Music of Nigeria

Template:Nigerianmusic Nigerian music has produced many kinds of folk and popular music, some of which are known throughout the world. This includes numerous styles of folk music relating to the dozens or hundreds of tribes and ethnic groups in the country, each with their own techniques, instruments and songs. Little is known about the country's early music history prior to European contact, however, bronze carvings have been founding depicting musical instruments and musicians, dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries Template:Ref. Nigeria has also produced some of the most popular music in the world and has been called "the heart of African music" Template:Ref, playing an important role in the development of West African highlife and palm-wine music, fusing native rhythms with techniques imported from the Congo, Cuba and elsewhere. Highlife was an important foundation for the development of several popular styles unique to Nigeria, like apala, fuji, juju and Yo-pop. Later still, Nigerian musicians created their own styles of United States hip hop and Jamaican reggae. Out of all the African countries, Nigeria has some of the most advanced recording studio technology and commercial opportunities for its performers Template:Ref, and the country's musical output has achieved great international acclaim.

Polyrhythms, in which two or more separate beats are played simultaneously, are a part of much of traditional African music Template:Ref, including in Nigeria. Other African rhythmic techniques include rhythmic displacement, in which "instead of accentuating the accepted strong beats, one accentuates the weak beats" and the related characteristic syncopation, which occurs "when two beats are split into three pulses of which the second is the longer note value, while the first and third note values surrounding it are half of the second" Template:Ref. Nigerian music also utilizes ostinato rhythms, in which a rhythmic pattern is repeated, and variable metres which change the time signature of a piece of music.


Folk music

West African music
Benin Burkina Faso
Chad Cte d'Ivoire
Gambia Ghana
Guinea Guinea-Bissau
Liberia Mali
Mauritania Niger
Nigeria Senegal
Sierra Leone Togo
Western Sahara

Over four hundred ethnic groups are native to Nigeria, and many more have immigrated there in recent years. Traditional music from Nigeria is almost always functional; that is, performed to mark a ritual such as a wedding or funeral, and not for pure entertainment or artistic enjoyment. Though some Nigerians, especially children and the elderly, play instruments for their own amusement, solo performance is otherwise rare. Music is closely linked to agriculture, and there are restrictions on, for example, which instruments can be played during different parts of the growing season. Work songs are a common feature of traditional Nigerian music. They help to keep the rhythm of workers in fields, river canoes and other fields. Women use complex rhythms in housekeeping tasks, such as pounding yams to highly ornamented music. In the northern regions, farmers work together on each others' farms and the host is expected to supply musicians for his neighbors.

Musicians in Nigeria are not generally professional, though there are exceptions. The northern Muslims and eastern Adamawa, for example, have groups of specialized musicians. The issue of musical composition is also highly variable. The Hwana, for example, believe that all songs are taught by the peoples' ancestors, while the Tiv give credit to named composers for almost all songs, and the Efik name individual composers only for secular songs. In many parts of Nigeria, musicians are considered allowed to say things in music which would otherwise be perceived as offensive.

The most common format for music in Nigeria is a call-and-response choir, in which a lead singer and a chorus interchange verses, sometimes accompanied by instruments which either shadow the lead text or repeat and ostinato vocal phrase. The southern area features complex rhythms and solo players using melody instruments, while the north more typically features polyphonic wind ensembles. The most extreme north region uses essentially monodic music with an emphasis on drums, and is in general more influenced by Islamic music.

Epic poetry is found in parts of Nigeria, and its performance is always viewed as musical in nature. Blind itinerant performers, sometimes accompanying themselves with a string instrument, are known for reciting long poems of unorthodox Islam among the Kanuri and Hausa. These and other related traditions may be descended from similar Maghrebian and European traditions. The Ozidi saga, found in the Niger Delta, is a well-known epic which takes seven days to perform and utilizes a chorus, a narrator, and percussion, mime and dance.


Main article: Hausa music

The Hausa of the north are known for complexly percussive music and the one-stringed goje fiddle, as well as a praise song vocal tradition. Music is used to celebrate births, marriages, circumcisions and other important life events Template:Ref. Hausa ceremonial music (rokon fada) is well-known in the area, and dominated by families of praise-singers, most famously including Narambad Template:Ref. The Hausa play percussion instruments like tambura drum and the royal, elongated kakakai trumpet Template:Ref, which was "originally used by the Songhai cavalry amd was taken by the rising Hausa states as a symbol of military power" Template:Ref.

