Last week saw the release of Davido‘s highly anticipated single, Fans Mi, which featured MMG rapper, Meek Mill. It’s part of a fast-growing trend where African acts collaborate with artists from over the water in attempts to gain fans in the worldwide market . Many of Africa’s top acts like Wizkid, Banky W, Sarkodie and P-Square all have international collabos in their CVs.
Davido’s Fans Mi was a solid body of work, but came under criticism for the sub par verse delivered by Meek Mill. The verse was somehow even worse than French Montana‘s agonising verse on Ice Prince’s I Swear.
These two rappers are actually good rappers, and those verses are probably the worst in their catalogs. But does this mean that international artists don’t bring their A-game when our acts feature them?
Thankfully, the answer to that is no. There have been plenty dope international collabos in the Nigerian musicosphere, and to show that, I’d be ranking the top 5.
Wale is Nigerian by birth yeah yeah, but he doesn’t ply his trade here, hence this qualifies as an international collaboration.
Wale has constantly reiterated his status as a Nigerian, and has spoken of coming back to Nigeria to help develop the industry here. His first feature on a Nigerian’s song was Wizkid on the hit party jam, Drop.
Wale showed his skill and versatility as a rapper, fitting seamlessly into an afropop beat and even infusing a little Yoruba into his lyrics. And with Wizkid’s special power of freestyling, there was no way this song was not gonna hit.
P-Square’s EjeAjo was one of 3 singles released for the brothers’ 6th album, Double Trouble.
Double Trouble was coming at a time when the P-Square brand had conquered everywhere in Africa, with the next conquest facing them being the international market.
The first attempt at that was EjeAjo, a feel-good tune laced on a fast-paced jazzy beat that was definitely not meant for places like Quilox and Liquid Lounge.
The initial response to the song in Nigeria was slow, particularly because it was different. But over time, the track’s happiness, the amazing dance moves (which even radiated into T.I’s body but showed only a little because, gangsta) and T.I’s dope, dope finish.
P-Square have 4 international collaborations to their name, and the second one, Beautiful Onyinye, is arguably their best.
P-Square, who started off their career with soft love romantic songs like Senorita, Omoge Mi and later on No One Like You, went back to that path, singing a song for their Beautiful Onyinye.
Known for his grunts and his boss lifestyle, Rick Ross came on what was a beautiful song and killed it with a superb verse. And even though it was supposed to be a love song, the Mississippi-born rapper couldn’t help but show his bossness with lyrics like “We talking money here you talking nonsense.”
Easily one of the best rap/sung collaborations in Nigerian music, and I’m sure Rick Ross still wonders what “wombolo wombolo eh” means.
The original song, Mr. Endowed, came at the peak of the Mo’Hits in the Nigerian music industry. It was the time when D’banj was officially the greatest artiste in Nigeria, Don Jazzy was the greatest producer, and with Sesan Ogunro automatically becoming the top video director.
The three combined to make Mr. Endowed a massive hit, and spiritually (because it is not physically possible) made Mr. Endowed remix somehow a bigger, better hit. D’banj had previously spoken about his affiliations with his “uncle” Snoop Dogg, and it was a pleasant not-so-much of a surprise to see him on the song.
The veteran rapper showed his class and why he was highly respected as he dropped a fire verse for his “nephew from Nigeria,” and with modifications from the original beat by Don Papa J, and another dope video by Sesan, made this a jam for the ages.
Vector is one of a number of Nigerian artists whose careers have been affected by record label issues. Some, like Brymo, handled it well and moved on. Others like Kel, not so much.
Vector still has just two official albums in his discography (and a number of tapes), but he also has what is arguably the greatest international collaboration in the history of Nigerian music with Born Leader.
Partnering with Jamaican dancehall legend Mavado, Born Leader will also go down as one of Nigeria’s best ever rap songs. Vector, who is known more for his playful corny bars, dumped all that and went hard, spitting heavy lines like “the only poor trait I have is a painted picture.”
Honorable mentions include P-Square’s Chop My Money remix and Davido’s Dami Duro remix (both with Akon), and Eldee’s Big Boy remix with Yung Joc.