The Lagos Review Best 50 Nigerian Songs of 2022

Words by Udochukwu Ikwuagwu (UI) , Dami Ajayi (DA), Ayodele Ibiyemi (AI), Jerry Chiemeke (JC), Fatiat Saliu (FS), Emmanuel Daraloye (ED), and Wale Olowokerende (WO).

It is that time of the year to take stock of Nigeria’s musical landscape. The first half of 2022 witnessed afrobeats’ continued incursion into the international scape with Nigerian artists headlining major festivals and topping global charts. Two singles by lesser known musicians notched the most Shazam-ed global song target and Tems won her first BET award, indeed the first for a female afrobeats artiste.

The Lagos Review brings you the songs we have returned to in the past nine months. We considered songs released from the last quarter of 2021 till date and our process included shortlisting songs based on their lyrical and production quality, pop culture influence and radio plays (as curated by TurnTable Charts). We also considered streaming stats – on Boomplay, Spotify, Audiomack, YouTube – and chart positions on music and streaming platforms.  We have brought you the songs that spark our dancehall parties and hearts.

Enjoy TLR Best 50 Nigerian Songs of 2022, thus far.

50. Cruel Santino, “FINAL CHAMPION”

While he may continue to polarize opinions for his genre-fluid approach to music-making and visual presentation, there is no doubt that the musician formerly known as Santi has a pulse on the future of music and, when all the elements align, he is capable of alchemy. His latest album, Subaru Boy: FINAL HEAVEN, is packed with many moments that build towards this perfection but too often fall apart but on “FINAL CHAMPION,” the album’s most popular track, Cruel Santino is in fine form, letting off iconic one-liners and comical retorts with the ease of an afropop veteran. The emotive flow from “e be like say this werey dey touch my body” around the 1:11 mark is proof of why we all accept that Cruel Santino is special. WO


  1. Khaid, “With You”

Very few people saw Khaid coming but the singer’s dexterous meld of emo-trap and afropop has ensured that he’ll close the year out as a voice to watch out for. The song that catapulted him to mainstream attention is “With You,” a gorgeous song where he examines the depth and scope of his attraction to a female love interest. “Doing everything for the gang but I just wanna fight for you,” he gently sings. It’s the sort of fun, unobtrusive romantic slow-burner that can make even the most cold-hearted person sentimental. WO


  1. Eltee Skhillz, “Odg” 

Born Taiwo Olowu, Eltee Skhillz’s breakout as a pop star is similar to Goya Menor’s rise in 2021: both did amapiano records, both were successful thanks to TikTok – engineered or accidental success. Both leveraged on club culture and pop culture. Where Goya Menor’s use of a popular beat played when the bottles are brought in the Nigerian night clubs was his contribution to pop culture, Eltee Skhillz’s entry was turning the bottles (caskets) and that choral arrangement to a sticky hit. ODG’s stickiness lies in its catchy, singsong lyrics, which pay homage to the inspirational life of the average Nigerian: laissez-faire attitude to a life filled with excess – and revelling in the joy of it. UI


  1. Rema, “Are You There?”

Rema tries his hand on conscious music perhaps to give his debut album, Raves and Roses, that rounded feel. Expectedly, he plays to his strength, dragging a slow-tempo insistently percussive dancehall melody into a song where he snowballs from citizen’s complaints to aloof partygoers to stoner games. Underserved by his lyrical depth, this song stays afloat on the strength of the producer’s effort to pull a party crowd. Being a party playlist thrum material is hardly a success, it is also not really a failure. DA

  1. Jaywon featuring Timaya, “City Love”

“City Love”, a standout track on Jaywon’s fifth album, Jahbahlee, is pivoted on drums and bass. Featuring Timaya, the dancehall King was in his terrain and almost stole the spotlight from Jaywon.“City Love” is an awesome addition to the love-esque Nigerian playlist, one of its standouts is the dancehall aura.  ED

