Amapiano Is Popping, So We Ranked the Best Songs from 2021

December 17, 2021

Since amapiano became a thing last year, many Nigerian artists have tried their hands at it, either as originals or as guests on remixes. With 2021, showing an explosion of the genre on the Nigerian music scene, we decided to rank some of our favorite afrobeats-amapiano crossovers from the past year. 

10. Too Sweet (O dun) – Niniola 

Niniola has already shown us that deep down, she’s South African. Taking over the afro-house music scene, it made sense for her to take a stab at another South African genre. If we ever doubted her, Squander was staring us right in the face. Too Sweet has become the go-to “I came to slay” song on social media and honestly, we can’t stop listening. 

9. 44 – Ayanfe

While Ayanfe’s name might not be popular, we have a strong feeling you’ve heard this song before. Off his recent All that Matters EP, this joint also features verses from other upcoming acts like Mystro and Jamopyper. 

8. Stella Riddim – Wavy the Creator

Wavy the Creator is one of those artists you can’t put in a box. We doubt there’s a genre she hasn’t tried out (and done well, to be honest). Jumping on the amapiano train with some help from Ckay and Ghana’s Efya, Stella Riddim is a standout track from her new EP, PS: Thank you for waiting. 

7. Mosafejo – Dunnie 

With production credit on songs for Wande Coal, Yemi Alade, Niniola and Focalistic, singer Dunnie is not new to the music scene. While her work as a producer might grab your attention, it’s her amapiano inspired single, Mosafejo that will have you pulling out all the moves you’ve picked up from Instagram. If her single is this good, then we are ready for her upcoming album. 

6. Come My Way – Wande Coal 

You know it’s real when folks like Wande Coal decide to hop on a vibe. A match made in musical heaven for us, we got a chance to hear our Black Diamond flex his voice on one of the sickest amapiano beats of the year. Are we upset that Davido’s verse didn’t make the final song? Yes. But that doesn’t mean this version doesn’t slap, because omo, it does. 

5. Ozumba Mbadiwe – Reekado Banks 

If someone told us that after a string of major misses Reekado Banks would have one of the biggest songs of the year, we would have called the person a detty liar. This song came out in October and now just like the traffic on the road it’s named after, we can’t escape it. Major shout-out to Reekado for doing the needful by paying tribute to victims of the Lekki toll gate massacre of October 2020. We have a feeling that amapiano might be his true calling, who knows?

4. Yaba Buluku – DJ Tarico, Burna Boy and Nelson Tivane 

Contrary to what you might think, this song isn’t even South African, it’s from Mozambique. This goes to show the rate at which amapiano has infiltrated not just the Nigerian music scene, but Africa as a whole. Leave it to Burna Boy to add his Jerusalema magic to the song for the rest of the world to catch up. Like most of the other crossover hits on this list, we don’t know what the lyrics mean. But who cares? We’ve already learnt the dance steps and that’s enough. 

3. High – Adekunle Gold and Davido

Is it okay for us to admit that Adekunle Gold hasn’t missed all year? Because look at the receipts. Since dropping Afro Pop, Vol. 1 last year, he has been serving us hit after hit. When we heard about his collaboration with Davido, naturally, we knew it was going to bang but did we expect it to bang this hard? No. High is one of the best examples of taking amapiano and making it as Nigerian as possible without removing the sauce that made us fall in love with the genre. Maybe we’re pushing it at this point, but we wouldn’t mind a joint EP from these two. 

2. Ke Star Remix – Focalistic, Davido and Virgo 

Remixes work sometimes and other times they just end up being a hot pile of garbage. Already a massive hit when the original dropped in 2020, the Ke Star remix is a major example of a remix that works. With everyone constantly shouting OBO’s famous “E goes down when my gs connect”, we doubt anyone remembers the original. Do you? 

1. Monalisa – Lojay and Sarz

When Lojay and Sarz dropped their joint EP LV N ATTN, our focus was immediately drawn to the title track featuring Wizkid and then, it eventually shifted to another hit on the album, Tonongo. While we were focusing on these two, Monalisa came out of nowhere and became one of the biggest songs of the year. This song proves yet again that there’s nothing Sarz can’t do. Is Lojay saying “Monalisa” or “Monalisan”? Well, hold on, let’s listen again, maybe we’ll figure it out this time. 

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