Just listening through all these bullsh*t noise we now regard as music in this part of the world, I found myself reminiscing on when the times were great and competition among artistes was rife in a very good way. Part of the reminiscing brought me to the realization of how many great musical groups that have blessed our ears with timeless great tunes.
The exhilarating observation made is that these groups push themselves or one-another to greatness, it’s a group but you really can’t afford not to bring your A-game as you’ll be outshined. No one wants that, everybody wants to be the best. This friendly competition was so intense, it’d be fans that would create some sort of unintentional enmity between or amongst the M-I-C competitors in the course of having a preference of who’s better musically….or sometimes who has better looks or dresses better.
We’ve taken the time to reflect on 10 of the best groups we’ve had(in no particular order), existing or defunct. Peep as there are quite enough nostalgic moments to savour….
1. Plantashun Boiz
Any doubt about how groundbreaking this group was?…i think not. Three young men got together in school at Enugu and formed a group that truly broke barriers in the R&B genre with the infusion of Afro-hiphop. Tuface Idibia, Faze and Blackface were on another level, they got the whole of Nigeria’s attention with their unique style of music rendition. They went on to release the highly successful Body N Soul in the year 2000 with all songs being radio hits, released Sold Out in 2003, then had the splitting up moment due to internal disagreements in 2004. The whole of the country was disappointed and shocked at the split, but they got back for another solid album, Plan B in 2007 due to contract obligations. They’ve gone on to release several highly acclaimed solo albums since, with Blackface being the quieter of the trio. Not enough can be said of this group, one thing is sure though, they will never be forgotten when the books of Nigerian music is opened.♥♥
You just can’t help but credit this group as the pioneers of the propagation of hiphop in this part of the world. At a time when hiphop music lovers were paying utmost attention to the foreign acts; Biggie, Puffy, Nas and the likes, the trio of Eedris AbdulKareem, Eddy Montana and Tony Tetuila decided to write history in 1997. They released the massive Shakomo and it became an anthem of some sort…some actually knew the lyrics of the song A-Z, than the stanzas of the national anthem. They had a massive following afterwards with Kennis Music, and had several other hits like Sade and Omoge. Then the break-up happened due to the allegations that Tony did little(only danced) as a member of the group, back and forth disses towards one another, Eedris and Eddy held the group down as a duo for a while before finally going their separate ways to pursue solo careers. A historic group regardless.
3. Styl Plus
The trio of Tunde, Shifi and Zeal cannot be forgotten in a hurry, they were the definition of smooth. After the groups early formation and re-formation between 1999 and 2002, they stunned the entire country with the release of Olufunmi in 2003, a R&B love ballad. The group became massive, a go-to unit for lovers who identified with their tunes about love. They released an EP filled with four massive hits including Call My Name and Runaway, then released their impressive debut album, Expressions in 2006. Then rumours of a crack within the group started going round, they went on a hiatus of some sort before reuniting to release Back and Better in 2008 to less fanfare.
4. Trybesmen/Da Trybe
Do we still have a unit in the country that spit fire like this group did back in 1999?…hell naw!. Eldee the Don, KaBoom and Freestyle were beasts on the mic, and they even added humour to their releases. It is a testament to how big and successful they were that they produced the likes of Dr Sid(now at Mavin Records), had Sasha, Timi, OlaDELe, 2shotz, and Blaise under the guise of Trybe Records. The trio released classic singles like Shake Body and Plenty Nonsense, but the single that raised all the dust and raised the bar was Oya that included the other soldiers of Trybe Records. It was such a statement of intent and they got the attention they deserved. They have all since gone on to pursue solo careers, with Freestyle releasing a masterpiece in Free At Last before going into obscurity and Eldee releasing several projects, KB on the other hand has disappeared from the music scene.
Theirs was a story of the expression of humour in music and they did so explicably. The trio of Olu Maintain, Tolu and Big Bamo brought societal issues to fore with their deep sense of humour. They came to limelight with the release of the yoruba rendered ‘Ibo Lawa N Gbe Lo‘ and subsequently released gems like Alo and Catch Cold, with funny videos to match. It all ended when Tolu decided to go further with his studies and Olu turned into an industry big boy of some sort. Olu still releases music while Tolu and Big Bamo haven’t been heard from in a long while. It’s an iconic group notwithstanding.