Can Someone Explain Why I Can’t Stream These Nigerian Classics?

February 18, 2019

You’ve probably been there before.

The two biggest giants of the streaming era - Spotify and Apple Music

One day, you’re streaming music, then you remember that jam way back you haven’t heard in years. So you go to the search tab on your Apple Music or Spotify, enter the song title and voila, nothing dey there.

This is usually when you begin to doubt your childhood. You wonder all those memories were just uploaded to your brain and Wande Coal’s “You Bad” never really happened. But that’s not why we’re here.

Welcome to the world of streaming music, where for a small fee, every song is just a couple clicks away, (except, in this case, the one you actually want to listen to).

You know that infamous story about the record industry’s collapse and the rise of streaming (pronounce: Apple’s iTunes) that started in 2009?

Well, streaming is pretty much the main reason music has broken borders, become profitable again and dominated culture in the last few years.

But iTunes wasn’t available in Nigeria until 2013.

Spotify, that best friend that knows the music you like, isn’t available in Nigeria 11 years after it launched. Boys have their ways of course.

And what they often found was that there were certain classics missing from these libraries.

Here are some that we all have noticed and we just really want to listen to because we paid money for it and whatnot (obvs, this doesn’t apply to Spotify users).

Wande Coal – You Bad

Mushin 2 Mo'Hits

Too many games of PES 09 played to this album. Too many hopes lifted on dancefloors covered in sweat and (sometimes) cheap liquor. Too many drives home, along with conversations about Wande Coal was the goat.

As far as we know, this album, Wande’s first and only project under Mo’ Hits, is tied up under the terms of his contract with Don Jazzy’s team. There’s also some talk about samples that turned out too difficult to clear.

Too bad.



SDC – Clone Wars 3: The Recession

Clone Wars IV

After years of doing the deal, Nigeria’s most fearsome duo is finally getting their respect. But one worries that the generation vioa alte hooks on “Palmwine Music” is missing a vital part of the puzzle – Clone Wars, particularly the third instalment of the series.

Yes. It’s a mixtape. Yes. It’s on Soundcloud. But considering that Clone Wars IV is available on Apple Music, the lines begin to get blurred. Surely, it can’t be too much to ask.

MI Abaga – Illegal Music 2

Illegal Music 2

The few times I’ve met the rapper who soundtracked my late teens, I’ve often joked that this is the album where he decided to work with every young artiste he liked at the time. He denies it every time.

As far as Nigerian rap albums go, this was a passing of the baton, unlike anything before it. Today’s OGs built around an MI in his prime. This is where you can get Boogey as Brain, and Yung6ix as a Lil Wayne re-incarnate.

I know he said “Illegal Music Free, No Mason” on the opening track. But you can’t hide history.

Lagbaja – His Entire Bl**dy Discography


The masked one. Omo baba m’uko m’uko. Forebearer of a whole generation of pop acts who today skirt that thing like between pop and indigenous music.

If you’re lucky, your parents (first generation Lagos baby boys and girls) introduced you to Lagbaja’s music as a toddler.

Or you heard him on the television, on videotapes of Lekki Sunsplash or on the radio. Either way, Lagbaja was a staple of a generation’s childhood. Sadly, a generation may never get to hear classics like “Africalypso”.

2face Idibia – Grass 2 Grace

2face Idibia Grass 2 Grace

The greatest pop musician in Nigerian history. 2baba has been a staple of our lives for god knows along. He’s probably not a vampire but 2face and his music have stayed young since we were kids.


The second chapter of his journey post-Plantashun Boyz is missing from pretty much every music streaming site. That means classics like “For Instance”, “One Love” and “No Shaking” exist largely in your memory.


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