Rural Hausa music includes dances like asauwara (for young females) and the spirit possession dance bori. Hausa folk music has produced popular entertainers, including Dan Maraya (known for his one-stringed lute, the kontigi), Audo Yaron Goje, Muhamman Shata and Ibrahim Na Habu (known for his kukkuma fiddling) Template:Ref.

The Hausa br cult is especially well-known outside of the country, and has been brought as far north as Tripoli, Libya by trans-Saharan trade. The br cult features trance music, played by calabash, lute or fiddle. During ceremonies, women and other marginalized groups fall into trances and perform odd behaviors, such as mimicking a pig or sexual behavior. These persons are said to be possessed by a character, each with its own litany (krr). There are similar trance cults (the so-called "mermaid cults") found in the Niger Delta region.


Main article: Igbo music

The Igbo people live in the southeast of Nigeria, and play a wide variety of folk instruments. They are known for adopting foreign styles quite easily, and were an important part of Nigerian highlife Template:Ref. The most widespread is the thirteen-stringed zither called an obo. There are also slit drums, xylophones, flutes, lyres and lutes, and more recently imported European brass instruments.

Courtly music is played among the more traditional Igbo, who keep to their royal traditions. The ufie (slit drum) is used to wake the chief and communicate mealtimes and other important information to him. Bell and drum ensembles are used to announce when the chief departs and returns to his village Template:Ref.


Main article: Yoruba music

The Yoruba have an extremely advanced drumming tradition, especially using the dundun hourglass tension drums. Ensembles using the dundun play a type of music that is also called dundun Template:Ref. These ensembles consist of various sizes of tension drums along with kettledrums (gudugudu). The leader of a dundun ensemble is the iyalu who uses the drum to "talk" by imitating the tonality of Yoruban Template:Ref. Much of Yoruban music is spiritual in nature, and is devoted to the Orisas of Yoruba mythology.

Yoruban music has become the most important component of modern Nigerian popular music, as a result of its early influence from European, Islamic and Brazilian forms. These influences stemmed from the importation of brass instruments, sheet music, Islamic percussion and styles brought by Brazilian merchants Template:Ref. In Nigeria's largest city, Lagos, these multicultural traditions were brought together and became the root of Nigerian popular music.

Modern styles like Salawa Abeni's waka and Yusuf Olatunji's sakara are derived primarily from Yoruban traditional music.

Theatrical music

Main article: Theater of Nigeria

Nigerian theater makes extensive use of music. Often, this is simply traditional music used in a theatrical production without adaptation. There are also, however, distinct styles of music for Nigerian opera. Here, music is used to convey an impression of the action onstage to the audience. Music is also used in literary drama, though musical accompaniment is more sparingly used than in opera. Again, musical communicates the mood or tone of events to the audience. An example is J. P. Dark's Ozidi, a play about murder and revenge, featuring both human and non-human actors. Each character in the play has a theme song which accompanies battles in which the character is involved.

Traditional Nigerian theater includes puppet shows in Borno and among the Ogoni and Tiv, and the ancient Yoruba Alrnj tradition, which may be descended from the Egngn masquerade. With the influx of road-building colonialists, these theater groups spread across the country and their productions grew ever more elaborate. They now frequently use European instruments, film extracts and recorded music.

Children's music

Children in Nigeria have many of their own traditions, usually singing games. These are most often call-and-response type songs, using archaic language. There are other songs, such as among the Tarok people, that are sexually explicit and obscene, and are only performed far away from the home. Children also use instruments like unpitched raft-zithers (made from cornstalks) and drums made from tin cans, a pipe made from a pawpaw stem and a Jew's harp made from a sorghum stalk. Among the Hausa, children play a unique instrument in which they beat rhythms on the inflated stomach of a live, irritated pufferfish.

Traditional instruments

Though percussion instruments are the most omnipresent, Nigeria's traditional music utilizes a number of diverse instruments. Many, like the xylophone, are an integral part of music across West Africa, while others are imports from the Muslims of the Maghreb, or southern or eastern Africa, and yet more are recently brought from Europe or the Americas. Brass instruments and woodwinds were early imports that played a vital role in the development of Nigerian music, while the later importation of electric guitars spurred the popularization of juju music.


