Here’s What It Felt Like To Grow Up In The 2000s In 10 songs

November 26, 2018

It’s cool to be alte and all that now, but I can tell you for free that the 2000s were the best time ever.

2000s vince Carter it's over

Sure, the internet was young and we had to wait for Kakaaki and Music Africa to know what was up with the world.

But it was also the time of peak Basketmouth, Cadbury Breakfast Television and the best music ever.

As someone who grew up in the 2000s, it felt like the music was made with me in mind. There was music for every mood and every situation.

2000s music

Looking back, it’s why I feel like I can tell part of my life story in songs from that era.

So let’s do it, seeing as we’re already here anyway,  here’s a glimpse into my version of the 2000s, in 10 songs.

Sound Sultan – Mathematics

“Jagbajantis”, as we called the song then, became an unofficial anthem that we used as tease our maths teacher.

I loved it so much when it came out that in 2007, I skipped school to see him perform at Yaba.

But this was before alte children started going for shows at midnight. Basically, my mother beat me because of Sound Sultan.

Eedris AbdulKareem – Mr Lecturer

I grew up seeing Eedris as an angry person. Then he made this honest depiction of what students go through in universities.

A female classmate was so worried that she had me write the lyrics for her to see if she would understand what happened better. It was one of those moments when I realised life can be difficult for young women.

2face Idibia – Nfana Ibaga

2face dropped this song around the same time I began to blossom into a healthy teenager with my own beliefs and principles.

And one of them, the most fundamental, was that “I never give another man yawa, because I got my conscience by my side, got peace of mind inside” etc etc.

Tony Tetuila – Two Women (feat. VIP)

2007 was the year I finally became interested in the opposite sex. Except they weren’t interested in me. So I was forced to sing about loving two women and not knowing which one to take, as I trekked home along women who knew I was lying.

Olu Maintain – Yahooze

The earth stopped spinning when Olu Maintain dropped Yahooze. And in that time, we pointed at the sky for a whole ass year. This was the song that changed what it meant to have a hit… before those two boys began disrespecting everybody.

Styl Plus – Olufunmi

This song proved to me that Nigerian kids can be like those preppy teens from classic American flicks like Grease and American Pie.  I would sit on my desk in secondary school and lead a class of 25 as we sang like devotees. Then our free period would end and life would return to being a constant struggle with mathematics.

Lord of Ajasa – Le Fenu So ((feat. 9ice)

This was literally the first song I heard when I moved into my apartment at the University of Ado-Ekiti. The lyrics of the hook loosely translates to “Anyone can (use their mouth to) say whatever they like. It was my perfect mood because I had found myself outside civilisation, while my friends went to school in Lagos and Abuja. A song to soothe the pain.

MP – Pasa Pasa

All my course registration money in Year 2. This is where it went. Into getting drunk enough to dance like this song deserved. I’m sorry, mama.

Wande Coal – You Bad

Go to Ado-Ekiti. Take a bus to EKSU main gate. Cross the road. Look for a viewing centre. Tell them you’re looking for the guy who used to collect people’s money and only listened to “You Bad” while playing. They’ll give you my old number.

Wizkid – Holla At Your Boy

Wizkid’s debut hit was the beginning of a new chapter. Both in Nigerian music and in my life. While singers were scrambling to find the new formula, it was the time when I decided old things would pass away and I would become a fresh boy. I learned that wearing jackets and hats only makes you look like a bike man.

I could go on for days but there’s life to be lived yet. These days, there are new things to be happy about.

Depending on how the next few years go, I could also say I’ll have the songs to define the 2010s and yes, Burna Boy’s Ye would be one of them.

Ah. Let’s all raise a glass in honour of simpler times before we realised that adulting is a globally-accepted scam.

