There was a sharp decline in the release of Hip-Hop materials in 2012, notwithstanding, a handful of rappers managed to do us proud.
Here is our top 10 list for the hottest rappers in Nigeria of 2012….
10. PHYNO: The Igbo-speaking rapper proved his worth in 2012 releasing the duet ‘Ghost mode’ with Olamide, bagging three nominations at The Headies, and then collaborating with Illbliss on ‘Amanchi Kwanu’.
9. D’PRINCE: The MAVIN act started this year with controversies over his actual record deal with former label Mo’Hits but bounced back with yet another banger ‘Take banana’ off the MAVIN compilation ‘Solar Plexus’. He finally released his debut ‘FRENZY!’ featuring the likes of M.I, Wizkid and others.
8. MODENINE: Nigel Benn didn’t drop his long awaited album in 2012 due to record label issues but turned it up with two mixtapes ‘Occupy The Throne’ and ‘Alphabetical Order’ with XYZ. He was one of the judges at the ‘Nokia Don’t Break the Beat’ rap competition which led to his verbal face-off with female rapper Muna that put him on the headlines for weeks before they eventually squashed it an Industry Nite gig.
7. ILLBLISS: The ‘Ibo Boy’ finally returned with his A-game in 2012 after a subtle absence. Although he spent most of the year grooming R&B singer Chidinma who is currently under his Goretti label, he released his ‘Oga Boss’ album with the hits ‘Anamachi Kwanu’ feat Phyno and Heartbeats feat Banky W.
6. NAETO C: Mr Super C kept it pushing this year, the most remarkable thing was signing on as a Hennessey Artistry headliner along with M.I. He also released his ‘Tony Montana’ single and remix with a big budget video featuring D’banj. Away from music a bit; he tied the knot with his beau Nicole at a high society wedding.
5. REMINISCE: In 2012, Mr Remilekun Safaru finally got the respect he’s been clamouring for by working hard on his skills and street image. Being one of the two Yoruba-lingo rappers to dominate this year, Remi pulled stunts with the release of his debut ‘Book of Rap Stories’ which brought the street anthems ‘Kako bi chicken’ and ‘2musssh’. He dedicated two weeks throwing jabs at another rapper Vector and spent the latter part of the year performing outside the country.
4. M.I: Jude Abaga takes fourth spot for releasing the ‘dopest’ mixtape of the year ‘Illegal Music 2’ which he launched on his website MIABAGA.com and renewing his contract as VP at his label Chocolate City in April (dispelling rumours he was leaving the label, following the launch of his Loopy Music label). He also was the the Hennessy Artistry co-headliner alongside Naeto C…
3. OLAMIDE: The Yoruba-speaking lyricist took the world by storm, returning with a powerful sophomore, what we might call the rap album of the year. Olamide’s’ ‘YBNL’ which produced the singles ‘Voice of the Streets’ and ‘First of all’ was released in the latter part of 2012 and showed a lot of improvement lyrically. He parted way with CODED Tunes and launched his own label YBNL Nation working with Tony Nwankolo as his manager.
2. VECTOR: V.E.C was quite busy all year – performing, recording or touring. He won two awards each at the Nigerian Entertainment Awards as well as the coveted ‘Lyricist on the roll’ at The Headies. In 2012, he also recorded and released a song and video with Jamaican dancehall singer Mavado. He has also recorded with rapper DMX. He released his ‘Bar Racks’ mixtape only to drop the album’ The Second Coming’ in December.
1. ICE PRINCE: If the rap game was a marathon race, in 2012 Panshak Zamani left his colleagues behind by kilometres. The rapper clearly made the most money this year, performing back-to-back in and out of the country – the after effect of his debut ‘Everybody Loves Ice Prince’. When NET broke the news about the Choc City act’s baby, he initially denied, but he’s since confirmed the baby’s his accepted responsibility. He ended the year pretty well by co- hosting the Chanel O Awards after releasing two new singles ‘Aboki’ and ‘More’.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: That title goes to upcoming rapper Boogey who only in 2012 featured on Modenine, M.I and Terry tha Rapman’s mixtapes. He successfully released his mixtape ‘Artificial Intelligence’ and reportedly signed a deal before calling 2012 wrap.