In the 90s to early 2000s, Boy bands were the rage of at that time. They dominated the Nigerian Music scene even overshadowing Solo artists.
The Music Groups/Boy Bands movement was so successful during that period that most Nigerian Artists wanted to be in a band.
Music groups were like the mecca of sorts where most artists sharpen their craft to become the most revered musicians. In the era where collective glory was a valued achievement, it was trendy to be a member of a music group.
Their achievements are groundbreaking. They individually at different times shaped pop culture narratives. Their songs made us fall in love. Through fashion and lifestyle, they made us felt witty like our foreign hip-hop and pop music heroes.
In this article, I will try to go down memory lane to talk about music groups that dominated the Nigerian music industry.
Pretty and Junior
Junior and pretty are credited as the pioneer godfathers of Nigerian hip hop music. When everybody was trying to mimic the American rappers, they came out with their unique rap style which is comic in nature and uses local pidgin English as the language of delivery. This unique blend took the country by storm, and the rest is history.
Waltzing into our hearts with a super-detailed account of their hot-pursuit of Bolanle, Junior, and Pretty dominated the 90s music scene.
Another boy band that rocked the late 90s and early 2000s were Remedies, made up of Eddy Remedy, Tony Tetuila, and Eedris Abdulkareem.
The group was a force to reckon with, giving the RnB and Rap genre a new face. The group had songs that enjoyed airplay. They went separate ways to start as solo artists
which at a point were successful.
Trybesmen (also known as Da Trybe) comprising of three original members, known as Eldee, Kaboom, and Freestyle.
Their first album, L.A.G Style Volume 1., was released in 1999 to positive reviews. Their hits included “Plenty Nonsense” and “Shake Bodi”.
Before Olu Maintain dished out his smash hit, ‘yahooze’, and danced with former US Secretary of State Colin Powell, he was one of a duo known as Maintain.
The group was made up of Tolu Oguniyi (Tolu Maintain), Olumide Adegbolu (Olu Maintain) and they had a frequent collaborator and label owner in Adeboye Bammeke aka Big Bamo.
Their music was mostly famous for its often humorous, politically underlined lyricism. They became household names in Nigeria after the success of their debut album Ni bo la wa gbe lo in 1999.
The group’s rise to fame was mostly based on samples and covers of other international pop songs. Particularly, one of their biggest hits to date I Catch a Cold, was a parody of Ludacris’ and Nate Dogg’s 2001 smash hit Area Codes.
Some other powerful group that rocked the Nigerian music industry between the late 90s to early 2000s is Plantashun Boiz which was made up of the trio, Innocent Idibia, aka 2Baba, Chibuzor Orji, aka Faze, and as well as Ahmedu Augustine Obiabo better known as Black Face.
During their days as a group, they had several hits but things came to a head when some members of the group decided to pursue individual careers in 2003.
After their separation, 2Baba got signed under Kennis Music where he dropped his hit song African Queen which catapulted him to stardom and made him a force to reckon with in Africa and beyond. Faze on the other hand also made his solo debut with Faze Alone as his first single as a solo artist. Black Face as well dropped a couple of singles.
Within a space of about two years, the three of them had songs and albums doing well out in the industry and radio stations. 2Baba had ‘Face to Face’, Faze had ‘Faze Alone’ while Black Face had ‘Ghetto Child’. The albums did quite well in the industry.
Described as the Nigerian version of the American RnB group, Boys 2 Men due to their genre of songs, Styl Plus was an R’n’B group that was consisted of Shifi, Tunde, and Zeal.
Style Plus gained stardom with their hit single Olufunmi in 2007 and they all enjoyed their time giving hit songs back-to-back.
However, Tunde left style plus a few years after to pursue a solo career and since then, not much has been heard from him. The reason for his departure is still unknown.
Shifi and Zeal also haven’t dropped many songs since, leaving their fans to assume that they are done with music and facing other endeavors.