You'll like this

April 6, 2020

Tekno — “Kata” Last year, after a few forgettable tracks, Tekno finally landed his first truly great banger in a while, “Skeletun”. Well, the afropop star seems to have done it again with his first single of 2020, “Kata”. Brilliantly produced by Phantom — the same beatsmith behind “Skeletun” — “Kata” is an infectious track […]

September 30, 2020

I wasn’t a big Runtown fan until I listened to a shitload of his songs for this Ranked. He’s actually got a great body of work, so I ranked his top ten best songs. Here you go: 10. Baby Answer “Girl my love for you be like kilimanjarooo…” and then the rhymes that follow. 2014 […]

Segun Akande

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.


Now on Zikoko

October 26, 2020

Body dysmorphia is a mental health disorder that makes you obsess over your physical appearance. You constantly try to fix or hide these perceived flaws that may not be noticeable to others but yourself. We spoke to five Nigerian women about what it is like hating their body in a way that makes them obsess […]

October 26, 2020

Babatunde Fashola, former governor of Lagos State, now Minister of Works, Housing and Power (we should have known this guy had some serious powers; how else could he be the head of not one, not two, but three crucial ministries?) yesterday miraculously discovered a camera at the scene of the Lekki massacre, conveniently perched by […]

Recommended Quizzes

April 9, 2020

At some point in life, we all learnt that someone can be very intelligent and still lack common sense. That’s the difference between being book smart and being street smart. If you’re not sure where on the spectrum you fall, well, that’s what this quiz is here to tell you. Take it:

November 19, 2019

Regardless of what society has tried to tell us, enjoying sex is not something to be ashamed of. So, in a bid to celebrate our generation’s sexual agency, we’ve created a quiz that will accurately (again, keep your complaints to yourself) infer how many people you’ve spelt with. Try it out:

April 14, 2020

Every friend group consists of very different and specific characters — from the parent to the fun one — and it can be a little tough figuring out where you fall. So, we’ve created a quiz that lets you know exactly what kind of friend you are. Take to find out:

More from Pop

October 14, 2020

For the past seven days Nigeria has had it’s biggest national scale protest since 1993.  The #EndSARS protest is a peaceful but powerful movement against police brutality in Nigeria, both generally, and specifically by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigerian Police. In these marches, music is an important tool to keep the people going. This […]

October 7, 2020

Here’s a statement that you can’t disagree to: Nollywood movies are getting better every year. The growth in the quality of production, storytelling and general execution is noteworthy and must be celebrated. On Ranked today, I’ll go back to 2019, the gift that keeps giving, and rate some of the best movies released that year. […]

October 6, 2020

Picture this: It’s a Nollywood movie. There’s a rich man with a big house. One wife, one maid and family problems. He has a gateman. The gateman is… well you already know: funny, foolish, all the works. Here’s a list of all the stereotypes of Nollywood gatemen. 1. Unnecessary foolishness We get that the gatemen […]

October 3, 2020

When EbonyLife released the trailer for Oloture a few weeks ago, we were on the edge of our seats. The thriller about a young and naive investigative journalist who goes undercover as a Lagos prostitute to expose human traffickers premiered on Netflix on Friday, 2nd October 2020, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. There’s one thing […]

September 30, 2020

I wasn’t a big Runtown fan until I listened to a shitload of his songs for this Ranked. He’s actually got a great body of work, so I ranked his top ten best songs. Here you go: 10. Baby Answer “Girl my love for you be like kilimanjarooo…” and then the rhymes that follow. 2014 […]

September 29, 2020

If you had planned to skip the upcoming FIFA 21, you should probably reconsider. Yesterday, EA released the official soundtrack for the game, and it features songs by Nigerian superstars, Fireboy DML and Rema. Fireboy DML’s “Scatter”, off his acclaimed debut album, Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps, and Rema’s “Beamer” both made the cut, alongside tracks […]


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.
February 6, 2020
Who doesn't want to find love? In our bid to help, we paired up a bunch of single Nigerians, sending them on an all-expense paid date, and interviewing them before and after they met.
January 27, 2020
Nigerians Talk is what happened when a motley crew of young Nigerians were put in front of a camera and asked a bunch of apparently random questions about life, love, money and more.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.