A co-sign is a Hip-Hop term that refers to a feature – combined with an intentional push – from a bigger artist on a smaller artist’s song at a specific point in time. A co-sign can sometimes – but not always – be obtained without a feature.
Hip-hop is the second fiddle to pop in Nigerian music. Pop stars have received the most powerful co-signs in Nigerian music over the last 15 years. However, the power of a co-sign is not always proportional to the size of an artist’s superstardom. The potency of a co-sign is determined by the frequency with which a superstar’s presence can elevate the record or presence of a smaller artist.
- A superstar’s availability
- Feature potency
- Regularity’s potency
Without further ado, here are the most important co-signs in Nigerian music:
Mentions of Honor;
While Flavour co-signs are frequently associated with traditionalist Igbo pop sounds like Ogene, Highlife, or Ekpili in the South-West, Ijele’s co-sign is a goal for South-Eastern acts. His presence has elevated a few records in recent years.
While simi co-sign appears to fly under the radar, it is a product of her brand as a Nigerian mainstream heartthrob. Many people adore and love her, and they are invested in everything she cares about: her marriage, her child, and her music. It has greatly benefited LadiPoe and Chike over the last few years.
4. Omah Lay
While this may run counter to some power dynamics, his presence on certain records has been critical to their success. While Olamide is undoubtedly the legend and bigger artist on ‘Infinity,’ Omah Lay was the hotter artist. His presence was stronger than Olamide’s in the discussion of that record’s hit.
The same can be said for ‘Pami’ with DJ Tunez, Wizkid, and Adekunle Gold.
Omah Lay’s presence in 2021 propelled ‘Pronto’ by Ajebo Hustlers and ‘Forever’ by Gyakie into the realms of achievement.
In 2019, Mayorkun elevated Joeboy’s “Don’t Call Me Back.” Because of his presence, Kizz Daniel had a hit with “True” the year before. Chike expressed gratitude to Mayorkun for “If You Have No Love (Remix)” by 2020.
Mayorkun’s appearance on Davido’s “The Best” mirrors Olamide and Omah Lay’s on “Infinity.” Then there’s Lil Kesh’s ‘Nkan Be,’ Jamopyper’s ‘If No Be You,’ DJ Kaywise’s ‘What Type of Dance,’ Bad Boy Timz’s ‘MJ (Remix),’ and others.
For the time being, let’s set that aside.
Only Olamide has a larger artist-label executive combination in Nigeria than Davido. Where do we start, and how do we move forward? With “Ke Star (Remix),” “High,” and “For You,” Davido’s presence alone provided Focalistic, Adekunle Gold, and Teni with hits in 2021. Peruzzi reaped the benefits of his appearance on “Somebody Baby.”
While Davido’s availability compels him to do a lot of things, you can’t dismiss him because of it. In 2020, he was largely absent from the Nigerian mainstream, but he still did several features.
This goes far beyond being a street king: Olamide is a musical genius with unrivaled talent. Since his presence propelled ‘Zazoo’ to become Nigeria’s hottest record, Harrysong, T.I Blaze, and Bad Boy Timz have all expressed gratitude for his name – and this is just in the last month.
Olamide’s presence gave Naira Marley his first Nigerian hit record, ‘Issa Goal,’ in 2018. A year later, his presence boosted Reminisce’s ‘Instagram.’ His co-sign did wonders for Bad Boy Timz and even P-Priime via Carpe Diem.