A Deep Dive Into Afrobeats Wildcards (2000-22)

The concept of wildcards in Afrobeat may have just made it into mainstream consciousness very recently, but a deep dive into the Nigerian music space in the last few decades have shown that acts like this have constantly shown up on the scene, and made impact in the best way they knew how to.

Have you ever engaged in a game of cards with a couple of friends and find yourself being targeted by everyone. Then you pull this one card from the deck that can change EVERYTHING in your favor and puts you in control, this card is called a WILD CARD.

This one card gives you the confidence to win, and when you work in the music industry there are some wildcards that have brought this same confidence and even more energy into the music business.

Check out these famous wildcards in the Nigerian music scene so far;

Kizz Daniel

Kizz Daniel is famous for being one of the biggest wildcards the Nigerian Afrobeat scene has fostered. His breakout single “Woju ” was so big and impactful that with one track, Kizz Daniel solidified both his name and that of his former label; G-Worldwide. He has since gone on to drop other successful projects including a recent EP, backed by Empire.

Chuddy K – Go Gaga

Chuddy made a splashy debut with Go Gaga in 2011 with Go Gaga, immediately registering his sound as rival to Uber talented Wande Coal’s and making crazy rounds across radio and tv.

Eventually, Chuddy K couldn’t sustain the momentum, alluding to his failure as a result of Mavin record boss, Don Jazzy paying radio stations to stop playing his songs for sounding like Wande Coal.

LoJay – Monalisa

In 2020, Lojay went from being a nobody to being a collaborator on one of the biggest territorial projects of the year alongside ace Producer Sarz.

His sleeper-turned-monster hit ‘Monalisa’ went crazy across streaming platforms across Africa, giving the young wildcard the impactful debut he needed.

He has since put the game under ‘Locke & Key’ following his heavyweight debut, UK Headliner and continental tours.

Baby Boy AV – Big Thug Boys

Adindu Victor, popularly known as AV or BabyboyAV was one of the breakout acts of 2021, with one of the biggest debuts ever for a Nigerian artist. He has since gone on to drop one other incredible jam; Confessions which is equally doing incredible numbers across Africa.

AV is definitely one of the youngest Afropop influences to watch out for all over Africa.

Portable (Dr Zeh)

A mention of 2021 wildcards would have been incomplete without Portable Baeby, also known as Dr Zeh, the Zazuu Zeh crooner who earned the money maker title last December with his massive year closer, Zazuu Zehh, a collaboration with Poco Lee, & Olamide.

Following his year closer, he has since gone on to dominate social media in his own way, and currently on a tour of the UK.

Yemi Alade – Johnny

When Yemi Alade burst into the scene with relatively unknown Efizzy Entertainment and went straight to earn a continental hit song; Johnny, and grew to become one of the most watched YouTube videos across Africa, it was clear the young lady was made for greater things.


Durella was a wildcard from the early D’Banj/Wande Coal era of the Nigerian music scene. The super talented singer-rapper branded himself as a better version of D’Banj, consistently biting off his style and flow structure. He eventually burned out.

XPee – (Calabar Loni Ishan, Ghana Loni Furo)

XPee is another wildcard, albeit from the Jahbless/Reminisce era. He had a hit song Calabar Loni Ishan, which was eventually buoyed with the presence of other heavy weight rappers like Olamide, Skales & Reminisce.

Although XP also eventually burned out, that was such a good time for hip hop in Nigeria.

Victor AD

In 2018/2019, the sheer power and uniqueness of Victor AD’s vocals not only solidified him as a talent to watch out for, but also crafted a monster hit for South-South rapper, Erigga also known as Eri baba who had previously tried out numerous strategies to hit mainstream success including featuring on a heavy weight track with famous indigenous rapper, Olamide.

TY Bello – The Land Is Green.

TY Bello’s multi talents are undeniably outstanding, having crafted a niche for herself both in the photography and music space.

Her evergreen classic hit song, The Land Is Green is one that has served as her mainstay in the music industry despite her inability to spurn another nationwide hit until a recent collaboration project with world famous gospel singer, Tope Alabi.

Written by AfrobeatsMerije.

Bisi-Taiwo Chukwumerije is a blood-bound Nigerian writer & Music Executive. Tweet your favourite, random, mind-boggling songs, EPs, LPs, Albums, & music projects to him; @AfrobeatsMerije

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