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2015 has been the year of rappers domination,
with Olamide leading the charts, Phyno flying the
Eastern flag, and Falz emerging into a strong
force to reckon with.
There have also been projects, albums, mixtapes,
videos, and engaging conversations from Hip-hop,
and the landscape of rap music shifting
significantly to commercialisation.
Pulse Music puts together the hottest artistes from
the genre in this calendar year, with huge
emphasis on buzz, power moves, music,
relevance and endorsements.
Check on it below.
1. Olamide
Olamide’s consistent hard work has been the
underlying reason for his success. With 5 solo
albums in 5 years and a joint-album with Phyno,
the YBNL boss has kept his brand relevant as
ever. The singles from the album have given him
some of the biggest songs with ‘Bobo’, ‘Melo
melo’, and ‘Lagos Boys’ dominating.
Also, Olamide has had a good run in label
management, helping his protégés Lil Kesh and
Adekunle Gold hit the ground running. This year
has also seen him carry out major work for the
brands Guinness and Etisalat. Olamide also signed
up a new deal with sports gambling brand Surebet
24/7.
Concerts for Olamide has been sold out with a
highly lucrative tour of the UK and other venues.
To wrap up the year, he is planning the second
edition of his conceptual concert ‘Olamide Live In
Concert’.
No Nigerian rapper born of a woman has carried
out this rapper’s feat after his studio album “Eyan
Mayweather” was released. This has been a long
time coming for Olamide. It all started in 2011
with his raw and unpolished debut album
‘ RapSoDi‘. The following year the kid from the
slums of Bariga snatched rap music from the
established Hip Hop kings with his dazzling street
oriented sophomore ‘YBNL ‘ in 2012.
In 2013, he slaughtered pretenders to his throne
with his third album ‘Baddest Guy Ever Liveth ‘. In
his tradition of dropping an album every year,
Olamide released ‘Street OT ‘ in 2014 where he
flaunted the strength of his YBNL Empire.
In April 2015 he solidified his alliance with the
King of the EastPhyno with the history making
collaborative LP 2 Kings. The album was no
Watch The Throne, and even though a few cracks
appeared it was enough to allow Olamide have
the rap game in the chokehold.
Through sweat, hard work, tenacity and ambition,
Olamide has been at the summit of the Nigerian
rap game since 2012. Largely responsible for the
explosion of indigenous rap, Olamide’s street
raps delivered in Yoruba has made him
unrivalled.


2. Phyno
The King of the East is in here with his profile
maintained by hard work. 2015 had the singer
releasing a joint studio album with Olamide his
Western counterpart.
Also he dropped the visuals for ‘ Oringo’ , ‘Asai’ ,
and ‘Nnunu’ , before wrapping up in style with
‘Connect’, which has shaped up to become one of
the hottest songs to round-off the year.
Phyno kept up his end of the Guiness brand
endorsement deal, and added a major scoop with
the telco Airtel.



3. Falz
With comedy forming a strong part of his artistry,
Falz has been able to utilise his teeming fan base
eagerly consuming his music.
The rapper has had a number of good songs, with
‘ Karashika’ forming an integral part of his
sophomore album “ Stories That Touch” which is
receiving credit as a solid conceptual work.
Endorsements have also come for the man, with
online brands Cheki, and WebMall, signing him
up to lucrative deals.


