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.
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.
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.