Main article: Xylophone

The xylophone is a tuned idiophone, common throughout Africa. In Nigeria, they are most common in the southern part of the country, and are of the Central African model. Several musicians sometimes play one xylophone simultaneously. They are usually made of loose wood placed across banana logs. Pit- and box-resonated xylophones are also found.


Main article: Percussion

Ensembles of clay pots beaten with a soft pad are common; they are sometimes filled with water. Though normally tuned, untuned examples are sometimes used to make a bass rhythm. Hollow logs split lengthways, with resonator holes at the end of the slit, are also used. They used to be used for communication over great distances.

Various bells are a common part of royal regalia, and were used in secret societies. They are mostly made of iron, or bronze in Islamic orchestras of the north. Struck gourds placed on a cloth and struck with sticks are a part of women's music, as well as the br cult dances. Sometimes, especially in the north, gourds are placed upside-down in water, with the pitch adjusted by the amount of air underneath it. In the southwest, a number of tuned gourds are played while floating in a trough.

Scrapers are common throughout the south. One of the most common type is a notched stick, played by dragging a shell across the stick at various speeds. It is used both as a women's court instrument and by children to produce insults aimed at others. Among the Yoruba, an iron rod may be used as a replacement for a stick. Rattles made of gourds containing seeds or stones are common, as are net-rattles, in which a string network of beads or shells encloses a gourd. It is played mostly in ritual or religious context, and mostly by women.

Drums of many kinds are perhaps the most common type of percussion instrument in Nigeria. They are traditionally made from a single piece of wood, or spherical calabashes, but have more recently been made from oil drums. The hourglass drum is the most common shape, though there are also double-headed barrel drums, single-headed drums and conical drums. Frame drums are also found in Nigeria, but may be an importation from Brazil.

String instruments

Main article: String instrument

The bow is found in Nigeria; it is a mouth-resonated cord either plucked or struck. It is most common in the central part of the country, and is associated with agricultural songs, or songs expression social concerns. Cereal-stalks bound together and strings supported by two bridges are used to make a kind of raft-zither, played with the thumbs, typically for solo entertainment. The arched harp is found in the eastern part of the country, especially among the Tarok. It usually has five or six strings and pentatonic tuning. A bowl-resonated spike-fiddle with a lizard skin table is used in the northern region; it is an import from North Africa, and is similar to Central Asian and Ethiopian models. The Hausa and Kanuri peoples play a variety of spike-lutes.

Other instruments

A variety of brass and woodwind instruments are also found in Nigeria. These include long trumpets, frequently made of aluminum and played in pairs or ensembles of up to six, and are often accompanied by a shawm. Wooden trumpets, gourd trumpets, end-blown flutes, cruciform whistles, transverse clarinets and various kinds of horns are also found.

Popular music

Many African countries have seen turbulence and violence during the transition from a diverse region of folk cultures to a modern nation-state; Nigeria has more difficulty than most African countries in forging a popular cultural identity from the diverse peoples of the countryside Template:Ref. From its beginnings in the streets of Lagos, popular music in Nigeria has long been an integral part of the field of African pop, bringing in influences and instruments from many ethnic groups, most prominently including the Yoruba.

The earliest styles of Nigerian popular music were palm-wine music and highlife, which spread in the 1920s among Nigeria and nearby countries like Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ghana. In Nigeria, palm-wine became the primary basis for juju, a genre that dominated popular music for many years. During this time, a few other styles, like apala, derived from traditional Yoruban music, also found a more limited audience. By the 1960s, Cuban, American and other styles of imported music were finding a large fanbase, and musicians began to incorporate these influences into juju. The result was a profusion of new styles in the last few decades of the 20th century, including waka music, Yo-pop and Afrobeat.

Palmwine and the invention of juju

Main article: Palm-wine music

By the beginning of the 20th century, Yoruban music had incorporated brass instruments, written notation, Islamic percussion and new Brazilian techniques, resulting in the Lagos-born palm-wine style. The term palm-wine is also used to describe related genres in Sierra Leone and Ghana Template:Ref; these varieties are more well-known than Nigerian palm-wine. However, palm-wine originally referred to a diverse set of styles played with string instruments (especially guitars or banjos) with shakers and hand drums accompanying Template:Ref. It was an urban style, frequently played in bars to accompany drinking (hence the name, which comes from the alcoholic palm wine beverage).

