If there’s one thing we 90s babies have heard aplenty is the fact that we’re gradually becoming old. Our responsibilities tell us but so do our memories. These memories might not all be pleasant but we can all agree that times were better then, as we lived in a world where knowledge of the latest lyric lines and not shiny jewelry or ice was all that was required to be considered cool and in vogue. In honour of children’s day and to continue to keep our inner child bright-eyed and alive, here are 15 Nigerian throwback songs from the noughties, 2000 to 2009, that remind us of times of our childhood.
1. Why Me- D’banj
If you don’t have active memories of screaming “File ah, she no gree!” And the entire lines of the song with possibly even more vim than the singer, D’banj, then this list would be more of a fun educational trip and not a nostalgic one. For 90s babies, this 2006 released song was the signal of a good party time at a friend’s birthday or in the classroom.
2. Close to You- Mo’Hits
Anytime this Mo’Hits crew song dropped, girls everywhere dedicated their waists to whining off the hook, in appreciation of the frenetic beats. And boys whipped out their coolest party-scatter moves.
Released in 2009, Close to You was everybody’s jam even if most of us were yet to feel such longing for another.
3. Kiss Your Hand rmx- R2Bees ft. Wande Coal
Wande Coal’s debut project Mushin to Mo’Hits is regarded a classic by every 90s kid. This is a status it earned due to the quality of songs on the album. Quiet a number became hits but none was as seismic as the remix to Kiss Your Hand with Ghanaian group, R2Bees.
Like jollof rice, this song brought Ghana and Nigeria together in a refreshing way and had us chanting every word of the record.
4. Yahooze- Olu Maintain
A good number of us may have been too naive to understand the source of the wealth Olu Maintain sang about it in his 2007 hit, Yahooze, but we definitely knew the song was a jam.
And so we’d perfected our two-fingers-in-the-air move, adding as much ‘effizi’ as we could in a bid to be crowned best dancer.
5. L’ori Le- X Project
This song has never failed to re-ignite excitement and energy into the bodies of dancers and party going 90s babies since it dropped in 2008.
Whenever the heavy synth-infused trumpet instrumentals come on, even till date, it officially becomes the time to show up and show out your Alanta skills while sprinkling in some upper body action as well.
6. Olufunmi- Styl Plus
A pop rager filled with a lovers’ angst we didn’t know anything about. But we definitely didn’t let this stop us from singing wholeheartedly to the song and even feeling the feels while in the process.
It’s safe to say Stylplus with this 2003 banger, gave many of us a soft introduction into the rollercoaster emotion that is love.
7. Nfana Ibaga- 2Baba, formerly 2Face
2Baba, who was then known as 2Face, started this song’s hook with the lines “Wake up in the morning and I stretch up my feet, say a thank you prayer and I brush up my teeth” and that was all we needed to make the song into the soundtrack of our every waking moment as well as the spark to our dreams and ambitions. This was also everyone’s introduction to 2Face as he broke out in 2014 with this song before going on to give us even greater hits.
8. Mr President- African China
Well before the advent of legwork movements like shaku shaku and zanku, a galala wave had swept the nation and had made people put in rhythmic legwork to tracks of reggae and dancehall.
One of such tracks we’d done the galala to then is African China’s thought-evoking, socially-conscious, Mr President. Sadly despite the song being 15 years old, it still captures the poor state of the country. So while we 90s babies might now have rusty galala, we make sure to sing our hearts out as energetically as any galala move, to this record.
9. Kerewa- Zule Zoo
This is one of the songs where everyone has a personal memory of singing along to the explicit and colourful lyrics and afterward suffering some African-parent given punishment for daring to sing such.
Ironically, the theme wasn’t about sex but the now amplified topic of rape. A realisation many of us were then too naive to make back in 2005 when it was a hit.
10. Fire on the Mountain- Asa
Indeed Asa’s breakout song is one we enjoyed but now serves to remind us of the poor state things have continued to be in since 2007 when it was released and even before.
But beyond the obvious message of the song that is yet to be heeded, lies for the 90s baby, tonnes of happy memories that reminds us of our introduction to the ethereal melodies of Asa.
11. Ijoya- Weird MC
It started off with upbeat hip-hop beats that made you want to get up and do the one-two step or just step any which way as Weird MC edged the listener on with the lines “It’s time to show the beautiful people how to get down.”
Hearing that song while watching or remembering the novel and animated video was all we needed then to feel alive. In addition, Weird MC’s seemingly queer persona which was unusual then in 2006, was an undying topic for discussion in classrooms nationwide.
12. Omoge Mi- P-Square
This song, will go down the history books and the hallway of Nigerian songs as one that made the 90s babies feel the feels about being betrayed by a lover back when we didn’t even have a grasp on the concept of romantic connections.
For this 2005 romantic hit, we morphed from carefree kids to love torn ones, singing our hearts out about the lover that had a secret affair with our best friend.
13. Mathematics- Sound Sultan
Since this list is a compilation of songs 90s babies collectively sang along to in classrooms, it’s ironic that this song starts off with a teacher addressing his pupils. The nostalgia then gets to a all time high when Sound Sultan begins to sing the solutions to the countries problem and we remember easier times some 16 years back when the exchange rate was not our cup of tea.
14. Mr Lecturer- Eedris Abdulkareem
Back then, several songs served to pass commentary on some societal ills. Sung in 2014, this was one of them as Eedris told the stort of an unethical lecturer harassing a helpless female student.
So when the BBC Sex for Grades documentary aired last year, we were reminded of this song and the issue of sexual harassment really came full circle for a lot of 90s kids.
15. Action Film- MI
2010 goes beyond the 2000s decade but it was a phenomenal year in the history of Nigerian music as it gave rise to a lot of breakout stars who are now the superstars of today.
MI Abaga is one of such as he hit the scene with his game-changing take on hip-hop and subsequently created a blueprint with which rap music was able to make a ground-shaking comeback.
Rap music seems to be on its way to a powerful revival and to complete the cycle of life, it is the 90s babies of then that are now holding the scene down with a mix of oldies cadence and new-school sonics.
Dear 90s baby, which of these Nigerian throwback songs were your absolute jam back in the day? Share all about it with us in the comments section. And cheers to keeping your inner child alive.