Before artists like Chike and Burna Boy began singing about the heartbreaks they suffered at the hands of their lovers, our old school idols experienced their fair share of heartbreaks, pains, betrayal, and all the other bad things that come with a hot breakfast. Who do you think you are if Ric Hassani, the god of romance, can sing Thunder Fire You with so much wrath in his voice directed at a woman? In the end, this breakfast thing will affect us all, and you’re lucky to get one as an artist—heartbreak has truly inspired some of our artists to write some of their most beautiful songs.
You probably think you can relate to Nonso Amadi’s hurt when he sang Kwasia or you feel it in your guts when Tay Iwar in Monica said “Fell in love with you and I almost died.” Don’t even get me started on Omah Lay’s complete perplexity in Understand as he wonders what precisely ladies desire in this life to be happy. When compared to our generation’s artists, who sing of heartache and create visually appealing music videos, the anguish artists of the 2000s era suffered from being crushed by their lovers cannot be quantified; you can feel it in their music videos just as much as you do in their songs.
Here are five classic songs about heartbreak from the Nigerian music scene:
Klever Jay feat. Danny Young – Koni Koni Love
Did Burna Boy imagine that he would be the first performer to write a song about his heartbreak, and that Nigerians would jam to it in both public and private settings? He ought to meet Klever Jay, whose song about heartbreak was more of a party anthem than a song about heartbreak. We were more interested in twisting our waists and bouncing from one spot to another at parties while the musician used melodies to tell us about his struggles with love.
Asa – Bibanke
Asa’s Bibanke was a classic that studied in the Harvard Institution for heartbreak. Bibanke tells the story of a lost lover who, despite many attempts to keep a romance ablaze, finally hits rock bottom. The dirge song has a sluggish beat and a solemn atmosphere; you definitely shouldn’t listen to it right after experiencing a breakup because it will leave you devastated and emotionally destroyed.
Djinee – Ego
While artists like Psquare talked about broken relationships and left it at that, Djinee used the lyrics of Ego to tell us that his only goal in life is to discover love and that he doesn’t care if he passes away—at least he had a taste of it. It must have been so horrible for Djinee that he couldn’t help but bare his emotions while also telling himself, “If I die now I go happy say, say when I leave this planet I dun fall in love,” as a means of consolation.
Darey – Not The Girl
The song NotTheGirl by Darey is about a lover who suddenly dumps him and then realizes the change has been there for a long time before he could even recognize it. Darey is singing in a fully heartbroken mood while using rich piano sounds and beautiful vibes to convey his hurt. The song won’t necessarily make you cry, but it will make you question whether you should still be in a relationship given that your partner could change their mind at any point and abandon you feeling hopeless. As a word of caution, be watchful! You won’t notice breakfast arriving; it arrives like a thief in the night.
P-Square – Omoge Mi
Before Omah Lay’s concern about why his girl would leave him after everything he did for her and choose to be with his closest friend, the renowned duo, P-Square, were there when they sang Omoge Mi; “Been there, done that” would most surely be their response when they listen to Omah Lay’s Understand. The agony of having your lady leave you for your friend is like having blood drawn out of your body carelessly; it would be preferable for her to leave you for someone you have never met. One of the twins actually believed he would marry this woman after saying he had pardoned her for her past mistakes; love has a way of making you overlook things.