In the 1920s, the first stars of palm-wine had emerged, most famously including Baba Tunde King. King probably coined the word juju, a style of music he helped create, in reference to the sound of a Brazilian tambourine or perhaps to the term's use as an expression of disdain by the colonial leaders (any native tradition was apt to be dismissed as mere juju nonsense) Template:Ref. By the early 1930s, recording had begun by British record labels like His Masters Voice, and more celebrities emerged, including Ojoge Daniel, Tunde Nightingale and Speedy Araba; these people, along with Tunde King, "established the core repertoire that would shape" a style of pop music Template:Ref. This early pop music was called juju, and has remained one of the most popular genres in Nigeria throughout the 20th century.


Main article: Apala

Apala is a style of vocal and percussive music Muslim Yoruba music. It emerged in the late 1930s, used to rouse worshippers after the fasting of Ramadan Template:Ref. Under the influence of popular Afro-Cuban percussion, apala grew more polished and found a large audience Template:Ref. The music used two or three talking drums (omele), a rattle (sekere), thumb piano (agidigbo) and a bell (agogo) Template:Ref. Haruna Ishola was long the most famous apala performer, and he later played an integral role in bringing apala to larger audiences as a part of fuji music Template:Ref.

1950s, 60s and 70s

Following World War II, Nigerian music began to take on new instruments and techniques, including electric instruments, imported from the United States and Europe. Rock and roll, soul and later, funk, became very popular in Nigeria, and elements of these genres were added to juju by the likes of I. K. Dairo. Highlife, meanwhile, had been slowly gaining in popularity among the Igbo people, and their unique style soon found a national audience. At the same time, apala's Haruna Ishola was becoming one of the country's biggest stars. In the early to mid 1970s, three of the biggest names in Nigerian music history were at their peak: Fela Kuti, Ebenezer Obey and King Sunny Ade, while the end of that decade saw the beginning of Yo-pop and Nigerian reggae.

Though popular styles like highlife and juju were at the top of the Nigerian charts in the 60s, traditional music also remained widespread. Traditional stars included the Hausa Dan Maraya, who was so well-known he was brought to the battlefield during the 1967 Nigerian Civil War to lift the morale of the federal troops.

Modernization of juju

Main article: Juju

Following World War 2, Tunde Nightingale's s'o wa mbe style made him one of the first juju stars, and he introduced more Westernized pop influences to the genre. During the 1950s, recording technology grew more advanced, and instruments like the gangan talking drum, electric guitar and accordion were incorporated into juju. Much of this innovation was the work of IK Dairo & the Morning Star Orchestra (later IK Dairo & the Blue Spots), which formed in 1957 Template:Ref. Dairo became perhaps the biggest star of African music by the 60s, recording numerous hit songs that spread his fame to as far away as Japan. In 1963, he became the only African musician ever honored by receiving an MBE from the United Kingdom Template:Ref.

Spread of highlife

Main article: Highlife

Among the Igbo people, Ghanaian highlife became popular in the early 1950s, and other guitar-band styles from Cameroon and Zaire soon followed. The Ghanaian E. T. Mensah, easily the most popular highlife performer of the 1950s, toured Igbo-land frequently, drawing huge crowds of devoted fans Template:Ref. Bobby Benson & His Combo was the first Nigerian highlife band to find audiences across the country. Benson was followed by Jim Lawson & the Mayor's Dance Band, who achieved national fame in the mid-70s, ending only with Lawson's death in 1976 Template:Ref. During the same period, other highlife performers were reaching their peak. These included Prince Nico Mbarga and Rocafil Jazz, whose "Sweet Mother" was a pan-African hit that sold more than thirteen million copies, more than any other African single of any kind Template:Ref. Mbarga used English lyrics in a style he dubbed panko, which incorporated "sophisticated rumba guitar-phrasing into the highlife idiom" Template:Ref.

After the civil war in the 1960s, Igbo musicians were forced out of Lagos, and they returned to their homeland. The result was that highlife ceased to be a major part of mainstream Nigerian music, and was thought of as being something purely associated with the Igbos of the east. Highlife's popularity slowly dwindled among the Igbos, supplanted by juju and fuji Template:Ref. A few performers kept the style alive, however, such as Yoruba singer and trumpeter Victor Olaiya, the only Nigerian to ever earn a platinum record, Stephen Osita Osadebe, as well as Sonny Okosun, Victor Uwaifo, and Orlando "Dr. Ganja" Owoh, whose distinctive toye style fused juju and highlife Template:Ref.

