14 absolutely dope songs released this year you probably haven’t heard yet

Elysium (feat Sute) – Tay Iwar


Tay Iwar’s second project is somewhat much more ambitious than his Passport mixtape. Where his debut project falters in depth, Renascentia overcompensates with themes loosely tied around ancient mythos and an unshakable air of spiritual level mystique. Elysium, the lead single of the tape, typically carries the entire weight of this motif in lyrical waxing and laid back sub-woofer production with subtle echoes playing off in the background.

Ikwusigo – J. Martin

Over the years, we have come to marvel at J.Martin’s ability to milk the most unlikely beat for a great feel-good song. Backed with nothing but his auto-tuned vocals and solid chemistry of Makossa and highlife music with a dash of EDM, this is definitely one party starter that deserves a lot more attention than it has gotten.

Kanayo (feat. Phyno, Remininsce) – Eva Alordiah

Before Eva Alordiah started pressing for what appeared to be the demise of her own career with the announcement of a faux-retirement, she released this braggadocio number that made us wonder if her 1960 album was already on the way. Set on heavy bass drums and a chorus belted by a tribal choir, Kanayo works in all the way it intends; as a hard-hitting rap song befitting of Nigeria’s finest female rapper and as a perfect opener into the 2016 airwaves.

All Fall Down (feat. Poe) – M.I


After over 600,000 total downloads, the buzz surrounding M.I’s highly anticipated Illegal Music 3 mixtape appears to have died down. Nonetheless, while the LP had stronger points on NotJustOk/Savage and Black Bill Gates, more poetic numbers like All Fall Down have passed mostly unnoticed, but now you can listen to it.

Breaking News – D’banj

After D’Banj opened the year with Emergency, anticipation for anything else the kokomaster may serve up next reached an all time high. Though Breaking News did not drop with the same bang effect, producer Sarz and DJ Mariphosa who co-produced Drake’s One Dance set D’banj up for an afro futuristic experimentation that sampled Fela’s Zombie. Breaking News is no Emergency, but it is not anything we have heard lately either.

Are You Alright ? – Kiss Daniel


We are still basking in the after glow of Kiss Daniel’s impressive debut album so we can’t quite resist handpicking some of the hidden gems the album houses. This sarcastic Ayinde Marshall influenced Are You Alright?  is one of them.

Itunmo – Lil Kesh

His premature exit from YBNL may have forced his album into the background of the media coverage that followed a sudden declaration to float his own label, but Baddo’s protege, Lil Kesh did put some effort into putting together a collective worth the attention and money of his fans. This Young John produced number opens with high frequency synths, low kicks and an intro by up and coming singer Zino before Lil Kesh steps with some of the cleanest bars he has ever laid on an instrumentation.

Asalamalekun – Reminisce

Between being the boss of a new indie imprint and trying his hands on a bit of entrepreneurship, Reminisce seems to be moving on to other things. But this Sarz produced number is more than just Reminisce making a claim for the throne of Nigerian hip hop, it is a re-affirmation of his status in the game, even on more relaxed instrumentations with slow tempo heavy basses. And oh, there is a remix somewhere on the Internet with Wale on it.

Olowo – Cynthia Morgan

Cynthia Morgan follows the long line of artistes like Davido who are not necessarily choice picks by virtue of popular opinion, but are able to shut critics up with music good enough to retain a spot on their playlists. Though Morgan stays on by the book hit making scripts already written by afropop smiths like Wizkid, D’banj and Chidinma, this deliberate dedication to the formula works expressly on her latest single Olowo.

Work (Cover) – Burna Boy

Burna Boy is probably the only artiste who can get away with converting one of the biggest basement hits of the year into a a song about a failing relationship. But Burna Boy did not only pull it off, he also landed a Fader Magazine feature in the same vein. How’s that for work work work?

Erima (feat. Wizkid, Dr Sid)- DJ Big N

Erima is not the most worded song and we doubt that’s what anyone that hits the download button on this song is looking for anyway especially considering Dr. Sid and Wizkid are the only vocalists on this song. But that’s fine really because producer P.Winxton looks to impress with the supporting instrumentation which successfully fuses a dance-hall tempo complete with kicks with a South African house music synth progression.

Who U Epp – Pryse

Chocolate City’s Pryse pulled label mate C-Kay along to make another issue of her Pryseless Freestyles with the added bonus of spitting bars across Olamide’s Who U Epp. Pryse’s comical style warps two verses around Shizzi’s produced woodwork and CKay closes the song with an R&B break. Pryse seems to have an unexplored comfort zone when she raps in pidgin. Her bars are sleeker than we have ever heard and it is the best thing about this song.

Bounce – Oladips

Reminisce’s latest act, Oladips is not your everyday Yoruba rapper. Although we are trying so hard not to label or place him in a creative box, his music holds a lot of lyrical depth and precision the Yoruba hip hop genre has not demonstrated since the exit of DaGrin. One dose of Oladips on Bounce is all you need to hear to become a believer.

Oya Come Make We Go (feat. Sauti Sol) – 2Baba

With 2baba putting what appears to be finishing touches to his soon to be released seventh studio album, he edges closer to that place where legends reside that we have always expected him to end up. Our demands from him likewise are not what they used to be when we merely wanted just another 2face song. On Oya come make we go, he seems to understand this.

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