The art of making albums is one that not all artists have mastered.
It is one thing to be gifted. It is another thing entirely to have what it takes to make beautiful projects. Most artists are talented, sure. But when it comes to making albums, they’re just okay. Nothing exceptional.
There are, of course, a few badasses who can make stunning projects that can go on to be classics. Making a good project is hard. But it’s a whole different ball game to make a good project without all on your own featuring any other artist.
The idea of a no-feature album is revered in the music industry. There are a lot of talks about it, but not enough artists with the balls to try it out. The few that have done it, are artists that are on another level.
Here’s our pick of the best no-feature albums we’ve had in the history of contemporary Nigerian music.
1. Olamide — Eyan Mayweather
A rapper doing an album of 21 tracks and not putting anyone is the most ballsy thing any artist has done in the past ten years. It takes a lot of guts to even wanna try something like that. But Olamide did it.
“Eyan Mayweather” was a Drake type of album; a hybrid of afro sounds and hip-hop. The album is hands down one of the best rap albums of the past decade. Baddo did that without featuring anybody!
2. Asa — Asa
There’s a reason why Asa’s eponymous debut album is considered a Nigerian classic. Well, not one reason. Quite a lot of them in fact.
“Asa,” released way back in 2007, has hit songs like “Jailer,” “Bibanke,” and “Awe.” Most importantly, all of the songs on it were performed by Asa herself with no assistance.
3. Kizz Daniel — King of Love
Most people slept on this Kizz Daniel album because it came at a time when there were many projects out. But it is still one of the best we’ve had in recent times.
“King of Love” has some hits and set the tone for what Kizz Daniel could do. The success of KOL must have, at least in part, inspired his work on “Barnabas.”
4. Dotman — Hakuna Matata
For many years, Dotman has been roaming the industry in search of a place. He’s tried, really. That’s why he’s not exactly undeserving of a beautiful project like “Hakuna Matata.”
Zero features, zero payola, still Dotman made one of the best albums of the year 2021, all while doing that same style of music people thought he couldn’t blow with. Absolutely phenomenal!
5. Fireboy — Laughter, Tears, and Goosebumps
After “Laughter, Tears, and Goosebumps” in 2019, Fireboy left all of his peers behind to join the big leagues. Seriously, that’s a mad album.
How a rookie could manage that is still a mystery to every one of us. An album some have called the best debut since “Superstar,” it was bangers all through. Every track was literally a hit! In 2019, nobody could touch Fire. Not really, no.
6. Brymo — Oso
Released in 2018, this Brymo’s album is what some regard as his best album ever. The soul-filled project is a well-executed album, with no single average song.
The lead single “Heya” went viral after the music video became a huge controversy on social media. You can’t deny though, the guy’s got a way with the music.
7. Joeboy — SBBM
Joeboy kick-started 2021 by dropping his long-awaited debut album, SBBM, a follow-up to his 2019 EP.
The album, if anything, was supposed to boost Joeboy’s profile and create some hype around him, and make it clear he can do a lot better than “Nobody.”
It wasn’t hard. More than half a dozen of the songs on the album have taken turns to become major anthems. His album had that pull, and critically, I tell you, it was one of the better albums of 2021.
8. 9ice — ID Cabasa
In 2016, the least of everybody expected to stage a perfect comeback was 9ice, after such a long time away from the top of the game. But, he did. First, pushing a hit single “Economy.”
His album “ID Cabasa,” was named after the Coded Tunes boss, instrumental in the production of 9ice’s break-out album, in 2008. “Living Things” was off the album, and the album was such a perfect pop album, from a veteran.
As much as he was philosophical on the album, he also showcased his versatility, delivering on the strangest kind of instrumentals. There was new Coublon, and there was old Puffy T. Really, nobody could have done it better. He did it with no features too!
Well, that’s the list.
Which Of These Is Your Favorite No-Feature Album?
Let’s hear from you.
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