Bar Queens: Shasha P, Weird MC, and Other Women Who Once Dominated the Nigerian Hip-Hop Scene

  • The present Nigerian rap scene is yet to experience the influx of ‘girl power’ it witnessed in the noughties as music lovers put their hopes high on the new generation
  • Famed Nigerian disc jockey DJ Jimmy Jatt is currently running an online session where he is taking netizens back to the era when talented female rap artists ruled the airwaves
  • Today, TheTalk.NG celebrates the top female hip-hop figures of the 2000–2010 era who set the pace for the new generation

Renowned Nigerian disc jockey Jimmy Jatt Amu, known professionally as DJ Jimmy Jatt, has spurred a lot of fond memories with a recent project he is running online tagged ‘Afrobeats Evolution’.

The multi-talented artist is taking music lovers back in time via recorded sessions, where he invites retro artists to play one of their hit songs while they sing and jiggle along.

Shasha P, Weird MC, Mo'Cheddah and other female Nigerian rappersNigerian rap queen who ruled 2000s to 2010s.
Credit: @shashapofficial, @weirdmcoffficial, @mocheddahSource: Instagram

This enriching piece was inspired by Jimmy Jatt’s nostalgic event. TheTalk.NG focused on the aughts years to remind readers of female rapper stars who gave their male colleagues a run in the industry with inventive bars far different from their patriarchal themes.

Sasha P – known for her 2008/09 hit song Adara

Highly revered rapper Anthonia Yetunde Alabi, popularly known as Sasha P, is one household name that will travel down for generations for her indelible influence in the Nigerian hip-hop scene.

She acquired the moniker of first lady of Nigerian hip hop and was the first Naija rapper to achieve international recognition when few were around the scene. However, her fame has continued to be a blueprint.

Her journey into the hip-hop industry began with musical collaborations before she got signed to eLDee’s Trybe Records. She moved on to Storms Record, where she rose to prominence in 2001 with the successful release of her debut album, First Lady.

Amongst many awards in her bag, Shasha won the ‘Best Female Artist’ award at the Women in Entertainment Awards U.K. for her first single, ‘Adara’. She became the first Nigerian female artist to win the Best Female Award at MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) 2015. Besides Adara, she released Gidi Babe on her birthday in 2009. In 2012, she debuted with an E.P. named Bad Girl P before stepping away from music to focus on her business.

Weird MC – Known for her 2006 ‘Ijoya’

Popular Nigerian-British rapper Shola Idowu, also known as Weird MC, rose to prominence in 2006 with the success of her monster hit, ‘Ijoya’, from her second album, ‘After Da Storm.’

The song won her the Award for Musical Excellence in Nigeria (AMEN) for Most Popular Song and the Channel O Music Video Award for Best Special Effect. She is also known for her other singles, including Allen Avenue, Palava, and Moving On. She has discussed in numerous interviews how her male rivals discriminated her and criticised female rappers for not persevering to secure their place in the music industry.

Mo’Cheddah known for her 2014 hit Destinambari ft Phyno

Ace Nigerian female rapper Modupe-Oreoluwa Oyeyemi Ola, professionally known as Mo’cheddah, derived from her first name, stormed the scene at a young age with a promotional song called If You Want Me and immediately got a contract from Knighthouse Entertainment.

In 2010, she released her debut studio album, Franchise Celebrity. That same year, she won Best New Artist and Best Female Video at the MAMA and Channel O Awards.

In 2012, she parted ways with Knighthouse in February to establish her label, Cheddah Music.

Her other big singles include Mosa-produced “Survive” and “Let Me Love You,” “Bad” starring Olamide, and her all-time banger, “Destinabamri” with Phyno, among others.

Bouqui – popularly known for her 2009 hit Mo Ri le

Bukola Folayan, also known as Bouqui, is a Nigerian-American rapper, singer, and songwriter from Oba Ololade Folayan’s family.

Her Christian faith and firm confidence in God’s word influenced the Bouqui music brand. Bukola began her professional career with an all-girl music group called the G-Vibes before going solo.

Her debut album, B.O.U.Q.U.I., which is an acronym for “Born Once More Unto A Quickened and Unparalleled Image,” was a two-in-one bundle containing 14 tracks and four skits, the most by any debutant in Nigeria’s music industry.

It received nominations for Best Rap Album at the Headies (2007) and Revelation of the Year at Hip Hop World. It also earned the highly coveted Best Female Act award at the AMEN Awards in 2007.

In 2009, she released her sophomore album, ‘Redefinition’, which raised her pedestal. With the singles’ Morile’ and ‘Take You Away’, she gained several awards, including Best Female Act and Best Video at the 2009 Women in Entertainment and Arts accolades in the United Kingdom.

Kel – known for her 2009 hit Turn By Turn ft Wizkid

Nigerian singer Kelechi Ohia, often known as Kel, is best known for her hit singles Waa Wa Alright, You Too Fine, and Turn By Turn, featuring Wizkid.

She was recognised as the best female rap MC in the country then, and she lived up to the hype until she ran into problems with her record company, Capital Hill Music, which is owned by famed video director Clarence Peters. Following her departure from Capital Hill Music, the once-award-winning rapper experienced a decline in popularity and never regained her star status.

Her 2009 debut album, “The Investment,” saw collaborations with artists such as Wizkid, Illbliss, MayD, Waje, Ice Prince, M.I., Durella, Jesse Jagz, and Darey. She also won the Best Female Artist Award at MAMA that year.

Blaise – known for the 2001 Tyrbemen’s hit song, Oya

Blaise, born Obafunke Martin Luther, is a Nigerian rapper known for her unique voice.

She was born in Lagos and grew up in the United Kingdom as well as Ibadan. Blaise received formal tertiary education. She studied architecture and attended the University of Lagos Hip-Hop School.

Like Sasha P, she met eLDee at U.N.I.L.A.G., followed by Lequshe and Freestyle, before forming Trybesmen. This gave birth to their 2001 joint hit ‘Oya.’

She moved to the United Kingdom shortly after, then returned to the Naija music scene in 2006, just in time to record one of Nigeria’s most legendary music albums, DJ Jimmy Jatt’s The Definition Vol. 1. Released in 2007. This album featured 24 tracks, featuring all of the prominent rap artists of that era.

Eva – known for her 2016 hit song, Deaf

Eva, born Elohor Eva Alordiah, was once one of the country’s most popular female rappers. She dominated the stage with popping Afrobeats artists in the 2010s.

Her debut album, 1960, was released in September 2016. 1960 features guest collaborations with Darey Art Alade, Femi Kuti, Yemi Alade, Olamide, Sarkodie, and Sir Dauda.

In January 2020, after a hiatus from music, Eva released the Jesse Alordiah-produced single “Friend or Foe” and has since focused on her makeup skills and social media content creation.

Source: TheTalk.NG


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