9 Defining Nigerian Lyrics Of 2019 (So Far)

October 7, 2019

While Nigerian songs are great for many, many reasons, songwriting is rarely ever one of them. That, however, doesn’t mean our artists are incapable of penning lyrics that end up being noteworthy and vital to the culture.

So, from Wizkid’s supposedly missing ad-lib on “Totori” to Burna Boy’s inspirational threat on “Anybody”, here are 9 Nigerian lyrics that have in some way — either through sheer meme-ability or undeniable relevance — defined 2019.

“Somebody save me” — Rema, “Spiderman”

A baby-like whisper that pops up right before the official start of Rema’s re-worked “Spiderman” freestyle, this odd cry for help has since morphed into one of Nigerian Twitter’s most hilarious and relatable memes — complete with its own stylised font.


“Who is your daddy? Otedola” — Zlatan and DJ Cuppy, “Gelato”

Just like with Davido’s “30 billion for the account” — a chant-worthy lyric from his monster hit, “If” — Nigerians have now gravitated towards this aspirational Q & A session from DJ Cuppy’s so-bad-it’s-good bop, “Gelato”. So, it’s fair to say Otedola is everyone’s daddy now.

“Totori me four times/ Tor Tor Tor (Tor?)” — Wizkid, “Totori”

At this point, Nigerians can officially be divided into two warring groups: those who didn’t hear Wizkid utter the last “tor” on ID Cabasa’s “Totori”, and those who swear they did. With how convinced both sides are, only the afropop star himself could possibly clear this up. 

“Anybody wey no want to soji/ Anybody wey no dey carry body/ Nack am something” — Burna Boy, “Anybody”

A ton of Burna Boy lyrics off the fantastic African Giant could have easily made this list, but this one, which finds the afro-fusion star telling young Nigerians to get off their asses and do something with their lives, definitely stands out as his most essential.

“I want to hmmm on your face” — Mayorkun, “True”

If Mayorkun is to be believed, this viral lyric off “True” is the musical equivalent of those ‘do you have a dirty mind’ photos. While all our imaginations went straight to the expected, the singer swears that all he wants to put on his woman’s face is a “smile”. 

“49 sitting, 99 standing, oh my God” — Tiwa Savage, “49-99”

On “49-99”, Tiwa Savage’s politically conscious new single, the reigning queen of afropop kicks things off with this iconic line from Fela Kuti’s 1978 hit, “Shuffering and Shmiling” — a staggering reminder of how little things have changed in Nigeria.

“See me see trouble/ Am I a Yahoo boy?” — Naira Marley, “Am I A Yahoo Boy”

Playing out like a hilarious skit, Naira Marley’s immediate arrest following the release of his tongue-in-cheek single, “Am I A Yahoo Boy” made this opening line in the hook feel downright prophetic. It was a rhetorical question that the EFCC was all too eager to answer.

“I’m addicted to cash” — Lady Donli, “Cash”

While not as popular as the other lyrics on this list, Lady Donli’s delightfully honest proclamation on her first single of 2019, “Cash” definitely takes the crown as the most relatable. Who reading this can honestly claim not to suffer from a similar addiction?

“Only one life, kosi part two” — Mojo, “Chop Life Crew”

In an alternate dimension, where the young and unruly run the show, Mojo’s “Chop Life Crew” is Nigeria’s national anthem, and this standout line — reminiscent of Drake unleashing “YOLO” on the world — is the moment that inspires the most patriotism. 

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