Nigeria has produced some of the finest rap acts that can hold their own not only in Africa but also on the global stage. And one thing that sets Nigeria’s new generation of rappers apart is their ability to fuse local dialects with the English language thus creating an addictive blend of sound. Today, two leading rappers, Olamide and Phyno, lock horns as music enthusiasts determine the better rapper between the pair.
Olamide Adedeji aka Olamide hails from Bariga, Lagos State. A rapper and hip hop star, he delved into music in 2000 and in 2010, performed at the Hip Hop World Awards. A graduate of Mass Communication from Tai Solarin University of Education, Olamide dropped his debut album entitled, Rapsodi, in 2011, with the lead single, Eni Duro, topping the charts on many radio stations. Today, he has done collabos with the likes of D’banj, 9ice and Wizkid to mention a few. In 2012, he dropped his follow up album, YBNL, which featured multiple guest appearances from Tiwa Savage, Davido, Reminisce and Dammy Krane. In 2013, it was double joy for Olamide when he inked a mouth-watering deal with Guinness Nigeria Plc. He was equally appointed a brand ambassador for telecoms giant, Etisalat.
Music producer turned-recording artiste, Chibuzor Nelson Azubuike aka Phyno, is a rapper, songwriter and performer. While in school, his friends christened him Phyno, which was coined from the word phenomenon. Thanks to his hit track, Man of the Year, which carved a spot for him among Nigeria’s galaxy of stars. An indigene of Anambra State, Phyno was born and bred in Enugu and studied Public Administration at the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu. While in secondary school, he developed interest in music production and dumped his childhood ambition of becoming a pilot. As a music producer, he worked with the likes of J. Martins, Flavour, Timaya and Ruggedman to mention a few. And as a recording artiste, he has done a couple of collaboration with popular acts including Olamide and dropped several hit songs including the most recent, Alobam, Man of the Year, Anam Achikwanu, and Ghost Mode.
…And the people’s verdict:
It is neck-to-neck –Arinze Emmanuel, banker
This is another close call. Phyno and Olamide’s rapping skills at the moment could be described as neck-to-neck because both acts are tremendously and uniquely gifted. They have street credibility and the rare ability to inject native language in their tracks. So for me it is a tie.
It’s Phyno –Mary Timothy, student
Phyno is more exclusive and original and I find his raps more interesting than Olamide’s. Olamide is also good no doubt but not as good as Phyno.
It is a tie –Johnbosco Thomas, businessman
Every artiste has his or her own strengths and weaknesses. Olamide dances better than Phyno but Phyno flows more melodiously than Olamide. Also, both of them are gifted in the use of local dialect; but it seems like Phyno infuses his lines better. But the truth is that each of them has some edge over the other.
Phyno has no rival –Hon. Nelson Ibeawuchi
Phyno is as unique as his music style. Olamide is equally talented but Phyno has no rival in the Nigerian hip hop family as of today. He has redefined rap through free use of local dialect and his music style is as well very distinct from the bandwagon stuff that has become quite monotonous in the Nigerian music space.
I prefer Olamide –Debbie Okoduwa, undergraduate
Olamide is always a delight on stage. Off the stage, he appears so calm and if you haven’t watched him before, you could be tempted to write him off! But on stage, he is like a raging inferno. Phyno is not as hot on stage but the thing about him is that his presence somewhat electrifies his fans once he mounts the stage and that diminishes his poor dancing skills. So, they are both sophisticated rappers but I prefer Olamide.
Phyno makes me feel I’m Igbo – Jeremiah Adewale, economist
Music is like a two-edged sword and it breaks language barrier with ease. Remember the time when Congo music was the in-thing in Nigeria? Remember also when Makosa was a must-play at social gatherings and broadcast stations across the country? But the question is how many Nigerians who danced and sang those tunes understood their lines? That’s what vernacular rap music such as those of Olamide and Phyno do today, breaking the language barrier to soothe the hearts of rap music lovers. One thing about Phyno’s style is that most times, he makes me feel I’m Igbo. That is the honest truth; Phyno is a great artiste no doubt.
