It’s crazy how time flies. One minute you’re enjoying free food from your parents and the next thing you know, you’ve signed your soul off to become a slave to capitalism *deep negro sigh* As we get settled into the new year, we thought it’d be fun to take a little nostalgic trip down memory lane. Here’s a list of 10 songs that made 2012 memorable. 

1. Dami Duro — Davido 

Can you believe it’s been over 10 years since we heard “On the beat is Davido” for the first time? Wow. We’re officially old? While Back When introduced us to the baby-faced superstar in 2011, it was Dami Duro that solidified his spot as a game-changer and future leader of the afrobeats movement. 

2. First of All — Olamide 

If there’s one thing Nigerians know how to do, it’s “borrowing” a genre and doing it so well you might forget its original owner. Before amapiano, Nigerians copied the Azonto style of dance and music from our brothers and sisters in Ghana. A dark time also marked by “My Money Grows Like Grass” shirts and carrot jeans, this Olamide song was a major moment in 2012. Over 10 albums later (and one or two amapiano songs to his name), Olamide remains one of the most consistent artists in the game. 

3. Kukere — Iyanya

This song was a classic case of when it’s your time, it’s your time. Iyanya was the undisputed breakout star of 2012 and this song was so inescapable, there’s a high chance your grandma might know the words. While he hasn’t been able to top his massive breakout hit, we still spy shirtless Iyanya once in a while on social media and honestly, we can’t complain. 

4. Like to Party — Burna Boy 

Before the African Giant title, Outsiders fan base and Grammy Award, Burna Boy was just a cute guy in a colourful vintage shirt and round glasses looking to have a good time. If someone had told us the Like to Party guy would become one of the biggest stars out of Africa, we would have told them to jump into the lagoon. These days, when he’s not touring the world, our fave is constantly saying problematic shit on social media. God save us. 

5. Ihe Neme — Tuface Idibia 

Did we understand half of the lyrics in this song? No. Did we dance to it like our lives depended on it? Yes. Is Tuface Idibia an icon? Yes. Well, enough said. 

6. Chop My Money (Remix) — PSquare 

The fact that we were singing this song knowing fully well that we had zero money to be consumed still cracks me up. Money? Where is it, dear? PSquare was in their bag when this song dropped. Back then, getting a feature with artists like Akon was like scoring a Grammy nomination. How times have changed. Even though they had a messy breakup, our fave twins are back together again. Mary Slessor would be proud. 

7. Kako Bi Chicken — Reminisce 

When Reminisce popped up on the scene, no one was doing it like him. Yes, we had Olamide and before that, we had Dagrin and Jazzman Olofin, but no one delivered with ginger and cockiness like Reminisce. While Reminisce might have transitioned into a Netflix baddie, Kako Bi Chicken remains a classic in our books. 

8. Beat of Life — Sarz & Wizkid 

10 years later and we’re not sure we know what “Samba” means. However, if there’s one thing we’re sure of, it’s that this song was and still is a bonafide hit. What is Sarz up to these days? Well, our fave is still dropping hits, left, right and centre (Monalisa, duh). 

9. Kedike — Chidinma 

Remember when Chidinma still sang “worldly” music? Good times. This song was such a hit, Chidinma changed her name to Miss Kedike, because why not? From project fame to the top of the chart to Nollywood and now whatever she’s doing next, it’s safe to say Chidinma has lived many lives. 

10. Omo Pastor — Ajebutter22 & BOJ

Before the alté movement became a salient part of the musical conversation in Nigeria, artists like Ajebutter22 and BOJ were already shifting the narrative surrounding Nigerian music. We didn’t know what alté meant at the time, but we noticed that this song came with a different vibe. A decade later and songs like this are quickly becoming the norm. We love to see it. 

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. We feel old too.


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