  1. Vict0ny, “Kolomental”

“Kolomental” is a hurtful emotional rollercoaster that explores dancehall. An open letter to the fans from Victony. Two years after his automobile accident, Victony is on the best run of his life. From Mayorkun’s “Holy Father” to the recent Outlaw extended play, surely Victory is here to stay. On “Kolomental”, Victony takes it to the church as he lets down some emotional tribulations, the stigma of being in a wheelchair while he stays focused on the goals ahead. ED

  1. Adekunle Gold featuring Ty Dolla $ign, “One Woman”

Regardless of Adekunle Gold’s evolution from Adekunle Kosoko to AG Baby, and recently, Bad Boy Deks, one thing remains constant: his devotion to his life partner, Simi. In his fourth LP, Catch Me If You Can, his love and respect for his wife and adoration for his daughter, Deja, is a recurring theme. In a world where infidelity has been romanticised, Adekunle reiterates his commitment to his woman until the end of time. “One Woman” featuring American singer, Ty Dolla $ign, has become an anthem for lover boys (and girls) across the world. FS


  1. Rema featuring Yseult, “Wine”

You might try to write off Rema as exploring only themes like love and lust, but one thing you can’t dismiss is that he does it well. His forte is buttering you up with sweet and addictive melodies that your body can’t help but move. His debut album, Rave & Roses, is awash with plush features from A+ acts from all over the world, but you can’t deny that French singer, Yseult, is the jewel of the class. Produced by London, Rema and Yseult delight our ears with a bilingual sensual tune that will certainly spice up your sex playlist. FS


  1. Omah Lay, “Woman”

2020 feels like a decade ago now, but Omah Lay’s hold on the airwaves with two EPs released within 7 months is the stuff of legend. “Woman”, the 25-year-old’s second single of the year, runs with a message similar to Justin Timberlake’s 2013 sleeper hit “Tunnel Vision”, though the song couldn’t have sounded more different, with P.Priime’s percussion-laden production a stark contrast to Timbaland’s synths and vocal loops. Lyrics like “anytime I knack, I knack without rubber band/if I no pull out, she got my back” may be frowned at for endorsing unprotected sex, but the overarching message of adulation and devotion, amidst rich wordplay, will not be lost on listeners. JC


  1. Vict0ny, “Apollo”

If there’s any kid from Nigeria’s new school of Afropop that defines resilience, it would be Victony. A miraculous recovery from last year’s ghastly autocrash coincided with the release of “Apollo”, a high-tempo tune whose title pays tribute to the nation’s colloquial moniker for conjunctivitis. The first single off his Outlaw EP, Victony serves up an infectious track as he traverses between enchantment and blasphemy with lines like “my salvation/Reverend father say e dey for your body oh/if I go kpai, my resurrection sef go dey for your body oh.” The mystery of who Uche is and why Nigerian artistes advise against looking at his face may not be resolved anytime soon, but there’s no doubt about P.Priime’s production prowess; the drums on this earworm say it all. JC


  1. Kizz Daniel, featuring the Cavemen, “Oshe”

Despite deliberately operating on the fringes of the industry, Kizz Daniel is a musician that no one can ignore. This collaboration with highlife duo, The Cavemen reworks ‘oshe’, a term of acknowledgment and respect on the streets. The song features the same overworn lyrics where a boy promises a girl heaven and earth but the inventive collaboration makes this special. The collaboration shows that Afrobeats stars can incorporate other genres, and it is hoped that the song will contribute to the conversion of highlife sceptics. AI 


  1. Niphkeys featuring Zinoleesky, “Blessings”

Marlian in-house producer Niphkeys has also been bitten by the studio booth bug. The allure of operating the console is not enough for our producers but he may not be as brazen as his forebears–Pheelz and Young Jonn–who released top-charting singles as lead vocalists. Niphkeys hires Zinoleesky to do all the vocals of this song about gratitude. It is as much a Zinoleesky song as it is a Niphkeys production. DA

  1. Obongjayar, “Tinko Tinko”

Obongjayar’s debut full-length album, Some Nights I Dream Of Doors, has been lauded for the penmanship. One track that stands out is the Barney Lister-produced “Tinko Tinko”, where the London-based singer broods over a failed relationship from the perspective of a former lover. It’s easy to miss the ruefulness of this song as he wails “don’t play me for a fool/I’d rather be alone than be next to someone who don’t feel like I do/are we in love or are we just comfortable?” over tasty guitar licks and addictive synths. JC


