It pays to have global recognition because Afrobeats has stepped up in the “compelling visuals” department this year. These were the best of the best music videos of the year.

Yoga — Asake

In January 2023, Asake released Yoga with a music video ahead of his second album drop. The TG Omori-directed visual captured Asake and his cast members by the seaside and in the tropical city of Dakar, Senegal. As Asake roamed the streets, looking like he was in the middle of an epiphany, he still found the time to fish, perform ceremonial rites and practise yoga.

FEEL — Davido

Davido bragged that the music video cost him ₦100 million to shoot. When it came out in October, we all saw why. What we got was more “movie” than “music video”. Top choice director of the stars, TG Omori, was to blame for this war flick, featuring displaced citizens, flying aircraft and explosions. Meanwhile, Davido played strategist in a library with a globe and sketching paper. Plot twist: he’s plotting to rescue his love interest from the war zone. While it would’ve fit better with a politically charged song, the shot was a cinematic gem.

Korokoro — Prettyboy D-O

The first minute of this video released in May, dramatised two friends in a herbalist’s house impatient to get rich by any means necessary. Pan to Prettyboy D-O hanging with individuals brandishing shiny machetes like playthings. D-O worked alongside BadFlicks to direct this very Nigerian video that showcases a high energy characteristic of us and the rampant gangsterism that’s overtaken our society.

Obapluto — Shallipopi feat. Pa Monday-Edo

October came with a Shallipopi’s Obapluto video. In this homage to the great Benin kingdom and his Edo roots, the artist landed in a spaceship to celebrate the ascension of his Plutomania era. The cast were adorned with mud-red beads from head to chest, neck and shoulder, and strapped in white robes. It’s beautiful to see Pa Monday-Edo Igbinidu who initially sued Shallipopi for illegally sampling his song, Iyovbere. Lagos-based KEMZ (SkiiBii’s Baddest Boy, King Perry’s YKTV) directed the video.

Money & Love — Wizkid

Seated on an open rooftop with a paint palette and brush in hand, Wizkid channelled his inner Picasso in this March-released video. Next, we saw an outdoor garage of classic Ferraris and a house party. Director K made it simple but portrayed the elegance expected of a man surrounded by money and love.

All Eyes On Me — Niniola

This Pink-directed music video came out in June, and it’s a “rich aunty” masterclass. It starts with a stress-free preparation at the make-up desk and a night-out look that turns heads with envy and side gossip. In another scene, Niniola lays out her gold jewellery and shoes, native lace dress and satellite gele. It’s no shock when she owns the Owambe gathering on arrival, bringing all attention to herself as the song demands. 

Charm — Rema

Self-directed alongside Perliks and Folarin Oludare, Rema went from expressing himself through dance to being mesmerised by a woman’s seductive moves in the first 30 seconds. He was so mesmerised that he flew out of an explosion like an action star just to get a closer view of her fire dance. This video premiered in May and subtly introduced us to Rema’s current era, with the colour red and “raver” aesthetic. Five months later, he launched his RAVAGE project. 

Dejavu — Seyi Vibez

Before the baddies make an appearance and cash starts to flow, Seyi Vibez and the video cast glow in white robes that look like martial arts attire, for a funeral procession-like scene. Seyi is shedding his old skin and transitioning into a new being. TG Omori and Seyi Vibez delivered yet another exhilarating video at the tail-end of September.

Still Sober — Aguero Banks feat. Phyno

In November, Oluthewave dropped this Hip-Hop music video focused on cliche street activities like rolling dice, outdoor workouts and run-ins with the police. As day morphs into night, the street hustle and exchanges carry on. Its cinematography applies a creative style of side shots that make the video a unique watch.

AGBALAGBI — OluwaMillar

On December 14, 2023, OluwaMillar released his very first music video. In it, he recreates Baba Suwe’s classic “Agbalagbi” scene before hanging with cameos on yellow buses in a Dashiki and cap, borrowing from Yorùbá Nollywood to offer a relatability that hits home. This music video complements the theme of the song well, judiciously managing an apparently limited budget. Emsi Lucky is a video director to watch out for.



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