2018 has seen the emergence of a number of new music acts and great projects, with notable names shying away from releasing own albums. As the year dovetails to an end, let’s take a look at 5 studio albums that were outstanding this year (in no particular order).
‘The Mayor of Lagos’ by Mayorkun
Mayorkun’s ‘The Mayor of Lagos’ was released 16 November, 2018 and made it to No. 15 on The Billboard World Album Chart in the week of its release. The 14-track album is Mayorkun’s debut album released on the DMW label.
The album is packed with star collaborations, including features from D’banj, Patoranking, Davido and Sarkodie with production credits to the likes of Speroach, Fresh, Kiddominant and Coublon. It boasts banging tracks like ‘Bobo’, ‘Sope’, ‘Posh’, ‘Feelings’, ‘Che Che’ and ‘Drama Queen’ which are already club anthems.
‘About 30’ by Adekunle Gold
Adekunle Gold has recorded a string of successes this year, including a sold-out concert at London’s O2 Arena.
In his widely celebrated sophomore 16-track album, ‘After 30′, he draws inspiration from his life experiences over the years; and the result is songs like ‘Ire’, ‘Damn Delilah’ and ‘Fame’.
Adekunle Gold and his band deliver unique and world-class sounds, with music videos following. The album has been nominated for a number of awards, including City People Music Award for ‘Album of the Year’
It was released under the Afro Urban Records/EMPIRE labels in May and enjoyed massive airplay.
‘Yung Dxnzl’ by M.I Abaga
The Chocolate City boss, who confessed that his 8th studio album ‘Yung Dxnzl’ was “a career suicide” and was afraid that it may not become popular with fans, may have been surprised at how well his album was received.
The album is not your conventional hip-hop score: there were no party tracks― just plain deep rap. Also interesting was the fact that the titles of all 10 tracks on the album were full sentences, and included the controversial song ‘You Rappers Should Fix Up Your Lives’.
The album featured Odunsi The Engine, Tay Iwar, Lady Donli, Niyola, Lorraine Chia, Patrickxx Lee and Cina Soul. It focused on themes like Depression, Self-worth and Love.
‘Black Times’ by Seun Kuti & The Egypt 80
Although the album didn’t make so much buzz in Nigeria, perhaps because of its dwindling genre, it enjoyed mainstream attention internationally; so much that it was even received a Grammy Awards nomination.
Seun’s message on the album isn’t too different from his father’s several years ago. However, it brings his exposure, maturity, influences and experiences to bear. Some of the popular tracks include ‘Struggle Sounds’, ‘Last Revolutionary’ and ‘African Dreams’.
‘Lagos To London’ by Mr. Eazi
In ‘Lagos to London’, Mr Eazi created a work of art that garnered over 79 million streams barely 3 weeks after its release. The Banku-singer uses its songs to share stories with listeners about his journey from near-obscurity in Lagos to fame in London, drawing a contrast between both cities.
The album came with a lot of hype and, thankfully, didn’t disappoint. Some of the tracks on the album that stood out for us were ‘Chicken Curry’, ‘London Town’, ‘Property’ and ‘I Surrender’.
‘Oso’ by Brymo
Brymo’s sixth studio album, ‘Oso’, was well received with the visuals for its lead single― ‘Heya’, released on the same day as the album, leaving most fans in shock!
The wealth of talent showcased in the body of work quickly absorbed the criticism that followed the ‘Heya’ video. Songs like ‘Banuso’, ‘Olanrewaju’ exude originality at its best with deep meaning/lessons in an age where there is an avalanche of songs lacking essence.
Oso’s uniqueness makes it stand out as one of the best music projects of the year.
‘Outside’ by Burna Boy
Burna Boy’s ‘Outside’ released in January 2018 was a major boost to the singer’s career. The album got even more popular with Kanye West’s late release of ‘Ye’, an album with the same title as one of the hit tracks in Burna’s ‘Outside’ album.
Although the album didn’t register as a fast-seller at first, songs like ‘Heaven’s Gate’, ‘Ye’ and ‘Outside’ quickly warmed their way into people’s hearts and soon became monster hits, earning the album a place among the top five released in 2018.
Let us know what you think about our favorite albums of the year. We would love to know which ones were your best.
Featured Image Source: Naija Hit Songs