  1. Rema, “Dirty”

Youthful hedonism, revelry and exuberance are the primary themes that pervade Rema’s impressive debut album Rave and Roses, and no song illustrates this like the London-produced “Dirty”, an anthem for brazen, unfiltered lust. Rema’s palpable horniness is accentuated by a saxophone whose rhythm is reminiscent of Wizkid’s “Sweet One”, and percussions guide the narrative as he uses an Igbo expression to describe “le petit mort.” Felix Liberty composed “Ifeoma” with marriage in mind, but Rema has no noble intentions for his Ifeoma. JC


  1. Aa, “Believer”

When Asa’s Lucid tour came to a standstill due to COVID-19, she returned to Lagos.  Her fifth studio album, V, a departure from her usual reflective sound was the result. “Believer”, produced by P.Priime, melds her old and new sound. She sings of assured devotion but her lover is in doubt.  Aware that repetition is emphasis, she croons, “I’m a believer/I’m a believer/I’m a believer.” Her heart is on her sleeve and the affection is unmistakable. FS


  1. Kayode, “Live Forever” 

Although the posters plastered on the walls of Kayode’s room in the music video of “Live Forever” are of older, foreign artists, his music soundtracks Nigerian youth culture with elements of insouciance, youthful rebellion and joie de vivre. On Ninez-produced “Live Forever”, he borrows bits of trap, afropop and drill, expressing the joys of living in the moment. 23-year-old Kayode may not be the face of the youth in 2022, but in years to come, he may well be. UI


  1. Boy Spyce “Nobody”

The first time the name Boy Spyce was heard was when he delivered a stirring cover of Wizkid and Tem’s “Essence” in 2021. The upstart was layering fatalistic tales of woes and heartbreak into an off-the-cuff refix of the song of 2021’s summer. A year from that breakout moment, he has emerged as a signed talent under Mavin Records, debuting with a self-titled E.P. that dials his knack for inventive song-writing, aching cadences, and breezy melodies to the max. “Nobody”, the jewel of this debut project, ponders on affection and the dizzying algorithm of romance over a balmy, mid-tempo instrumental. WO


  1. BOJ featuring Fireboy DML “Owo Ni Koko”

“Owo Ni Koko,” the opener of BOJ’s third solo album, Gbagada Express, is a thesis into why the gravelly-toned singer is one of the alte scene’s most lauded musicians. It’s all there in how he melds high fashion grandeur and references with the make-money-at-all-cost impulse of Nigeria that powers afropop. Fireboy DML serves as the perfect foil for BOJ here, delivering a euphoric chorus that feels and sounds like cash over a beat by Krizbeatz. “Owo Ni Koko” is another high point for BOJ who continues to light a path for his peers hoping to make an incursion into the heart of afropop with their distinct styles. WO


  1. Portable featuring Olamide and Poco Lee, “Zazoo Zehh”

Portable took the industry by storm when he released “Zazoo Zehh’” and followed it with social media drama. This song reminds everyone why Olamide is a king as his presence elevates it from an ordinary street banger to a viral club banger. His homage to Nigerian despot Abacha is also memorable and the appearance in the music video electrifies the video. The line between afrobeats and fuji is continually blurred and this ditty is another example. The Zazoo crooner’s eccentric behaviour, lyricism and musical style also reminds us of Terry G who I think came before his time. AI

  1. Davido featuring The Samples (Sunday Service Choir) “Stand Strong”

Davido has never been the most revealing artist in the afropop plexus. The shards of personal information or candid moments that have worked their way into his music have been props for his already-successful profile or to deflect criticism. “Stand Strong,” his first song in2022, doesn’t defer that formula; Davido is opaque but there are moments when the veneer slips and we get a glimpse into the tensions that undergird the life of one of Africa’s prominent performers. “My fears are easier to face now,” the singer admits on the track, even if his voice tells you that he doesn’t spend too much time giving room to those fears. WO