I doff my heart for Phyno – Nnamdi Ezenwelu, student
I doff my cap for Phyno aka Man of the Year. There is no basis for comparing Olamide to Phyno. If you listen to Alobam and a couple of his other hits, you would agree with me that the guy is loaded with talent. But Olamide’s raps don’t make much meaning.
I prefer Olamide –Oluseyi Lawal, undergraduate
Olamide is the better rapper. Phyno overuses Igbo vernacular in his songs and that makes them too boring for me. Also, Olamide has got more awards and endorsements than Phyno, which attests to the fact that even the corporate world shares my view that Olamide is the better rapper.
Phyno, best Nigerian rapper –Da Rhymes, wannabe rapper
Phyno is the best rapper in the country as we speak. I see him as Nigeria’s Snoop Doggy Dog. Just like Snoop, he raps with ease blending Igbo and English seamlessly. I am a rapper too and I have started learning Igbo language because of Phyno. Though, I have never met him one-on-one, he is my role model and mentor; I am really looking up to him.
Give it to Phyno –Gregory Oditah, businessman
Phyno has been the rave since 2013 and has an excellent record. As far as I’m concerned, nobody has come close enough to challenge him so I give it to him.
Come up with a better concept – Angel Iloha, accountant
What is the need for this campaign? If you find out the better rapper, what would be your gain? Would it make you a better journalist? What you are doing is needless and wasteful. I would advise you to think of a better concept so the violent rivalry you are silently breeding doesn’t consume you.
I love Phyno –Sandra Yetunde, undergraduate
Phyno is a very handsome guy and he always looks splendid both on stage and off the stage. He is a highly talented rapper and though, I don’t understand Igbo language, I still enjoy his songs more than Olamide’s.
Olamide is a better rapper –Juan Onyekere
I feel that Olamide does more meaningful songs than Phyno. I’m Igbo and I understand Phyno’s lines very well. Sometimes, he uses uncouth lines which I don’t find palatable at all. Since Olamide makes better songs, it’s obvious that his raps should as well be better off.
Phyno is exceptional –Tracy Igbonekwu, undergraduate
Phyno is exceptional inside out. He has the height, his costumes are superb, his swag is compelling and his rap style is unique. Since he stormed the Nigerian music scene, he has not looked back. His career has been on a trajectory to the top the way he is going.
Phyno too cold to hold, too hot to handle –Gabriel Olasukanmi, student
Phyno is becoming hotter and hotter by the day. In fact, he is too hot now that I don’t see any Nigerian hip hop act or rapper holding him back in the near future, not even Olamide or any other person. It is his time and we should just allow him to enjoy his reign.
Olamide is a great dancer –Lanre Alabi, financial expert
Most rappers are not known to be good dancers and the reason could be because of the nature of rap music. But Olamide is endowed with the advantage of being both a good rapper and a good dancer. That’s an edge he has over Phyno. Phyno is a fantastic artiste but when it comes to dance steps, he doesn’t count at all.
They are both great rappers – Wilson Uduak, businessman
I can’t really say which of them raps better and I’m not interested in comparing them. All I can say is that both of them are great rappers. Just like everything in life, nobody can please the world. There are Olamide’s songs that I do not like and the same goes for Phyno. But those ones that I do not like could be some other people’s favourite; that’s the irony of life.
Phyno, a ladies’ man –Queen Williams, undergraduate
Olamide is a talented artiste but he has great impediment in terms of height. Phyno is more of a ladies’ man but they are both creative.
They are both winners –Architect Rex Odusola
Both Olamide and Phyno are doing great and I consider them winners in their own rights. Each party is better in certain aspects. But what thrills me about them is that they have popularised what I call indigenous rap music. What they are doing today will even be more appreciated in future when the next generation of artistes begin to spring up. So, while they need all our encouragement to keep succeeding, I also advise them to keep improving themselves in order not to wane or run out of relevance.