#YNaija2021Review: Simi’s Woman, Ladipoe’s Running, Essence … Peep the 10 Best Music Videos of the Year

#YNaija2021Review: Simi’s Woman, Ladipoe’s Running, Essence … Peep the 10 Best Music Videos of the Year

2021 was a year of recovery.

Sometimes it seemed like music was all we had to get us through the most trying times of the year. These were the best of the best of the music videos.

10. Obim- Timi Dakolo X Ebuka Obi-Uchendu X Noble Igwe

It is hard to go wrong with a video- or song- depicting Igbo traditional wedding rites. While this year had its fair share of such videos, this one seemed like the most heartfelt. What’s not to love about a star-studded celebration (Alexx Ekubo, Ego Boyo, Okey Bakassi), Timi Dakolo’s magnificent vocals and Obi-Uchendu hyping his beloved in loving Igbo? Simply beautiful.

9. DITR- Ayra Starr

Mavin sweetheart Ayra Starr shows off a darker side in this moody video directed by Afolabi Olalekan. The rudimentary lyrics for DITR paint quite the bleak picture, with troubled kids, hard drugs and life lessons afloat The video is modest but powerfully sequenced such that it is able to inject some much-needed gravitas. Try shaking off that powerful ending without giving it at least another thought.

8. Essence- Wizkid x Tems

The video of the globe-hopping Essence off Wizkid’s 2020 Made in Lagos album was shot on location in Ghana and features summer vibes, car rides, good feelings and black skin glistening. Wizkid and Tems make for quite the seductive pair giving off enough chemistry to light up Lagos for a month. The simple but highly effective video was directed by DK

7. Bullshit- Omawumi

Omawumi can always be counted on to call bs whenever the need arises. She does exactly that in this song off her Love Deep High Life album that sadly flew below the radar. The striking video for Bullshit is directed by Anthony Roberts and it brings Omawumi’s lyrics to life creatively as it depicts the state of mind of a person who has had it up to here and is telling it as it is. Live and let live.

6. Bounce- Ruger

In a year when Blaqbonez cornered the market on the ribald and the raunchy, fresh faced newcomer Ruger also made a huge splash in this space with his breakout single. The eye-patch wearing Ruger was a major sensation thanks to the sweaty, electrifying rhythm of Bounce, a no holds barred declaration of the act of copulation. Sex never sounded sexier than on Ruger’s Bounce. The video directed by Ahmed Mosh is how you announce the arrival of a star.

5. Running- Ladipoe ft. Fireboy DML

Director K of PriorGold pictures is at the helm of Running, the slinky duet between Ladipoe and Fireboy DML. The video makes creative use of bright colors playing against the dark skin of the performers. There is striking imagery, loads of chemistry between the performers and a silky smooth Ladipoe can probably add fashion icon to his growing list of capabilities.

4. Somebody’s Son- Tiwa Savage ft. Brandy

Tiwa Savage finally manifested the collaboration she was born to do with Somebody’s Son. The Meji Alabi directed video is a glorious celebration of Black love and blackness in its many forms. Cinematography is top notch with divas Tiwa Savage and Brandy lit up gorgeously. The scene where Savage is braiding Brandy’s hair will probably go down as a potent depiction of sisterhood.

3. Woman- Simi

Everybody samples Fela in the end but few do it with as much intention and creativity as Simi does on this pro-feminist single. The song reclaims agency from Fela’s notoriously sexist Lady and throws in Shuffering and Shmiling and Water No Get Enemy for good measure. The video directed by Dammy Twitch is pure fire. An inclusive celebration of women, Woman has some of the best choreography and art direction put to video this year.

2. World People- Basket Mouth ft. Flash, BOJ

Another Dammy Twitch banger right here. Basket Mouth continues his bid to conquer the music industry with the visuals for World People, an eerily delicious affair that calls to mind old Nollywood updated with plenty of new school panache. Once you start watching, it is hard to tear your eyes away from the crispness of the images that Twitch dreams up.

  1. The Don- Mr Eazi

Mr Eazi calls the video for The Don off his Something Else EP and at 6.22 minutes perhaps it is. It is also a very good one. The film is directed by Babs and unspools an epic action adventure that starts out with a prison transportation scene. Mr Eazi plays the don naturally. The rest of the narrative driven visual is loaded with scenes of the don showing off and marking his territory.

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