  1. BNXN fka Buju featuring Zinoleesky, “Kilometer (Remix)”

This remix with one of the hottest artistes in the industry continues BNXN’s impressive run. He draws from the àlte, the streets and mainstream Afrobeats but Zinoleesky’s assists widens the street appeal. My favourite thing about the song is the harmony of its vocal cadence and the rhymes in all the three languages used. Both musicians are on a winning streak and this song is icing on their cake. AI

  1. Aa featuring Wizkid, “IDG”

IDG is an important duet between two icons. Asa is the alternative artist par excellence writ large while Wizkid is unarguably the stuff of afrobeats monarchy. The vintage sounds, sunny guitar picks, mid-tempo drums and ad-libs heavy chorus build up to bulldoze your stereo. Call IDG a blazing trail of energy and you will be correct. ED


  1. Qdot featuring Simi, “Duro 2.0”

Think 50 Cent’s “21 Questions”, but done in a pensive call and response duet, mostly in Yoruba. Qdot trumps up his flair for Yoruba language and Simi matches his passion over a low-tempo sizzling beat underwired with harmonic flourishes. This understated but elegant production serves the song’s quizzing nature as well as the video’s dark and smoky texture which carries that pensive mood further out. It is a unique moment both in Qdot’s discography and trajectory. DA

  1. Lil Kesh featuring Zinoleesky’s “Don’t Call Me Back”

The pensive title cut is marinated in lyrical optimism and gratitude alongside skilful wordplay that deals with Lil Kesh’s tribulations, battle with poverty, and naysayers. ED


  1. Asake, “Peace Be Unto You (PBUY)”

Asake is the most important pop artist of 2022, and there are two hypotheses to test the definitive statement: Does he have the most hit songs in the year under review? Does he have the most references in other artists’ catalogues and culturally-defining moments in the aforementioned year? Quick answer to the above queries: yes! Peace Be Unto You, his latest ditty, offers the conclusion, with reference to his influence on Nigerian soundscape: layering of vocals, choral arrangement, fusion of fuji/ajiwere, afropop and hip hop, and stressed, lingering syllables deployed as hooks. His influence cuts across genres: Pheelz’s Finesse, Burna Boy’s Last Last, Ladé’s Adulthood Anthem, Ladipoe’s Big Energy. When he affirms that he has “many, many disciple[s]” on PBUY, his declaration’s evidential. It may be the end of the first half of 2022, but we can as well declare Asake the artist of the year and close the year. UI


  1. BNXN fka Buju, “For Days”

On the Sakpase-produced “For Days”, BNXN mulls over the absence of a love interest while troubleshooting the dip in communication lines like “if you run go Sokoto/I must follow you/you know say me, I no normal” acknowledges that she’s got a hold over his emotions. Audiences are still trying to get used to his new sobriquet, but there is nothing strange about the falsettos which he competently deploys on this percussion-driven track. JC


  1. Fireboy DML, “Playboy”

Produced by Bizzouch, “Playboy” is simply Friday-evening-drive music. In a fine mix of self-awareness and braggadocio, Fireboy DML sends out a warning to any ladies who may be harbouring too much fondness for him: if “so many hoes, demma think I’m a farmer” and “two bad girls in a Maybach” don’t tell you what to expect, then nothing else will. There’s not much by way of artistry, penmanship or even musical arrangement going on, but expect radio stations to rinse this on account of Fireboy’ star wattage. JC

  1. Fave, “Mr. Man”

Following the success of her single, “Baby Riddim”, Fave is back with her debut EP, Riddim 5, and it seals her spot as an impressive singer/songwriter. First released as a freestyle on Twitter in 2020 and receiving incredibly positive feedback from the internet, “Mr. Man” explores love, navigating trust and commitment. Fave understands that her lover might not be trusting because of his past experiences, but she convinces him that hers is a love that allows for vulnerability. “Things you cannot say with your mouth, will you say with your hands? I’ll respond,” only reiterates FS


