Street-pop is a popular genre attributed to the buzzing life of us Nigerians and the full ‘vibes-on-vibes’ life that fuels the nightlife energy. It’s a sound given to Lagos, generally spontaneous with its movement as it changes from different scenes of the city, in beats and even the dance- steps that comes with some of these sounds.
Its origin comes from the popular Lagos slum, Ajegunle, when Daddy Showkey, Baba Fryo and Blacky kickstarted the street-pop genre with the song galala and created a buzz in the early 90s. It literally introduced the dance, galala. The song was welcomed by Nigerians, and veteran artistes like Danfo Drivers (Mad Melon and Mountain Black) solidified this genre when they came with Konto and Swo in the early 2000s. King of Pangolo, TerryG towed this step when he dropped Free Madness in the late 2000s. The tremendous growth of street-pop has been such a bliss to look upon since then.
What do you call the evolution of street-pop without the inclusion of Olamide and his disciples, Zlatan, Mr Real, Slimcase, Small Doctor and the likes ? Their decision to take it to the next level with Bobo, Shoki, Zanku, Legbegbe, Shepeteri, Penalty right from 2017 ? Their infusion of traditional Yoruba language to create a rhythmic tune was an act that artistes who shared the same music idea as they did loved. Let’s not forget too, the dance that came with these songs; such as shoki, legwork, zanku, shaku shaku and shakiti bobo dance, amongst others. These dance-steps have helped create a long-lasting impression of these songs in our minds, imagine vibing to Lil Kesh’s shoki without actually dancing shoki.
Over the years, one of the newest feature added to street-pop is the immersion of South-African dance genre, amapiano into the typical way of making an actual street-pop song. We see how much good our artistes have made out of amapiano, how they have mashed it into chords of their music and have gone onto creating amazing bangers— Adekunle Gold featuring Davido in High, Zinoleesky’s Kilofeshe, Naira Marley featuring Busiswa in Coming, Gone Far by Zinoleesky, Davido featuring Ke Star in Champion Sound amongst others are clear proof of artistes’ talents in making songs that are listenable and pleasing to the ears.
With a near 30 year progression, this genre has come a long way. Artistes are now more advanced and are more creative with their art, that is making music which is more rhythmic, melodious and less chaotic.
We are developing in the street-pop culture and this development is here for us all to see, come 2032, street-pop will be entirely redefined from now.