4. Ice Prince
Ice Prince began the year with the release of an
EP titled “Trash Can EP”. The songs contained a
number of hot singles which rocked the airwaves.
The 6-track EP contains a number of songs with
commercial appeal, produced by TMXO, Monstar,
Drey Beatz, and T-Sleek. Notable tracks include
‘Mutumina’, ‘Elegushi’ and ‘Marry you’.
With the project out of the way, Ice Prince settled
into life, with star collaborations on all fronts,
before releasing his hit single ‘Boss’, which has
gotten every club ancing.
It was a good day for Nigerian music when the
iconic photo of Rap mogul Jay Z, and Chocolate
City’s Ice Prince made its way to the internet.
Here was a man who 10 years ago, was in the
throes of poverty in Jos, right next to one of the
greatest rappers ever and CEO of Roc Nation in
New York. Ice Prince had stopped by to have
meetings on partnering with streaming service
TIDAL. The fruits of this meeting came in when
the rapper became the first African to premiere
his video ‘Boss’, on the platform. Ice Prince later
stopped by the world’s biggest Hip-hop show
‘Breakfast Club, on Power 105.1.
Also, Ice Prince became a Vice President of
Chocolate City in 2015, after the departure of
Audu Maikori, and the promotion of M.I abaga.



5. Reminisce
The Edge Records rapper came good this year
with the release of his third studio album “Baba
Hafusa.”
Containing decent tracks including ‘Skilashi’,
‘Baba Hafusa’ and others the rapper showed a
lyrical consistency in keeping with the indigenous
sector.
Reminisce was also responsible for one of the
most heated conversations on Nigerian Hip-hop,
when he appeared to pitch traditional English-
spitting rappers against the indigenous folks with
the single ‘Local Rappers’, featuring Olamide and
Phyno.
Endorsements this year for the man has been
rewarding, with a roll-over of his Samsung deal,
and the addition of fresh income via signing a
deal with alcoholic beverage Orijin.


6. Vector
Vector had a comeback year in 2014 which saw
him release one of the hottest Hip-hop records of
the year, ‘King Kong’.
Such was the rapper’s growth and industry, that
he was signed up by classy cognac brand
Hennessy, as one of the headliners of their yearly
music fiesta, Hennessy Artistry.
The rapper has further consolidated his success
with the buzzing singles ‘Kanawa Dabo’, and ‘8’. A
failure to drop an album this year might have
blighted his story, but he came good on a
personal merchandising level, by launching the
clothe brandInoki Republic.


7. M.I Abaga
M.I carried into the year promoting his acclaimed
“Chairman” album. But his year took a new turn
with the merger of his personal record label,
Loopy Music, with his parent imprint, Chocolate
City.
M.I was made CEO of the new Chocolate City,
where he was instrumental in the release of the
best album of 2015, “The Indestructible Choc Boi
Nation.”
On the endorsement front, the rapper was signed
up by liquor brand, Martell.


8. Lil Kesh
There has to be credit given to Lil Kesh, who
maintained his momentum from 2014 into this
year. He has kept up the faith placed in him by
YBNL boss Olamide, by delivering on many
fronts. His singles, ‘Gbese’, and ‘Efejoku’, made a
quick transition into hits.
Also Lil Kehs’s efforts at collaborating is
exemplary, as he had a hand in certain good
songs of 2015 including Iyanya’s ‘Okamfo’, and
the controversial ‘Ladi’ single.


9. Illbliss
Boss of the Ludus, Illbliss has had a good year
with the release of his third studio album
“#Powerful,” which has been rated as one of the
best albums of 2015 by Pulse Music.
The project spun good singles including the
celebrated jams ‘Chukwu Agozigo gi’, ‘WTF’ , and
‘Many men’ with Wizkid.


10.Naeto C
Rapper Naeto C had been written out of the music
game for a while now after a string of
unimpressive singles. It seemed the man known as
Super C was gently bowing out of the game.
On August 14, the rapper dropped a surprise body
of work Day 1(which he now calls an mixtape).
The album which boasts of 12 tracks sees Naeto C
reset his style and re-introduce his cool flow of
rap that made many people love him in the
beginning.
With a concise and encouraging 12-tracks (skit
inclusive), “Day 1” sees Naeto C return to the
basics of his art. Way before he experienced the
disruptive influences of Nigerian pop sounds, and
commercial African drum patterns. This is Naeto
C, celebrating his primary skills as an MC.
Also he rapper went one better with the release
of another studio album “Festival”, which had all
the good vibes to go with it.
A year of comeback, is also a hot year for Super C.



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