  1. Gabzy, “True Colours”

There’s something about Nigerians and making heartbreak songs that you can dance to. Over a high-tempo beat, Gabzy mourns a love that sours over time, and just like a scorned lover, he plays the blame game and sings, “I guess now I see your true colours.” His “Maybe it’s time to pay for my sins/I won’t lie I’ve done some crazy things,” recognizes the fact that maybe this is karma coming back to bite him in the ass. As a listener, you are torn between empathy and bursting a dance move, but in the end, the fact we’ve all been through this at a point in our lives makes us reflective. FS


  1. Cruel Santino featuring Amaarae, “Born Again”

Three years after his well-received sophomore album, Santi released his long-awaited third LP, Subaru Boys: Final Heaven, and admittedly, the reception has been divided, with flashes of brilliance scattered across the project, regardless of its overall quality. In SB:FH, one of these deep cuts is “Born Again” featuring repeat collaborator, Amaarae. They both spazz over an alternative production by Le Mav peculiar to their sounds. It’s another plus to both their discographies. FS


  1. King Perryy featuring Backroad Gee & Bella Shmurda “Go German”

Recognising a new market, King Perryy looks like he’s tilting towards trap in his new songs rather than his former genre, reggae and dancehall. Teaming up with street-hop artiste, Bella Shmurda, and East London drill artist, Backroad Gee, on “Go German”, they all contribute to a truly brilliant track. “Go German, in this context, means to smoke and drink with reckless abandon. FS


  1. Skiibii, “Trenches”

Seven years after unsuccessfully faking his own death, Skiibii’s career has finally resurrected. The appeal to God to remove him from the trenches continues the afrobeats trend of an upwardly mobile musician desiring progress. The popular trend of referring to one’s background as “the trenches” makes the song apt in a country with a poor majority. The best thing about the song is how fitting the lyrics are to the average Nigerian and it would not be weird to see a Pentecostal church choir rework the chorus.  AI


  1. Reminisce, “Alaye Toh Se Gogo” 

According to local wisdom, once one clocks 40, one gets more introspective and decisive about life choices. For Reminisce, that change has reflected in his music since his last project, 2020’s “Vibes & Insha Allah”. Now 41, his first single of 2022, “Alaye Toh Se Gogo”, his nom de guerre, which he introduced on 2013’s “Fantasi”, shows the father of two in another light. Reminisce’s focus now lies in forgetting the past, including past mentees who have become archnemesis, past troubles and struggles, and past failures. On the theme of growth, vicissitudes of life and maturity, it’s fitting that he sampled Tony Tetuila’s “Omode Meta”, a song dedicated to lost friends, while looking forward. UI


  1. Zinoleesky, “Loving You”

There can be no doubt that street-pop is the most progressive sub-genre in afropop right now and Marlian Music singer, Zinoleesky, is at the centre on account ofhis textured flow. “Loving You,” the singer’s latest collaboration with gifted producer, Niphkeys, samples Asa’s 2010 hit single, “Be My Man” and is the sort of full-circle moment that signals the maturation of Nigerian pop. Zinoleesky does not balkanize his source material, instead he pays homage to the declaration of love that his sample was built on, coolly reading off lines like “See I keep loving you every day” and “Anything you want I go do” to his love interest. WO


  1. Young Jonn featuring Davido, “Dada Remix”

Young Jonn the wicked producer joins the list of producers turned artists with “Dada” in March. He steps it up with a remix co-opting DMW boss Davido. It’s a feel-good song, drenched in sugar-coated lines showing  vulnerability. Davido references his rich status to win the girl over: But the money choke o/For the bank o. He also paid homage to the power couple Simi and Adekunle Gold in his double entendre, I fit to buy gold/Ko ba le jen si mi.  ED


  1. Spinall featuring Asake “Palazzo”

Due to an influx of songwriters and the sanitisation of afropop lyrics, many songs in the present apparition of the genre sound somewhat identical. 2022’s breakout act, Asake, is a maverick in this regard, saying the darndest thing with a devil-may-care attitude that has made many gravitate towards his throwback sound. On “Palazzo,” a collaboration with Spinall, the singer mixes his infectious swagger with more of those on-the-nose lyrics (refined by label boss Olamide) to dastardly effect, birthing a song that has been embraced everywhere despite the relative complexity of getting the lyrics right. WO


