hit, it must transcend time, convey strong emotions, influence cultural dynamics, and resonate with many people. So, what are the monster hits in Nigeria? They’re not ordinary songs with catchy beats but nonsense lyrics. But they’re beautiful and can bring joy, tears, and all manner of feelings that make us long for better times.

20 21st century monster hits in Nigeria

The following are the top 20 21st-century monster hits in Nigeria in reverse order.

20. “Essence” by Wizkid ft Tems (2021)

Nigerian Afro-pop star, Wizkid, outdid himself when he released “Essence” in 2021. The song wasn’t just a hit in Nigeria; it got international attention and was even nominated for the Grammy Awards. Most Nigerian hit songs in the 21st century usually fade after a year, but “Essence” remains a top-charting song. Featuring the talented BET award winner, Tems, “Essence” is a feel-good sensual type of song that will make you feel good about yourself. In fact, music genius and billionaire businessman, Kanye West, has ranked “Essence” as the greatest song in the history of music.

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19. “Mr. President” by African China (2000)

Veteran record maker African China released the memorable Mr. President song in 2000, and it was a monster hit. The song talks about the ills of society and calls on the President and other top government officials to do something. In fact, Mr. President is particularly relevant today considering the dire situation Nigeria is in right now. The song may not have the best visuals, but the message still resonates with us today.

18. “Danfo Driver” by Mad Melon and Mountain Black (2003)

This song was on everybody’s lips when it was released in 2003. Even if you don’t know the lyrics, you must know “I am a danfo driver, suo.” That was how catchy the song was. Released by music duo, Mad Melon, and Mountain Black, Danfo Driver was the fifth harmony listed on their hit debut studio project, which contained six phenomenal tracks.

17. “Konko Below” by Lagbaja (2000)

Chai, this song caught thunder in Nigeria when it was released in 2000. Konko Below is a Nigerian classic that never gets old. It was part of the tracks in, perhaps, Lagbaja‘s biggest album – a three-in-one collection named ‘Me’, ‘We’ and ‘Abami’. He dropped the eternal body shaker titled Konko Below under “Me“.

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16. “Pon Pon Pon” by Dagrin (2009)

This song marked Dagrin as one of Nigeria’s greatest rappers. It was released in 2009, and there is yet to be another song that can outdo Pon Pon Pon. Although Dagrin is gone, this song will always remind us of the legacy he left behind.

15. “Street Credibility” by 9ice feat. Tuface (2008)

9ice joined forces with legendary singer TuFace to produce this monster hit in 2008. Street credibility was released on the heels of the more accepted Gongo Aso. But it took its own identity and resonated among Nigerians.

14. “Gongo Aso” by 9ice (2008)

Even if you’re tone-deaf, the beat in the first seconds of this song will make your ears perk up by force. Produced by ID Cabasa, Gongo Aso was the song that catapulted 9ice from a hood singer to a national sensation. Gongo Aso is a mix of street lingo and Yoruba proverbs, accompanied by a thumping bassline and glittery notes. Till this very day, the song gets people off their seats and shaking their bodies.

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13. “Aye” by Davido (2014)

DMW Label boss, Davido released Aye under his former label HKN Music, in 2014. One would argue that Dami Duro was his breakout song, but Aye cemented his name in the Nigerian music industry. Davido has created other hits, in fact still creating some, but Aye will always stand out mostly for its innocence and beauty. It’s a beautiful song, full of romance without any sexual innuendos attached to it. Aye was YouTube’s Most-Watched Music Video in Nigeria, in 2014, was listed among The 10 Best Songs of 2014, and ranked Number 81 on The FADER’s 116 Best Tracks Of 2014. As in, it was a real monster hit.

12. “Oleku” by Ice Prince feat. Brymo (2011)

This slow but exciting jam was released in 2011 by Ice Prince as part of his Everybody Loves Ice Prince album under record label, Chocolate City. The song also features sensational singer Brymo who sang the chorus. Oleku was produced by Jesse Abaga, popularly known as Jesse Jagz, and remains one of the monster hits to come out of Northern Nigeria.

11. “Yahooze” by Olu Maintain (2007)

Yahooze wasn’t just a song, it was a trend that resonated worldwide. The song was recorded and released by Olu Maintain in 2007. Yahooze even carried its own dance style. It sold millions of copies, and it also garnered millions of views on Youtube and all other platforms. Olu Maintain has released other songs after Yahooze but none of them has lived up to the song’s hype.