Popularization of apala

Main article: Apala

Apala, a traditional style from Ijetsu in Yorubaland, also became very popular in the 1960s, led by performers like Haruna Ishola and Ayinla Omowora. Ishola, who was one of Nigeria's most consistent hitmakers between 1955 and his death in 1983, recorded apala songs which alternated between slow and emotional, and swift and energetic. His lyrics were a mixture of improvised praise and passages from the Koran, as well as traditional proverbs.


Main article: Fuji music

The late 1960s also saw the appearance of the first fuji bands. Fuji was named after Mount Fuji in Japan, purely for the sound of the word, according to Sikiru Barrister Template:Ref. Fuji was a synthesis of apala with Islamic vocals and accompanied by the sakara, a tambourine-drum, and Hawaiian guitar. Among the genre's earliest stars were Haruna Ishola and Ayinla Omowura; Ishola released numerous hits from the late 50s to the early 80s, becoming one of the country's most famous performers. Fuji grew steadily more popular between the 1960s and 70s, becoming closely associated with Islam in the process.

Fuji has been described as juju without guitars; ironically Ebenezer Obey once described juju as mambo with guitars Template:Ref. Fuji is, at its roots, however, a mixture of Muslim traditional were songs with "aspects of apala percussion and vocal songs and brooding, philosophical sakara music" Template:Ref; of these elements, apala is the fundamental basis of fuji Template:Ref. The first stars of fuji were the rival bandleaders Sikuru Ayinde Barrister and Kollington Ayinla Template:Ref. Ayinde began his fuji career in the early 1970s with the Supreme Fuji Commanders, though he had sung Muslim were songs since he was ten years old. Ayyinde's rival was Ayinla "Baba Alatika" Kollington, known for using social commentary in his lyrics. He was followed in the 1980s by burgeoning stars like Barrister Wasiu.

Diversification: Ade, Kuti and Obey

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King Sunny Ade

Ebenezer Obey formed the International Brothers in 1964, and his band soon rivalled the likes of I. K. Dairo as the biggest Nigerian group. They played a form of bluesy guitar-based music that included complex talking drum-dominated percussion elements. Obey's lyrics addressed issues that appealed to urban listeners, and incorporated Yoruban traditions and his conservative Christian faith Template:Ref. His rival was King Sunny Ade, who emerged in the same period, forming the Green Spots in 1966 and then achieving some major hits with the African Beats after 1974's Esu Biri Ebo Mi Template:Ref. Ade and Obey raced to incorporate new influences into juju music and gather new fans; Hawaiian slack-key, keyboards and background vocals were among the innovations added during this period of rapid change Template:Ref. Songs also changed from short pop songs to long tracks, often over twenty minutes in length. Bands increased from four performers in the original ensembles, to ten with I. K Dairo and more than thirty with Obey and Ade.

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Fela Kuti remains probably the most well-known Nigerian musician, both at home and abroad

Fela Kuti began performing in 1961 but didn't begin playing in his distinctive Afrobeat style until being exposed to Sierra Leonean Afro-soul singer Geraldo Pino in 1963 Template:Ref. Though Kuti is often credited as the only pioneer of Afrobeat, other musicians like Kuti Orlando Julius Ekemode were also prominent in the early Afrobeat scene. A brief period in the United States saw him exposed to the Black Power movement and the Black Panthers, an influence that he would come to express in his lyrics. After living in London briefly, he moved back to Lagos and opened a club, The Shrine, which was one of the hottest music spots in the city. He also began recording with Africa 70, a huge band featuring drummer Tony Allen, who has since gone on to become a well-known musician in his own right. With Africa 70, Kuti recorded a series of hits, earning the ire of the government as he tackled such diverse issues as poverty, traffic and skin-bleaching Template:Ref. In 1985, Kuti was jailed for five years, but was released after only two due to an international outcry and massive domestic protests. Upon release, Kuti continued criticizing the government in his songs and became known for eccentric behavior, such as suddenly divorcing all twenty-eight wives because "no man has the right to own a woman's vagina" Template:Ref. When he died of AIDS in 1997, it launched a period of national mourning that was unprecedented in documented Nigerian history Template:Ref.