  1. Aa, “Nike”

When Nigerian-American Wale rapped about Nikes, his verses spoke to the cultural relevance of the brand’s sneakers in the black community, as it reflects the story of poverty in inner cities, grass-to-grace tales, struggles, black-on-black crimes, gentrification and anti-minority government policies. But, for Aa, her story isn’t one for black joy: her box of Nike is packed with heartbreak. Over P.Priime’s synth-pop production, flashbacks of lost love and bedroom romance are retold in spasms, with Aa’s voice breaking and rising, disputing the old tale that the depths of love can’t be expressed both in words and emotions. UI


  1. Liya Featuring Simi, “Adua Remix”

Liya, the Davido World Music (DMW) first Lady, might be one of the most slept-on songwriters in the music industry. Two years after she got snapped by DMW, she failed to fully blossom as expected. Nonetheless, the quality of her song releases has never diminished. When she sings in Yoruba, you feel the originality, the flawless vocals, undiluted emotions, and superb penmanship. A few days after her Grammy recording outing, Liya released the remix to her standout track “Adua”. This time around, Simi, was on hand to lend her voice to the prayer-filled song, she took the theme to another level as she prayed for God’s guidance, bemoaning the state of the nation while Liya’s lyrics remained unchanged. The Amujei-produced track is rife with self-aware lines and might be regarded as semi gospel tracks. ED

  1. T.I Blaze featuring Olamide, “Sometimes (Remix)”

Newcomer and rising star T.I Blaze is assisted by veteran Olamide on this vulnerable song examining the inner life of a typical Nigerian youth. Torn between the material allure of cybercrime and good morals Blaze bemoans the dysphoria of the Gen Z generation constrained by class. Olamide co-opts the Islamic prayer of supplication in one of the most effective guest rap verses afrobeats has ever seen. The song coasts on a relentless drumline by Shocker Beatz and the acoustic experience is as supremely different as potheads describe the Canadian Loud. DA

  1. Fave, “Baby Riddim”

Fave’s sultry lullaby features clever song-writing and pared down language in the way that almost infantilizes love. But this song’s most striking accomplishment is that it cuts through the R&B slow pace on a dancehall horseback. Although there are nods to Jodie (Kuchi Kuchi) and glares at Guchi (listen to “Benzema”), “Baby Riddim” is assuredly a superior tune on account of its intricate genre-advancing song-writing, relentless ad-libs and its slow-winding riddim! DA


  1. TY Bello featuring Sinmidele, Ore Macaulay and 121 Selah, “Amen Amen” 

2022’s first quarter saw the release of TY Bello’s fourth album in four years, “We are Fire”, which doubled as a collaborative project with Lagos-based gospel choir, 121 Selah. Off the album, the ninth track, “Amen Amen”, stands as the highlight of the project. “Amen Amen”, builds on bare production with vocals by Sinmidele and 121 Selah, leading to one of 2022’s best produced and arranged songs. UI


  1. Rema, “Calm Down”

Mavin Record’s star boy, Divine Okubor, is quietly charting his own path in the industry and “Calm Down” is the perfect comeback lead for his debut album, Rave and Roses. Humming and repeating his lyrics in his usual falsetto, he pays homage to the lockdown while talking about shawties in a way that combines disparate things. If the jury was out on who Rema sings for, the visuals of this song (which pays homage to the television series, Bridgerton) shows where his loyalty lies. AI


  1. Ajebo Hustlers, “Loyalty”

Two years since “Barawo” hit the Nigerian airwaves, introducing the gritty, suburban sound of  the vibrant duo Ajebo Hustlers, they’ve shed the “underdogs” toga, with their debut LP Kpos Lifestyle Vol. 1.  “Loyalty”, released in December 2021, picks up from where Kpos Lifestyle left off, with lyrics that dwell on romantic reassurances. The Clemzy-produced ditty, marinated in Amapiano, is garbed with Port Harcourt pidgin amidst hilarious street references in the lines of “she dey give me joy like footballer wey score for final.” It doesn’t carry the verve of “Solace” or “Pronto”, but it’s easy-listening quality makes it work. JC


