We were left bewitched, bothered and bewildered by these videos. Stunning work all around.
- Shut Up- Blaqbonez
Furious looking men in wedding gowns clutching machine guns and driving through the city on bikes. Count us in. in presenting his identity, Blaqbonez has always shown a willingness to ignore conventional rap codes while blurring gender lines. This video continues his foray into gender bending experimentation. What’s not to like?
- One More Night- Mr P, Niniola
This video shouldn’t work, at least not in the way that it does. It stars Mr P- minus his brother but with some of their back up dancers- doing all the moves we have seen him do countless times before. The Michael Jackson, the Usher, the P-square, it’s all there. But then Niniola steps in and adds a whole new dynamic as she gets him to board the shaku shaku train. It’s furious eye candy if you ever saw some.
- Cash- Lady Donli
Directed by the duo of Kewa Oni and Seun Opabisi, Lady Donli’s Cash is the rare Nigerian video that marries the old school simplicity of an artist performing their music with their relationship with the band that helped create it. What starts out as a regular video of an artist performing their material becomes much more, brimming with the magnetism that made Lady Donli one of the breakout artistes of the year.
- Billionaire- Teni
Teni’s Billionaire is the aspirational anthem for anyone who ever dreamed of making it big, the kind we love to sing along to. The TG Omori directed video represents these aspirations with a feel good throwback vibe that reintroduces the heyday of Frank Edoho and Who Wants to be a Millionare, the quiz show he hosted with such tension filled authority. Rooting for Teni is easy with videos packaged like this one.
- Madu- Kizz Daniel
Last year’s most memorable music video featuring explosive chemistry between the two leads was Burna Boy’s sizzling On the Low. This year, Kizz Daniels seizes the crown with the Aje filmworks directed visuals for his own mega hit Madu. Starring Daniel and reality television diva Beverly Osu, this is a visual depiction of how to make love on camera while keeping your clothes on. Osu particularly steals the show and even though Daniel sings of scattering brains and shifting wombs, it is Osu who is in charge here.
- Dangote- Burna Boy
There wouldn’t be a videos list without Clarence Peters. Dangote begins with an arresting unbroken single take that observes different characters hustling for the money. Around the 1-minute mark, the gritty neo-noir styled video opens up to accommodate even more scenarios that depict Burna Boy’s obsession with making money, both legitimate and illegal.
- Try Me- Tems
The force and power of Tems’ delivery on her breakout hit Try Me, naturally demanded a video that matched the song’s energy word for word. Ademola Falomo’s treatment of the material is up to the task. He unspools a story of love and loss, crime and revenge revolving around his breakout star and puts in enough visual flourishes to keep his artistic stamp on it.
- Jaiye- Ladipoe
Few onscreen delights were as memorable this year as the Kewa Oni and Seun Opabisi interpretation of Ladipoe’s Jaiye. Taking advantage of Ladipoe’s good looks, the duo surround their star with bright colors while employing stunning imagery and racy editing to present their video essay about a day in the life of a Lagos resident.
- Raw Dinner- Santi
Written and directed by Santi, this 8.36minutes experience plays like a horror short- and perhaps that is exactly what it is- made by a team with a minuscule budget but with plenty of style to burn. Continuing Santi’s fascination with the supernatural, Raw Dinner is a triumph of imagination and detailed world building. Broken into chapters, the production design and visual effects are pretty impressive.
- 49-99- Tiwa Savage
Tiwa Savage’s 49-99 is what results when a talented creative is given a production budget that can at least match their ideas. Savage has been in terrific videos in the past (If I Start to Talk, Girlie O remix) but this one feels like the start of something entirely fresh. Frequent collaborator Meji Alabi curates a stunning collection of images and visuals inspired primarily from the continent and presented to announce the arrival of a major talent to the world stage. Sexy, provocative and utterly fascinating, 49–99 easily elevates the tepid song to something more memorable.
Wilfred Okiche is a medic, reader, writer, journalist, culture critic, and occasional ruffler of feathers. One of the most influential critics working in the Nigerian culture space, his writing has appeared extensively in platforms like YNaija.com and 360nobs.com. Okiche has provided editorial assistance to the UK Guardian and has had his work published in African Arguments, Africa is a Country and South Africa’s City Press. He has received trainings and acquired experience in multimedia and online journalism. He also appears on the culture television show, Africana Literati. He has participated at critic programs in Lagos, Durban and Rotterdam.
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