1980s and 90s

In the early 1980s, both Obey and Ade found larger audiences outside of Nigeria. In 1982, Ade was signed to Island Records, who hoped to replicate Bob Marley's success, and released Juju Music, which sold far beyond expectations in Europe and the United States Template:Ref. Obey released Current Affairs in 1980 on Virgin Records and became a brief star in the UK, but was not able to sustain his international career as long as Ade. Ade led a brief period of international fame for juju, which ended in 1985 when he lost his record contract after the commercial failure of Aura (recorded with Stevie Wonder) and his band walked out in the middle of a huge Japanese tour. Ade's brush with international renown brought a lot of attention from mainstream record companies, and helped to inspire the burgeoning world music industry. By the end of the 1980s, juju had lost out to other styles, like Yo-pop and reggae. In the 1990s, however, fuji and juju remained very popular, as did waka music, Nigerian reggae and other genres. At the very end of the decade, hip hop music spread to the country after being a major part of music in neighbors like Senegal.

1980s: Yo-pop and Afro-juju

Main articles: Yo-pop and Afro-juju

Two of the biggest stars of the 80s were Segun Adewale and Shina Peters, who began their careers performing in the mid-70s with Prince Adekunle. They eventually left Adekunle, however, and formed a brief partnership as Shina Adewale & the International Superstars before beginning solo careers Template:Ref. Adewale was the first of the two to gain success, when he became the most famous performer of Yo-pop Template:Ref.

The Yo-pop craze did not last for long, replaced by Shina Peters' Afro-juju style, which broke into the mainstream after the release of Afro-Juju Series 1 (1989). Afro-juju was a combination of Afrobeat and fuji, and it ignited such fervor among Shina's fans that the phenomenon was dubbed "Shinamania". Though he was awarded Juju Musician of the Year in 1990, Shina's follow-up, Shinamania sold respectively but was panned by critics Template:Ref. His success opened up the field to newcomers, however, leading to the success of Fabulous Olu Fajemirokun and Adewale Ayuba. The same period saw the rise of new styles like the funky juju pioneered by Dele Taiwo Template:Ref.


Main article: Afrobeat

In the 1980s, Afrobeat became affiliated with the burgeoning genre of world music. In Europe and North America, so-called "world music" acts came from all over the world and played in a multitude of styles. Fela Kuti and his Afrobeat followers were among the most famous of the musicians considered world music.

By the end of the 80s and early 90s, Afrobeat had diversified by taking in new influences from jazz and rock and roll. The ever-masked and enigmatic Lgbj became one of the standard-bearers of the new wave of Afrobeat, especially after his 1996 LP C'est Une African Thing. In addition, following a surprise appearance in place of his father, Fela, Femi Kuti garnered a large fanbase that enabled him to tour across Europe.


Main article: Waka music

The popular songstress Salawa Abeni had become nationally renowned after the release of Late General Murtala Ramat Mohammed in 1976, which was the first Nigerian recording by a woman to sell more than a million copies. In the 80s, she remained one of the nation's best-selling artists, creating her own unique variety of music called waka; she was so closely associated with the genre that a royal figure, the Afaaffn of Oyo, Obalamidi Adeyemi, crowned her the "Queen of Waka Music" in 1992. Waka was a fusion of juju and fuji with traditional Yoruban music.


Main article: Nigerian reggae

Nigerian reggae was popularized by stars like Majek Fashek, whose 1988 cover of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song", became an unprecedented success for reggae in Nigeria. Fashek was, like many later Nigerian reggae stars, a part of the long-running band The Matadors, who toured and recorded incessantly during the mid to late 80s and early 90s. Later prominent reggae musicians included Jerri Jheto, Daddy Showkey, Ras Kimono and the London-based MC Afrikan Simba.

Hip hop

Main article: Nigerian hip hop

Hip hop music was brought to Nigeria in the late 1980s, and grew steadily popular throughout the first part of the 90s. The first acts included Osha, De Weez and Black Masquradaz. Mainstream success grew later in the decade, with attention brought by early hits like The Trybesmen's "Trybal Marks" (1999) and the trio The Remedies' "Judile" and "Sakoma". One of The Remedies, Tony Tetuila, went on to work with the Plantashun Boiz to great commercial acclaim. The 1999 founding of Paybacktyme Records helped establish a Nigerian hip hop scene. Other prominent Nigerian hip hop musicians include former member of The Remedies Eedris Abdulkareem, who had a well-publicized spat with the American star 50 Cent, Deshola Idowa, JJC and the 419 Squad, Modenine and Terry tha Rapman.



