How to Identify Nigerian Hip Hop Musicians

by Tomi Taiwo
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Hip hop music in Nigeria evolved from little gatherings where young guys would rap and show off their skills. Some hip hop musicians start their careers by performing at local parties. 

As time goes on, they get international collaborations to perform at a show, turning their music into global sounds.

Nigerian hip hop adapts to different trends in music over time and has now become a force to be reckoned with. As the Nigerian hip hop industry grows bigger, it is essential to be able to differentiate and recognize the musicians. 

This is because as creatives that they are, they like to show off a part of their creativity in unique styles of appearances to make them easily identifiable for their fans.

In this article, you will discover the peculiar qualities you can use to identify Nigerian hip hop musicians.

How to Identify Nigerian Hip Hop Musicians 

A larger percentage of Nigerian hip hop musicians have become renowned Nigerian celebrities. In an attempt to recognize these hip hop legends, you should keep in mind some common attributes. 

Here are a few of the many features exhibited by Nigerian hip hop musicians:

  1. Fashion style

Nigerian hip hop musicians are known for their very extravagant and expensive fashion sense. They invest a whole lot in their dressing, especially male musicians. You would find them wearing statement pieces made by well-known designers from all over the world. 

The fashion style may differ from one hip hop musician to another. But one common fact is the expensive pieces of clothing they wear. Aside from the fact that they spend a lot on their outfits, they employ and pay wardrobe stylists to make them look good at any outing, regardless of the importance. 

Some of them pick clothes for random events by themselves. However, for special events, they outsource the task to stylists who pay attention to details and suggest smart dressing tips to fit into a particular theme.

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  1. The team and entourage

Once a random person grows into becoming a Nigerian hip hop musician, one of the things that change is that they don’t walk alone anymore. You would hardly find Nigerian hip hop musicians wandering around all by themselves.

They always move from one location to another with a team or gang. This gang can comprise their friends, bouncers or bodyguards, backup singers, the manager, young talents, etc, depending on the type of occasion that they are attending.

Sometimes, the musicians themselves do not want to go out with too many people, but the fact that they’re public figures. The possibility of people who might want to harm them is one of the reasons they always go out with bodyguards and co.

  1. Expensive pieces of jewellery

Nigerian hip hop musicians are one of those categories of celebrities that spend a whole lot on jewellery and flaunt them. Oftentimes, when a musician dresses up to attend a function or an event, their worth as a person on the spot is usually more than 5 million Naira. 

Almost every Nigerian hip hop musician has at least a piece of original diamond studded jewellery—whether necklace, ring, or jewellery in any form. At times, these hip hop artists have their jewellery and accessories personalized. It could be a piece of necklace that carries their stage name or something significant and of sentimental value to them.

You would rarely find a Nigerian hip hop musician putting on just one neckpiece at a time. They prefer to wear and flaunt many of their diamond-studded necklaces at the same time. This also increases the worth of the musician on the spot.

  1. Trademarked punchlines

In the world music industry, one of the things Nigerian hip hop artists are known for is the fact that they all have peculiar catchphrases or punchlines. These punchlines usually differ from one musician to another.

While coming up as a young artist in the hip hop industry in Nigeria, one thing that helps in gaining recognition quickly and having people stream their music is the punchline.

Some of us even listen to their songs just to hear them say those things. 

A few examples are “Shekpe,” Davido’s punchline, and “Cook that thing” which immediately tells you that Ruger is the one singing. Some other trademarked statements or punchlines even tell you the name of the artist like “Joeboy pondeck” which belongs to Joeboy, just as the statement denotes.

  1. Tattoos

The number of musicians in the Nigerian music industry that are inclined towards getting their bodies tattooed is increasing rapidly. Burna Boy is one of those Nigerian hip hop idols with a tattooed body.

Most times, Nigerian hip hop musicians get tattoos of people’s names, quotes, etc, as a way to keep the memory of those people or moments closer to them. You would only see how many tattoos they have while their shirts are off. Luckily, Nigerian artists also love taking shirtless pictures.

  1. Attention from fans

One of the things you’ll notice when you’re somewhere around a Nigerian hip hop musician is that people always want to get their attention. That’s because of how much they love the music made by those musicians.

Regardless of the number of bodyguards trying to ensure that no harm comes to the musician, fans will always try to touch them. They’ll try to shake their hands, take selfies with them and maybe get an autograph. Anything they can do to boast that they’ve once met their favourite musician.

  1. Hairstyles 

Nigerian hip hop artists like to try out different hairstyles that can be peculiar to just them. Many times, they have customized their hair in different distinctive ways. 

They change the colour of their hair from time to time and try out different haircut styles, dreadlocks, or any other hairstyle that best depicts their personality.

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This guide features the most common of many ways you can easily recognise Nigerian hip hop musicians. One of the best ways to have an idea of their personalities. You can go about this by following your favourite artists’ social media handles. 

Listening to their music can also give an insight into the kind of person they are. It is important to note that musicians differ from one another. However, you’ll find some, if not all of the above characteristics in Nigerian hip hop musicians.

Edited by Priscilla Ajayi.

About Author

Avatar of Tomi Taiwo
Tomi Taiwo
Tomi Taiwo is a Freelance Writer, Social Media Strategist, and Author. He creates and develops quality, tailored, and optimised content, and has written books/ articles for Lifestyle, Automobile, Finance, and Personal Development niches.
He is a lover of music, fashion, arts, enjoys reading and is passionate about research, growth and development.

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