The past year has seen a lot of our favourite artists, including the likes of Wizkid, Simi, Tiwa Savage and Davido, score thoroughly deserved hits — flooding our airwaves with some of the best afropop songs we’ve had in a really long time.
Sadly, there were also a bunch of other fantastic songs that, due to negligence, poor timing or unappreciative listeners, quietly slipped through the cracks, and never became the monster hits they clearly deserved to be.
So, from Burna Boy's incredible "Streets Of Africa" to Seyi Shay's infectious "Bia" to Wizkid and Ty Dolla $ign's fantastic "Highgrade", here are our picks for nine of the best songs from the past year that definitely deserved better.
Tekno ft. Wizkid — "Mama"
While it's shocking that a collaboration between two of the biggest afropop stars working today didn't utterly dominate the airwaves, we'll have to blame it on Tekno, who simply didn't push the fantastic song hard enough. We really can't figure out why it never got even a cheap music video.
Davido — "Like Dat"
Unfortunately, Davido's utterly fantastic "Like Dat", which got released only two weeks after the afropop star had dropped "Fia", ended up getting drowned out by the furious wave of his other hits. It's especially sad because the party-starter ranks among Davido's best-ever songs .
Seyi Shay — "Bia"
Before 2017 ran out, Seyi Shay dropped "Bia" — her best single since "Yolo Yolo" — but for whatever reason, it didn't get any attention at all. While Clarence Peters' scattershot video certainly didn't do it any favours, the song should have still performed a whole lot better than it did.
Burna Boy — "Streets Of Africa"
Although it didn't get nearly as much attention as "Heaven's Gate" and "Sekkle Down", the trap-tinged "Streets Of Africa" was actually the single that tipped us off to just how fantastic Burna Boy's magnum opus, Outside was going to be. We really wish it, not "Devil In California", had gotten a video.
Wizkid ft. Ty Dolla $ign — "Highgrade"
A couple months ago, following the release of "Soco", Wizkid simultaneously dumped three solid singles on his SoundCloud page, and the strongest of the surprise releases, the fantastic Ty Dolla $ign-assisted "Highgrade", ended up getting unfairly lost in the shuffle.
Phyno ft. Kranium — "One Chance"
Phyno has been one of the most consistent artists in the Nigerian music industry for a while now, but it seems people only pay attention to him when he collaborates with Olamide. That's probably why his fantastic Kranium-aided banger, "One Chance" got entirely ignored.
Tiwa Savage — "Sugarcane"
Any Sugarcane single that followed Tiwa Savage's Wizkid-assisted "Ma Lo" was bound to get drowned out by the sheer power of that song. Too bad it had to be the EP's standout title track, which even got a sweet and colourful video from Meji Alabi. What a sad waste of a perfectly good bop!
Adekunle Gold — "Money"
Although Adekunle Gold's About 30 era is just as solid as his Gold era, his singles from this album simply haven't performed nearly as well. Even the exceptional "Money", which felt like a perfect sequel to his 2016 hit, "Pick Up", didn't get half as much love as it clearly deserved.
Niniola — "Oyin"
While Niniola's two biggest singles, "Maradona" and "Sicker" were produced by the talented Sarz, the third single we got from the pairing, the stellar r&b-influenced "Oyin", didn't have as much luck — probably because it wasn't the typical afro-house banger fans had come to expect.