District234’s Twelve 234Drill Tunes You Need To Hear

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The Drill genre has existed since the early 2010s before making an appearance in Africa. The sound changed when it arrived in the UK after coming from the south side of Chicago in the United States of America. Acts like Chief Keef and Lil Durk have significantly contributed to the drill sound’s rise in popularity.

Drill music has been able to spread throughout Africa from nations like the Ivory Coast, Kenya, and South Africa, with Ghana and Nigeria not being left out of the loop. With Yaw Tog’s Sore transcending the status of mere national anthem in Ghana—where Asakaa is the term used to describe their drill music—Ghana made the most impact in Africa with this sound.

Nigeria has the 234drill, just as Ghana did with identifying their drill sound. Rap artists from the big cities, particularly Abuja and Lagos, the nation’s capital and most sociable hub, have helped the country keep up with the drill trend.

Drill music generally exhibits harsh lyrics, pounding beats, a threatening aura, and a distinctive dancing style. This is not unique to 234drill. The lyrics in the 234drill occasionally discuss city life, usually employ native tongue, or they could just be vibes.

Although a popular genre underground, the sound was made known to the mainstream in Nigeria thanks to the viral success of Legendary Style’s song Looseguard (I see, I saw). The song was released in February 2021, and despite its brief presence in the scene, it had a huge impact with its profound usage of Igbo language and commentary on the state of the nation. Here are the top 10 234drill picks from District234 (in no particular order):

Lekki Epe – Maximo ft Vector

Lekki Epe is the most colorful tune there is. In the song, which addresses the harassment that young people experience while attempting to make ends meet, Vector is featured alongside Maximo. “Freedom Way fit no clear, cause popo don fit go stand for there,” he says, illustrating the irony of the phrase “Freedom Way” not being free as opposed to its literal meaning. Through thick bars and pounding drums, he expresses the misery of being a young person in modern-day Nigeria and constantly being stopped by law authorities for the smallest infractions, like dressing well.

YKTFV – King Perrry & Psycho YP

You Know The Fucking Vibe is referred to in the song’s title as an acronym. The pop singer and rapper from Abuja describe their eventful lives in this collaboration. Their styles are intertwined, making the song sound less like a standard drill tune while still being distinctive, and the flow from each artist makes the song sound just flawless.

Kweng It – Jaiye ft LK and Mojo

On this tune, Chop Life Crew members are featured by Jaiye. Jaiye constructs the song on being a member of a strong community and making a message while spitting harsh bars over bass beats. He brings the irresistible song closer to the listeners with his inclusion of LK and Mojo.

Officer – Droxx ft Mo’gunz

Officer addresses the rot and corruption in the police force, as well as the vicious discrimination against youths, particularly men, in Nigeria. The erroneous police claim that people of this gender are engaging in fraudulent activities is also addressed in the song.

Gbere Ti Poju – King Pells ft Johnny Matt

Don’t worry if you play this tune and you hear a lot of Yoruba incantation; it’s probably not what you think. King Pells is given the opportunity through Gbere ti Poju to assert his invulnerable quality and his position of authority in the streets: “They was gon’ put me down in the street but gbere ti poju.” You get used to the melody until you no longer remember that the song’s start is actually a properly phrased incantation 

Dancing Shoes – Sosa.ttw ft T.O.D SZN

It’s acceptable to be shocked by the aggression in the beats and words if you’re fresh to the world of drill. The threatening quality of Dancing Shoes was aided by the pounding bass synthesizers and catchy hook. You’ll need to move like the drill artists do in their videos, so put on your dancing shoes.

Rap Messiah – Ladipoe 

Ladipoe’s raw and unique flow should be studied; the rapper flexes on the beat and sees himself as the hip-hop scene’s savior in Nigeria. Additionally, he says, “RIP Woo,” paying tribute to one of the pioneers of drill to the world, Pop smoke. He makes use of expressions like “Weere dey disguise” and “Soro Soke” that were created during the #EndSars protest in Rap Messiah.

Bando Diaries – Psycho YP & Odumodublvk

Psycho YP has an aggressive confidence that is depicted in Bando Diaries. In the song’s rumbling bars, the rapper continues to assume the role of a rap savage. In the song, he collaborates with another grime rapper from Abuja, and Odumodublvk discusses his challenges and mysteries as a child growing up in the hood. 

Mbappe – psiv ft Chuckgidi

Rapper Psiv’s “Balling like Mbappe” lyrics, which have a figurative meaning, can only be read as describing the balling lifestyle of a baby boy; similar to Mbappe, a football player.

Gboju – Remy Baggins & Ejoya ft Psycho YP & Mojo

Still questioning Psycho YP’s reputation as a rap god? Then play the song Gboju from Ejoya’20. When listening to the song, the snarky flow of Psycho YP and Mojo makes the song silky.

WICKEDEST – Tomi Obanure

Representing the ‘Buj, Tomi Obanure is who you would call a drill specialist with a voice and cadence similar to the UK drill artistes. Off his ‘No Rest For The Wicked’ EP released in 2020, ‘Wickedest’ is one of the stand out records off the project and embodies Tomi’s style as a drill artiste.

Still Up – Zilla Oaks

Some people would say this is one of the hardest rap records in the past year, not drill or trap, just in Nigerian rap generally. Also representing the ‘Buj, Zilla Oaks’ ‘Still Up’ was housed on his 2021 project ‘NO ZZZZ 2’.

Find the records below via Apple Music and Spotify

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