Nigerian hip hop has indeed come a long way, but little or nothing has been documented about the origin of hip hop in Nigeria. There is very little online about the men who pioneered the music genre that has become one of the most popular in the country.
Among the few names that come to mind when we think of the earliest rap artistes in Nigeria are the duo of Okechukwu Azike and Pretty Okafor; better known as “Junior and Pretty”.
Junior and Pretty
At a time when most artistes were copying the American hip hop culture, the duo stood out by popularizing their unique style of rap, which was animated and delivered in Pidgin English. They thrilled Nigerians with all-timers like “Monica” and “Bolanle” from their album, “Fufu Flavour”, released in 1991. These songs became some of the biggest hits of the ’90s to come out of Nigeria, enjoying massive airplay.
Junior and Pretty produced their hit songs under the Storm Productions label, now Storm Records, and were the toast of every party in the mid ’90s, performing in shows around the continent.
Unfortunately, the group was brought to a halt with the news of Junior’s death following a motorcycle accident. The only surviving member of the group is currently an events consultant based in Lagos and has been an active executive of the Performing Musicians Employers Association of Nigeria (PMAN).
Featured image source: tooXclusive
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