20 Nigerian Artists That Made The 90s Memorable

Before the prominence of the likes of Davido, Wizkid, Burna Boy, Olamide, M.I, Vector, …to mention a few, there were a number of highly-revered artists that held down the Nigerian music scene.

I speak of talented and bright lyricists, who communicated and connected deeply with their audiences beyond the bum, boob, and sex vibes that we have now been forced to acknowledge this day.

Although some of them have been active over the years and are still very much active to date, there are others who have either moved on to other things, passed on, or just feel off the surface of the earth as it would seem.

Irrespective of the category, I urge you to with me, as we all Journey back in time:


  1. D’Banj

    D’banj, born Daniel Oyebanjo Oyebanjo was born on the 9th of June, 1980 in Zaria. He is one musician whose career really stood the test of time, right from the Tongolo days. His love for the musical instrument, the harmonica is one something fans cannot get over about his persona.

    Without a doubt, D’banj has made good money in the music business and although he may not release as many songs as his counterparts, be sure he is going amazingly well in other areas of his life.

    The singer experienced a dark side in his life after he lost his 1st child, who drowned in a pool at his Ikoyi residence back in 2018. He was only 13-months old. However, he welcomed another child with his wife, Lineo in 2020.

    Don Jazzy and D Banj founded Mo hits back in the day before they all went their separate ways. Nonetheless, they are still good friends.


  2. Azadus

    This list will be incomplete without the Azadus. he is a Nigerian singer, Olalekan Fadeyi, popularly known as Azadus, who is well known for hit songs, such as ‘Madam’, ‘Sodiyen’ and ‘U is the one. He was a former member of the Hip hop group, Def O Clan.


  3. Tony Tetuila

    “You don hit my car, Oyinbo repete” gosh that song made my childhood. It did not take long before it became a slogan amongst everyone, including our parents who didn’t know any other part of the song, except “You don hit my car.

    Anthony Olanrewaju Awotoye, widely known as Tony Tetuila, is often referred to as the golden father of Afrobeats artists from Nigeria. He was a member of the now-defunct hip-hop group of The Remedies, along with Eedris Abdulkareem and Eddy Montana.

    In December 2019, Tony sued Wizkid, he alleged that Wizkid had violated his copyrights, in his collaboration song with Ghanaian singer Tic Tac for their song Fefe N’efe. The lawsuit was reportedly worth 30 million naira.


  4. Olu Maintain

    If you didn’t dance to Yahoozee which requires raising two fingers over your head, from the back to the front, then your childhood was not complete. Olu Maintain did that. He was sometimes called Mr. Yahooze.

    Olu maintain was born in September 1976. He has such a unique way of connecting with his fans and had a classy personality. You could tell from his music videos back then that he was made for the luxury life.


  5. X Project

    Xtreme Project, also known as X-Project was another team that got us glued to or radio sets back them. WIth their rave track, Lori Le, caught the attention of thousands of Nigerians, and they cashed out big time.

    X-project was a trio group consisting of 2 Sierra Leoneans and a Nigerian. After the Nigerian, who happened to be the lead vocalist left from the U.S, the other 2 have not really been heard of a lot.


  6. Styl Plus

    STYL Plus is a Nigerian R&B and pop musical group. The founding members were Shifi Emoefe, Tunde Akinsanmi, Yemi Akinwonmi, and Lanre Faneyi, the name STYL being an abbreviation of the founders’ first names.

    STYL Plus went on to release numerous ground-breaking tracks that sprung them into the limelight. STYL was formed in 1997 in Akure, Nigeria, and is made up of four members. In 2001, the group sang mainly pop and love songs. Lanre’s death in 1999 led to the addition of Zeal Onyecheme, the name of the group was changed to Styl-Plus. In 2002 Yemi Akinwonmi left the group to pursue another career.


  7. 2Baba

    2Baba is one legendry musician who has been around for over 2 decades. Innocent Idibia is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, record producer, and entrepreneur, whose stage name is 2Baba was a member of the now-defunct Plantashun Boiz.

    A fun fact about 2Baba would be that he was once the richest musician in Africa and Nigeria before the likes of Davido and Wizkid took over.

    One of his songs, African Queen is still evergreen, among other record-breaking hit tracks. 2Baba was one of those artists who kept us sane with good and thoughtful music back in the day. Although he fathers about 7 kids from different women, he is currently married to Nigerian actress, Annie Idibia.

  8. African China

    African China is a Nigerian singer and activist, via his music. Although his song, Mr. President was a song criticizing those in power, it came with a groovy beat, which makes the song relevant to date.

    African China was born in Orile, a ghetto side of Lagos, Nigeria. He is the last child of his mother from Imo state in southeastern Nigeria.


  9. Eedris Abdulkareem

    When you think of the group Remedies, what comes to your mind. Yeah, that’s right, Eedris Abdulkareem was one of the alongside another legendary musician, Tony Tetulia.

    Eedris was the one who gave us our favorite jam back them,” Mr. Leturer” a song that sensitized the public about immoral acts that transpire between lecturers and students in the university. Eedris was also an activist, as he constantly reminded the government about their bad governance. He indeed made the 90s worthwhile.


  10. Faze

    Faze alone used to be a member of the now-defunct, Plantashun Boiz. A group that consisted of 2face, now 2baba, black Face, and Faze, before they all decided to go their separate ways.

    Faze dropped a long of club bangers back in the day, but I think my favorite has to be Tatto Girl, and I’m sure a whole of Nigerians also loved it back then.

    Faze is a best-selling Nigerian artist. His first album Faze Alone sold over three million copies, while his second album Independent has sold over 7 million copies.


  11. Zule Zoo

    Zule Zoo, a duo comprising Micheal Aboh and Al-Hassan Ibrahim who came into the limelight after the success of their smash hit, ‘Kerewa’, which was banned by the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission, NBC, for obscene content

    Kerewa, is an evergreen son by Zule Zoo and although they must have gone on do so many other songs, the only one that seemed to stick was “Kere was”. Even though the lyrics were not PG friendly, I bet most of our parents got carried away as well.

  12. Sound Sultan

    Until his death on the 11th of July, 2021, after he lost his battle with throat cancer, Sound Sultan was everyone’s favorite. One of the pioneers of tasteful music back in the day.

    His song, Mathematics made use of the popular mathematics formula ‘BODMAS’ in the song even though he gave it different meanings. Kids back then used to sing joyfully along whenever it came on.

    Olanrewaju Fasasi was also notable for using his music to speak against poverty, corruption, bad governance, and societal ills in Nigeria. He often suggested solutions to the problems facing the country via his songs back in the day.

  13. Weird MC

    Weird Mc is a Nigerian-British rapper. She released the song “Ijo Ya” in 2006. A song that will automatically put you in the dancing mood. Its lyrics, “It’s time to show the beautiful people how to get down,” is one line the ’90s can’t forget in a rush.

    At first, it was a bit difficult for Weird MC to fit in. That did not come as a shock considering her name. A lot of people were via guard about her gender, due to her manner of dressing and style. But as time went by, she was able to carve a niche for herself and deliver exactly what her audience wanted.

  14. Banky W

    Oluwabankole Wellington was born on the 27th of March, 1981 in the United States. He is popular by his stage name, Banky W. He is a Nigerian singer, rapper, actor, entrepreneur, and founder of EME. EME was later converted into a branding and advertising company.

    Banky came back to Nigeria and began to sing in 2002. Banky W has featured quite a number of Nigerian artists and has also been featured in so many songs. The industry sympathized with him when he had to deal with skin cancer in 2017, but thankfully, he came out stronger.


  15. Asa

    Asa introduced her powerful song, Bibanke in the 90s and that was her introduction to many.

    The song was way beyond basic, so it became hard for shallow minds to understand the message embedded in its few roots. Looking back now, it’s easy to see how Asa communicated way beyond the surface to use and deeply connected to her fans on a different level.

    Just by listening to her music, you could literally feel what was going on in her head as at the time she was creating the magic in the studio.
    Asa is still very much active, and she recently debuted her 2022, album “V” in age February.


  16. 2shotz

    Williams Orioha, popularly known as 2shotz is one Nigerian artist that we cannot forget in a hurry. He is a singer, rapper, and songwriter. He is a versatile artist that sang in English, Pidgin, and Igbo fluently. He served us with dope songs such as Carry Am Go”, “Odeshi” and “Delicious” ( my favorite).

    He was born on the 3rd of March,1979 in Lagos State but his hometown is the Abia State capital, Umuahia.

    His debut body of work, Pirated, was dropped in 2004, then followed up with his Original Copy which was released in 2005.

    He won the Headies 2006 Award for Best Collaboration and then released his third album, Commercial Avenue in 2007. His fourth, fifth, and sixth albums were Music Business, I am William, and Loud Silence which were released in 2008, 2010, and 2016 respectively.

    He worked with artists like Big Lo, 2Ply, 9ice, Terry G, Timaya, Brymo, and others.


  17. elDee

    Lanre Dabiri, who hailed from Lagos State, popularly known as Eldee, styled as eLDee is a rapper, singer, and producer that held down the early 2000s.

    elDee was born in Kaduna on the 23rd of May, 1977. He worked with a host of artists like 2shorts, Dr. SID, Sasha P, Yemi Alade, and many others, this was majorly because he was also a producer.

    He was one of the founding members of Trybesmen, launched in 1998 with fellow rappers, Freestyle, and KB.


  18. Sasha P

    Anthonia Yetunde Alabi,v widely known as Sasha P is a businesswoman, lawyer, motivational speaker who used to be an ace rapper. Sasha is referred to as the First Lady of Nigerian Hip Hop. She can also be called the queen of Nigerian rap.

    Sasha P hails from Ibadan, Oyo State, and was born on the 21st of June 1983.

    Her active years were from 1993 to 2014 and worked with front-line artists like Banky W, 2Baba, Niyola, and a couple of others.


  19. Lord Of Ajasa

    Olusegun Osaniyi, widely known as Lord Of Ajasa is a prolific indigenous rapper. He was crowned the Lord of Flavour (Ajasa) in his polytechnic days in Ondo State, owing to his sweet tongue.

    Olusegun was born July 16th, 1982. He was regarded as a Potent Lyricist in the indigenous Yoruba language.

    He premiered his debut single, Otiya, in 2015 which shot him to prominence. Lord Of Ajasa was the most sought-after artiste both by promoters and his colleagues. Having had more featured appearances than any known Hip Hop act in Nigeria due to his creative and energetic personality.


  20. Ikechukwu

    Ikechukwu Onunaku, is a Nigerian actor and rapper, songwriter. He shocked Nigerians when he starred in The Wedding Party 1 & 2.

    Ikechukwu was born in Virginia, USA but raised in Lagos.

    He went back to the United States shortly after finishing his secondary education and returned after a decade in 2006 with his debut album, Son of the Soil. He further went on to release two other albums. One of his biggest tracks ever was “My Name is Ikechukwu” which was released in 2006.


The post 20 Nigerian Artists That Made The 90s Memorable first appeared on tooXclusive.

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