  1. Template:Note Karolyi, pg. 4
  2. Template:Note Graham, pg. 588 Nigeria is at the heart of African music.
  3. Template:Note Graham, pg. 588 The music industry is well-developed, with numerous recording studios, a thirst for aesthetic and material success and a voracious appetite for life, love and music.
  4. Template:Note African Chorus
  5. Template:Note Karolyi, pg. 13
  6. Template:Note Graham, pg. 589
  7. Template:Note Graham, pg. 590
  8. Template:Note African Chorus
  9. Template:Note Graham, pg. 90 The most impressive of the Hausa state instruments, however, is the elongated state trumpet called kakakai, which was originally used by the Songhai cavalry amd was taken by the rising Hausa states as a symbol of military power.
  10. Template:Note Graham, pg. 590
  11. Template:Note Graham, pg. 589 Graham describes both the receptvity of the Igbo to foreign influences, as well as the use of the obo
  12. Template:Note Graham, pg. 589
  13. Template:Note African Chorus
  14. Template:Note Graham, pg. 589
  15. Template:Note Graham, pg. 589
  16. Template:Note Afropop: Nigeria
  17. Template:Note Graham, pg. 590
  18. Template:Note Afropop: Juju
  19. Template:Note Graham, pg. 590
  20. Template:Note Afropop: Juju
  21. Template:Note Afropop: Apala
  22. Template:Note Afropop: Apala Afropop cites this claim as (m)usicologist Chris Waterman suggests that the influence of Afro-Cuban percussion recordings was also formative in refining the music's presentation, although not its rhythms and forms
  23. Template:Note Afropop: Apala Afropop further specifies that, though the other instruments mentioned are common throughout Nigerian popular music, the use of the agidigbo is unusual and peculiar to apala
  24. Template:Note Afropop: Apala
  25. Template:Note Afropop: Juju
  26. Template:Note Graham, pg. 591
  27. Template:Note Graham, pg. 596
  28. Template:Note Graham, pg. 596 Graham explains the importance of both Benson and Lawson.
  29. Template:Note Graham, pg. 596
  30. Template:Note Graham, pg. 597 Referring to "Sweet Mother, Graham explains: (b)ut it is an infectious song and its potent appeal was concocted from Mbarga's use of pidgin English (broadening his audience enormously) and a style he called panko -- for the first time incorporating sophisticated rumba guitar-phrasing into the highlife idiom.
  31. Template:Note Graham, pg. 597
  32. Template:Note Graham, pgs. 597-598
  33. Template:Note Graham, pg. 593 Graham does not cite a specific source for the claim by Sikiru Barrister
  34. Template:Note Graham, pg. 593 Graham does not cite a specific source beyond Ebenezer Obey, and explains that fuji is only sometimes glibly described as juju music without guitars
  35. Template:Note Afropop: Fuji Barrister, who remains on the leading edge, started out in 1965 singing were-songs used to rouse Muslims early in the morning during the holy season of Ramadan. He went on to mix in aspects of apala percussion and vocal songs and brooding, philosophical sakara music and emerged with a new style of music he dubbed fuji.
  36. Template:Note Afropop: Apala Afropop cites this claim as typically considered the most important precursor of fuji
  37. Template:Note Afropop: Fuji
  38. Template:Note Graham, pg. 591
  39. Template:Note Graham, pg. 592
  40. Template:Note Graham, pg. 591
  41. Template:Note Graham, pg. 594
  42. Template:Note Graham, pg. 595
  43. Template:Note Graham, pg. 595
  44. Template:Note Graham, pg. 595
  45. Template:Note Graham, pg. 592
  46. Template:Note Afropop: Juju
  47. Template:Note Graham, pg. 592
  48. Template:Note Graham, pgs. 592-593 Graham describes the origins of Peters' Afro-juju, the importance of Afro-Juju Series 1, the term Shinamania and the critical and commercial performance of Shinamania
  49. Template:Note Afropop: Juju Afropop refers to the time period for funky juju as around the same time as 1989 or 1990.

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