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10. “Oliver Twist” by D’banj ft Kanye West (2012)

There’s no doubt that D’banj has a plethora of hit songs, especially those released under Mo-Hit Records, now known as Mavin Record. However, we picked Oliver Twist due to its more global acceptance. Featuring American music genius Kanye West, Oliver Twist was released in 2012 after D’banj left Mo’Hits to join the G.O.O.D Music record label owned by Ye himself. Oliver Twist debuted at number nine on the UK Singles Chart—marking the musician’s first chart appearance and first Nigerian song to ever debut on the chart.

9. “Igwe” by Midnight Crew (2008)

Igwe is the only Nigerian gospel song to enter this list. The song’s resonance after its release in 2008 was so huge that it simply cannot be ignored as a monster hit. Midnight Crew, the group that produced the song, is the quartet of Michael Abdul, Odunayo Ojo Onasanya, Pat Uwaje King, and Gbenga Oyebola. The group has since created other hits, but Igwe will always remain number one on every Nigerian’s lips.

8. “Ogologomma” by Timaya (2007)

Okay, this is another gospel song that made our list. However, it was delivered by Egberi Papa 1 of Bayelsa, Timaya, who is actually a secular artiste. Ogologomma is a song that launched Timaya’s illustrious music career. It was a monster hit when it was launched in 2007 and remains evergreen.

7. “Pere” by Mo’Hits All Stars (2007)

Pere is a single off the defunct Mo’Hits 2007 album, Curriculum Vitae, and the track featured Don Jazzy, D’Banj, and Wande Coal. It was a monster hit that remains hard to beat today.

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6. “Ada Ada” by Flavor (2012)

 

Ada Ada is one of Flavour N’Abinia‘s most-played songs in Nigeria. Released in 2012, the song remains a monster hit in Nigerian music. Ada Ada is the perfect song for Nigerian weddings. Other Nigerian songs have since been released after that by other artists, but none can match Ada Ada‘s popularity.

5. “No one like you” by P Square (2007)

No One Like You is a timeless Nigerian wedding song by the singing duo Peter and Paul Okoye, known by their stage name P Square. It’s been over 10 years since this song was released, but it’s still one of the most-played songs in Nigerian weddings. Only Ada Ada has come close to beating No One Like You‘s popularity in Nigeria. Released from the duo’s third studio album Game Over, the song is a masterpiece and a monster hit.

4. “Jailer” by Asa (2007)

If you’re living in Nigeria and you haven’t heard of Jailer, check if you’re on the same planet. I say planet because this song wasn’t just a hit in Nigeria but worldwide. Jailer was released alongside another monster hit, Fire on the Mountain and both smashed the Nigerian music charts.

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3. “Mr. Bizzy body” by P Square (2005)

Let’s be honest, the 2000s and 2010s were the best times for Nigerian music. P Square’s Bizzy Body launched their music career that has continued to be successful till today. The song remains one of Nigeria’s best dance songs of all time. When the song was released in 2005, every club in Nigeria was buzzing with “P Square, hey! See see, hey!”. Those were good times mehn and this song is a key factor.

2. “Dorobucci” by Marvins (2014)

When Mo’Hits Record disbanded, many thought that would be the end they would hear of the likes of Don Jazzy. Then Dorobucci happened under the new record label, Mavin Records, and the world paid attention. Saying the song was a monster hit would be an understatement. But since I don’t have a better term to describe it, I will just settle with it being a monster hit. Dorobucci launched the career of a lot of artists under Mavin Record. Di’Ja, Korede Bello, Dr. SID, and Reekado Banks all became superstars after the song was released and launched their own successful solo careers.

1. “African Queen” by 2Baba (2004)

Here comes the jagaban of all monster hits in Nigeria in the 21st century – African Queen. This song did not just reign in Nigeria, it was a global hit. Sang and released by 2Baba, African Queen was the hit single from his debut album of the same name. 2Baba has since released back-to-back hits, but this one is a classic. I’m surprised it didn’t win a Grammy. However, it doesn’t erase the fact that African Queen will forever remain timeless.

Finally, please don’t come for my head if your favorite song is not on this list. They’re plenty and can’t be contained in this space. Thank you.

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Nonye is a Thespian, screenwriter, creative writer and an unapologetic lover of books, great movies and sports. She has over 10 years experience in content writing on entertainment, movies, sports and lifestyle. Nonye is currently a content writer at Blackdot Media and founder of litafrik.com
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