  1. Mavins, Crayon and Ayra Starr featuring LadiPoe, Magixx and Boy Spyce, “Overloading (Overdose)”

To celebrate Mavin’s 10th anniversary, Don Jazzy arranges a hit from scratch with a summery music video to boot. Like all ensemble hit songs, every crooner brought their A game but the undisputable champion is Crayon whose jaunty moves and jolly smile out-smooths LadiPoe’s buttery bars. Again Ayra Starr references (and repudiates) her pastor’s counsel while newcomer Boy Spyce spices it all with his lacquered falsetto. Don Jazzy also appears in the video with his avuncular smile and Santa Claus swagger. It is a long way since Curriculum Vitae and Doro Bucci and his heady days as a sideman in a juju band based in the United Kingdom.

  1. Pheelz featuring BNXN fka Buju, “Finesse”

Music Producer Pheelz hands in this unlikely hit, his biggest and perhaps one of the biggest of 2022 so far. It is an ode to the urban poor with ambition on steroids, adept at clambering up the social ladder and method acting their aspirational characters in real life scenarios. BNXN, formerly called Buju, helms ad libs with his silky harmonies in one of his most accomplished features. DA

  1. Asake featuring Olamide, “Omo Ope”

OAU alumnus Asake is 2022’s biggest breakthrough yet. Having shattered the ceiling with his eponymous four-track debut EP, his lead single, “Omo Ope”, in retrospect, was a surefooted gambit with an assured guest verse by Olamide, his label boss. Asher Kine’s video portrays the usual with feverish flair:  a strobe-light twinkling nightclub setting helmed by braggart lyrics fleeting between divine gratitude and sexual liaison. Magic Sticks indigenises the Amapiano sound even further with Asake revving up his fuji lilt and Yoruba wordplay for a song about nocturnal joy. DA

  1. Kizz Daniel featuring Tekno, “Buga (Lo Lo Lo)”

Still hot from his magisterial Barnabas EP, Kizz Daniel’s latest single is poised to make summer even hotter. Social media is already abuzz with this BlaiseBeatz’s take on amapiano. The Buga challenge has filtered into the living rooms of Africa’s political elites. Although it never left the hallowed dance halls where packed bodies of revellers respond to this dance-demanding acoustic delight—and it is Kizz Daniel smiling to the bank deservedly! DA

  1. Ruger, “Dior”

Standalone song “Dior” glamorises fashion brand, Christian Dior,  as a foreground for seduction. Ruger, blessed with good vocals, puts it to sublime use, but what particularly stands out besides the name dropping of luxury brands is his enunciation which ramps up his confidence and sex appeal, ensuring that this proposition does not fail. Little wonder, Dior has become a sex symbol of sort, the kind requiring a groin guard during his stage performances. AI


  1. Burna Boy, “Last Last” 

“Everybody go chop breakfast”, Burna Boy laments. When actor Ogogo coined the phrase, his intention was motivational in the form of raison d’être to give hope to the impatient. But, as language and slangs are fluid, “breakfast” has taken on a new life synonymous to heartbreak – emotional heartbreak or political heartbreak. “Last Last”, produced by Chopstix, MdS, Off & Out and Ruuben, is an important song in Damini Ogulu’s discography as it’s the first time he’s been vulnerable as a result of romantic heartbreak. With Asake assisting with the choral background, and curious sampling of Toni Braxton’s “He Wasn’t Man Enough”, on the tearjerker, it’s obvious that the maxim in vino veritas holds true! UI


  1. Asake, featuring Burna Boy, “Sungba (Remix)”

Asake has come a long way from his undergraduate days when he was known as Medoo. To his old fans, his current run is not a surprise even though the Olamide magic is a major catalyst. The original version of the song bangs but this remix with Burna Boy is superb and this makes it difficult to choose a favourite. The rhyming by both Asake and Burna is creative and Magic Sticks brought his A-game to the production.  This is a clear contender for the biggest summer jam. AI


Enjoy a playlist of this compilation on Apple Music and Spotify.

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