So having considered the Best Album covers of 2018, Best music collaborations of 2018 and Top Producers of 2018, it is only befitting that we land at the grand point of the 10 best Nigerian albums of 2018.
A lot of Nigerian artists are refusing to label their body of works properly due to various reasons like declining sales, but this list takes note of ‘full-length studio projects’ that fits the definition of an LP or Album, whether named or not. [The list only covers albums released from November 20, 2017 to November 20, 2018.]
The albums are considered based on its critical acclaim or elite artistic excellence [reviews and analysis of each project], profound impact and recognition and mainstream spread [that is it must be a body of work that is known to a large scale listening audience and available on major streaming sites].
So here is Pulse’s list of Top 10 Nigerian albums of 2018
10. DJ Neptune – ”Greatness”
The disc jockey’s first studio album is boastfully titled ”Greatness” and he puts in a lot of work from the selection of artists, beats and A&R to ensure it matches up to its name.
With a strong guest list including Burna Boy, Kizz Daniel, Mayorkun, Davido, Phyno and more, DJ Neptune cohesively oversees the delivery of infectious records like ‘Wait’, ‘Tear Rubber’ and ‘Why’ with Runtown.
9. Mayorkun – ”The Mayor of Lagos”
Mayorkun’s much-anticipated debut album, ”TMOL” arrived early in November, just in time to make it on our list.
Parading pop singles from ‘Posh’, ‘Bobo’ to ‘Che Che’ and fiery numbers like ‘Drama Queen’ and ‘Feelings’, Mayorkun does not suffer in any way from the pressure of the debut offering as he manages to come through with a body of work packed with enjoyable and dancefloor heavy anthems.
8. Adekunle Gold – ”About 30”
Adekunle Gold’s sophomore tape cannot be properly dissected without first appreciating the well-thought rollout prior to its release. From the social media interactions and give-aways to him providing a unique fan listening experience, Adekunle Gold turned the release into a pop moment.
”About 30” thrives on his individuality as he marries his life experiences over his three-decade journey on earth with songs like ‘Ire’, ‘Damn Delilah’ and ‘Fame.’
7. M.I Abaga – ”Yung Denzel”
M.I had a plan and even though it didn’t involve saving the world, the Chocolate City boss was content enough to at least salvage Hip-Hop’s ‘slumbering’ reputation in the country.
‘Yung Denzel: A Study on Self Worth’ is M.I’s second project in the calendar year following after the breezy ”Rendezvous” playlist and with this undeniably well conceived project, Jude Abaga was at his most personal and vulnerable moment.
Touching on topics like self-worth, depression and love, ‘Yung Denzel’ is a necessary record – unguarded, evocative and brilliantly crafted not just as music for now, but a therapy session that can be consulted many years after its release.
6. Show Dem Camp – ”Palmwine 2”
The duo of Ghost and Tec did it the first time, but can they do it again? That was the question when the news broke that they were working on a follow-up project to their successful commercial project, ”Palmwine Music 1.”
Not only did they do it again, but they also did it better than the first time.
”Palmwine Music 2” arrived in October 2018 and this time it had a broader theme and a glorious carefree vibe inspired by producer Spax.
Songs like ‘Legend’ featuring Burna Boy are never played once, as it commands multiple listens, which other records like ‘Damiloun’ and ‘System Fail’ add up to make this tape one of the effortlessly delivered projects in 2018.
5. Seun Kuti & The Egypt 80 band – ”Black Times”
Back at home, this Grammy nominated album failed to get its deserved mainstream attention, but globally especially with a world tour following its release, it was duly recognized, not just because the artist bears the last name that commands respect but due to the gorgeous result of the project.
On his fourth studio album, ”Black Times”, Seun Kuti again reinforces the subject that his brand of music has been associated with; ”Protest Music”, but this time the 8 track tape is not exactly same of the same as songs like ‘African Dreams’, ‘Struggle Sounds’ and ‘Last Revolutionary’ bring to life his maturity, experiences and influences in a way like never before.
4. Loose Kaynon & A-Q – ”Crown”
For students of the game, there is only one way by which the message of hip-hop should be delivered and that is through precise lyrical assault, rhythm and poetry aka ‘bars’ and very few serve it better than these two OG’s, Loose Kaynon and A-Q.
Recognising the movement is one that requires joining forces, Loose and A-Q came together to give us this 10 track stomper, ”Crown” filled with enough gems to make rap lovers lose their heads.
‘Crown’, ‘Gang Gang’ and ‘Hustler’s Prayers’ are some of the highlights that make the project worthy of its place.
3. Mr Eazi – ”Lagos To London”
There are very few Nigerian or even African artists that understand and are precise with their music the way Mr Eazi is. And all these are brought to the fore on his second studio project, ”Lagos To London”.
The album is created to highlight his journey over the last one year from Lagos to the city of London and to showcase his influences and growth.
The roll-out was solid and the product equally matched its noise. ‘Lagos To London’ blends cultural sounds, packs heavy collaborations and has a number of stand out songs like ‘London Town’, ‘I Surrender’, ‘Chicken Curry’ and ‘Property’ to make this an endearing body of work.
2. Brymo – ”Oso”
Brymo’s sixth studio album, ”Oso” alongside the accompanying visuals to the lead single ‘Heya’ which was released the same day as the album is one that further embellished the polarizing figure by which a number of music lovers view him.
But despite the criticism he gets, his talent has never been in doubt and on songs like ‘Olanrewaju’ dedicated to his son, ‘Banuso’ and ‘Time is so Kind,’ Byrmo again exhibits authenticity, inclusivity and proper writing in an age where the latter is fast fading delivering yet another worthy addition to his impressive catalogue.
1. Burna Boy – ”Outside”
Released in January 2018, ”Outside” marked a revival and also a springboard in Burna Boy’s career.
When it was released, it didn’t immediately seem like an album that will eventually become insanely blown, but as the months progressed, so also did its spread.
From early singles like ‘Heaven’s Gate’ to the monstrous anthem, ‘Ye’, Burna’s 2018 packed a punch and ”Outside” was the fitted gloves that made every blow count.