In the mid-2000s, Nigerian pop sound was finding its footing after an era majorly defined by Hip-Hop in many forms. Around this time, even R&B was creating hits in the Nigerian mainstream. By 2007, Agege, Lagos was a breeding ground for vibrant sounds and those sound quickly found their way to radio.
What followed was True Story by Port Harcourt-born, Bayelsa Indigene, Timaya – an album that was the earliest progeny of modern Nigerian pop. The album was wholly produced by his now estranged collaborator, K-Solo. Its cover was like the face of ‘the struggle’ in South-South Nigeria.
While contemporary Nigerian pop mostly found its actual footing that lasted the ensuing decade (2010s) around 2008, the seeds were already planted in 2007 and things never remained the same.
The rise of contemporary Nigerian pop of 2008 is mostly credited to Mo’Hits albums, Curriculum Vitae and The Entertainer by D’Banj (as progeny for Wande Coal‘s Mushin To Mo’Hits). However, something else was bubbling on the street front. He was the former Faze follower named, Terry G. He could not just produce, he had a voice, an infectious personality and an alluring nigh intoxicating personality.
While he had made hits around 2007, 2008 was the year which he actually blew up into relevance. Major acts like Timaya, 2Shotz and more sought his sonic expertise for hits and he duly delivered for them. On the other hand, K Solo also produced ‘Igboro Ti Daru’ for Klever Jay and his run continued. Nigerians danced, but they did not realize the history they were witnessing.
In real time, we saw the pop modern pop version of a Nigerian street sound. Looking back, that was shepeteri 1.0 and we did not even realize. Over the next few years, K Solo and Terry G marked their importance to the Nigerian soundscape with hit after hit. While Terry G transcended the realms of a producer to become a superstar, K Solo did his best job behind the scenes.
Soundclash: Terry G vs K Solo
At 10 pm on April 8, 2020, the two young veterans squared off in the latest battle between music producers and hitmakers. Their face-off was named ‘sound clash’ – in line with what Leriq and Chopstix named theirs. It was the fourth installment in the Instagram Live-based celebration of Nigerian music producers.
What started with Sarz and Shizzi went to Pheelz and Masterkraft, Rexxie and Kel P, Leriq and Chopstix and now Terry G and his friend, K Solo. While viewership only peaked at a humble 1,654-strong audience, celebrities like Reminisce, Durella, Clever Jay, Wizkid, MI Abaga and more turned up for both men.
At 10 pm, K Solo was on his Instagram Live playing Terry G‘s latest single, ‘Adura‘ which features Skiibii. It was an early indication of the solid relationship between him and his adversary for the night, Terry G. Stuck in London with his family – his wife and two kids, he took to his Instagram live around 10:10 pm without realizing he only had to join K Solo‘s live.
When Terry G finally showed up, K Solo‘s face lit up with the grin of a 5-year-old seeing his mother after school hours. The first words that emanated from his mouth were humorous Yoruba curses as friends do in Lagos. Terry G responded to the street version of Lagos pleasantries. Before they actually started, K Solo then honoured Adekunle Gold by playing, ‘Jore.’
Wielding his famous church bell, Terry G rang it as the event was about to commence and just after K Solo read out the rules, “One minute per song…” The battle went underway and one after another, Terry G and K Solo opened a can of nostalgic sardines and fed the multitude of starving individuals stuck on the video and desperately clawing away at comments.
The imagery of the night was one of long-formed camaraderie and mutual respect albeit brotherhood between Terry G and K Solo. One party celebrated the biggest hits from the other party.
At some point, K Solo got on his feet to perform the alanta when Terry G played certain hits. Other times, it was Terry G taking a step back from his laptop screen to dance while chocking his blunt between his left index and middle fingers.
Make no mistake, this was no competition. This was just two friends enjoying the great fruits of their respective runs as premier music makers for an entire country and an entire generation. In the middle of it all, K Solo battled terrible Nigerian network. Terry G survived a dying laptop and a seeming power outage in London, England as well as his own shortened attention span.
The laidback approach to the event also bored fans. It made both music makers so comfortable with each other that they repeated song after song. K Solo repeated ‘Kokoroko’ by Kefee and Timaya three times. He also played ‘Dem Mama’ and ‘Plantain Boy’ by Timaya twice respectively. For Terry G, he played his 2009 hit, ‘Sangalow’ and his feature on ‘Crazically Fit’ by Tonto Dikeh twice respectively.
It got to a point, the event went out the window and viewer enthusiasm with it. Even worse, Terry G attempted to play ‘One By One’ by Side One while K Solo was still playing ‘My Heart’ by Anogiri. The policy for each producer to play two songs each also backfired spectacularly. One producer could end up playing one song while the other party played three. Equally, Terry G didn’t play over five of his biggest hits.
This event adds to the notion that competition is not always a bad thing. Sometimes, competition is the difference between excellence of conduct and the laidback nature of a beautiful, yet drab affair. Nonetheless, the biggest achievement of the night was how the music basically made millennials realize that we were not young anymore.
Some of the songs played were made 10 years ago when we were in the University. At the same time, the event put a rumpled and smelly sock in the mouth of those ‘Naira Marley over Terry G‘ conversations that surfaced on Twitter NG circa December 2019. In the end, the biggest take from the night was that music moves probably more than any other art form.
It’s here, it has been here and it will remain here. Shout-out to Terry G and K Solo – the sonic architects of a defining time in Nigerian pop culture.
- Kefee, Timaya – Kokoroko
- S’ope Ti E
- Klever Jay – Igboro Ti Daru
- Ruggedman and Flavour – Ebemsi
- Charly Boy – Ninja Bike
- Klever Jay – Koni Koni Love
- Banky W
- Timaya – Plantain Boy
- Klever Jay, DaGrin – Igboro Ti Daru (Remix)
- KC Presh – Gingah Ur Swaggah (K Solo said Terry G inspired this song)
- Paul Play – Angel of My Life
- Timaya – Dem Mama
- Lace, Yemi Alade – Sebiwo (Remix)
- Timaya – Yankuluya
- Spydaman, Timaya – Make Una Dance
- Timaya – Ogologomma
- Timaya – If To Say
- Slizzy E – Edo Music Industry
- Timaya – God I Beg
- Timaya – I’m A Ruler
- Durella, Patoranking, Lord of Ajasa – Expire
- Durella – