Back in August, we curated a list of the top 20 rappers in Nigeria based on their contribution, spanning over the last decade, to the rap industry. Upon Falz‘s recent nomination at this year’s BET, I took a look at that list again and it honestly sunk me into a place of worry all over again. Mostly because half of the names that appear alongside Falz on the top 10 are either no longer actively putting out rap music or in some sad cases, have passed away. It is completely fine to have such a list as long as it is based on merit, no matter how questionable it may be. But where the problem arises is when you get the feeling that no one is probably coming anytime soon to authoritatively demand a spot on that top 10. Especially when there are a couple of names on there that should not take too much to displace.
2008 to 2015 was the best stint of stability and originality the Nigerian Hip Hop scene enjoyed, but it has since suffered from festering neglect. No one ever thought we’d witness such decline like the one it has been hit with today. The Era of the chocolate boys, Naeto C, prime Vector and co are now gone and so much void has been left behind. Maybe too much for even a man of Falz’s ability to shoulder on all by himself.
Congratulations to Falz who recently picked up that nomination at this year’s BET hip hop awards. But for the core lovers of hip hop in Nigeria, they take the news of his nomination with both joy and the frightening thought of impending doom that awaits their beloved genre.
This year alone we witnessed a surge in the number of artists that had their break out but oddly(but maybe not so oddly) none of them was a rapper. While it is understandable that it might be a result of what the current market finds appealing, but at the same time the rap culture, which is an essential part of the Nigerian music heritage, needs to be preserved. And you can’t help but feel that Falz is the last of the dying breed of rappers in Nigeria. So one starts to wonder what happens to the state of rap music once the already thin generation of rappers completely vacates the throne.