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It has been a captivating year for Nigerian music, and here are our best albums that lit up the scene the most.

Outside-Burna Boy

Outside album cover

Release Date: 26th January. Outside” was released via Atlantic Records and Bad Habit on January 26, 2018, to critical acclaim.

The 13-track project was released after singles ‘Sekkle Down’ with J Hus, ‘Koni Baje,’ and “Heaven’s Gate” featuring Lily Allen.

Featuring just three artists — J Hus, Lily Allen and Mabel — Outside is an incredibly cohesive body of work that lets the afro-fusion superstar shine brighter than he ever has.

Burna Boy’s OUTSIDE is 38 minutes of thrilling, exhilarating and absolutely stunning artistry.

On his third major label release, Burna is at his most honest, introspective and creatively unpredictable. The project embodies the singer’s truth and offers to the public; a light text of his personal experiences with no apology of any sort.

About 30-Adekunle Gold

Release Date: May 35, 2018.

About 30 is an album that touches on Adekunle Gold’s individuality, maturity and experiences finding the perfect conveyor belt to thrive.

Adekunle Gold took his time, and with a stunning rollout plan, returned with a victory called ‘About 30’. With songs like Down With You (feat. Dyo), Fame and Call On Me, Gold played with new sonic textures while successfully retaining the core of his artistry.

While the album is decidedly not adventurous in respect of themes, it is timeless and for that, we are grateful..The About 30 project has 15 tracks and features Seun Kuti, Flavor, Oyo and LCGC.

No Bad Songz- Kizz Daniel

No bad songz album cover

Release Date: November 30, 2018.

Before its release, one could have safely assumed the album title a statement of pride, but its release cleared every doubt as the album came and very well, lived up to its title.

The 20-track album which spans over 50 minutes enlists the contributions of; Davido, Diamond Platnumz, Diplo, Nasty C, DJ Xclusive, Demmie Vee, Wretch 22, Philkeyz and Ghanaian emcee, Sarkodie. Kizz Daniel‘s sophomore album is aptly titled after the general consensus that he has “No Bad Songz”.

The singer kicks off with the afrobeat number Gods, before delving into the urban pop banger “No Do” which admonishes listeners to follow the old proverb and “cut your coat according to your size“.

M.I Abaga- Yung Denzl

Yung Denzel Album cover

Release Date: August 24, 2018. With the therapeutic project, M.I Abaga defied a lot of things including toxic masculinity.

He embarked on a significant journey to finding himself and returned with lessons for anyone that cares to listen. This album which he tags ‘A Study on Self Worth’ is supposed to be a defining one, one where he sheds his scales and allows his vulnerabilty as a human take center stage.

Easily one of the most iconic musical moments not only in Nigerian rap, but also in Nigerian music, ‘Yung Denzl’ finds its strength in its most vulnerable moments.

Mature, consistent, clever and seamless, M.I was successful in creating a musical experience that only a musician of his caliber and consciousness can envision.

M.I released yet another masterpiece and reminded us why he truly is African rapper number one. Yung Denzel boasts of 10 tracks and feature guest acts like Tay Iwar, Cina Soul, Niyola, Odunsi the Engine, Patricxxlee and Lady Donli.

Brymo-Oso

oso album art

Release Date: March 27, 2018. OSO (Wizard) is melody wrapped in wit.The 11-track tape sees Brymo taking listeners on an introspective journey that touches the subjects of love, life, and relationships.

From “No be me” to the soulful “Bá’núsọ”, this trip is melodious and beyond beautiful. However the blend of simple chords, even simpler words that hold so much depth and ear-soothing vocals all came together to create something that is absolutely stunning.

With OSO, Brymo cemented his position as one of today’s brightest musical talents. Oso is excellent for the most part. Impeccably arranged and exquisitely produced, it carries all of BrymO’s strengths and little of his weaknesses. Which is to say that it isn’t totally self-absorbed and does not take itself too seriously.

Mayorkun – The Mayor of Lagos

The mayor of lagos album cover

Release Date 16th November 2018. The Mayor of Lagos” is a project that hits the right notes and hands Mayorkun the keys to the city filled with pop anthems. Mayorkun sets the course for a smooth takeover journey as he boldly declares himself as The Mayor of Lagos.

By the way, It’s 14-track offering packed with a stellar cast of guest features but also not overcrowded in a way that would cloud his individuality and presence.

The album features names like D’banj, Sarkodie, Patoranking, Davido and his brothers from the DMW label, the body of work also boast production credits from heavyweights like DJ Coublon, North Boi, Speroach, Fresh VDM. Killertunes, Phantom, Kiddominant, Lussh and Cracker Mallo.

Generally, the album, which is released under Davido Music Worldwide (DMW) and also available on all stores globally, is a fairly impressive debut effort and one that will light up the airwaves for a while.

Rare- Odunsi the Engine

Release Date: 12th October 2018. However on this debut full-length album, the Naija singer draws from ‘80s and ‘90s pop culture as well as personal reflections, with guests like Nasty C and Santi adding their magic.

“It’s my time, and nobody can tell me nothing”, sings Odunsi over the dreamy, keyboard-infused title track. And with songs like “take me there” and its pulsating bass chords, a collab with Davido on “divine” and the funky percussive rhythm of “outcast”—where he recounts a life that has taken him from high-school dropout to rising star—it’s hard to disagree with his claim.

Rare is filled with songs outside the paradigm of today’s pop sound, they are Odunsi (The Engine) ideas come to life, a brilliant testament to his revivalist mindset.

Blaqbonez- Bad Boy Black

Release Date: August 31, 2018. The 10-track ‘Bad Boy Blaq’ album is easily the waviest project of 2018 – thanks to the man behind the mic.

With a finesse that causes one to squint in excitement, Blaq was seen undergoing a seamless sonic switch – proving that he is proficient with the bars and also able to intelligently democratize for an experiential offering.

The 10 album packs a number of features from rising talents in Oxlade, Terry Apala, Alpha and label bosses, Loose Kaynon and A-Q with production credits from Alpha and MI Abaga.

For fans of the rapper, the album is especially a thrill because it shows a substantial amount of growth for a musician who is clearly making stringent strides to push his pen and clean his craft.

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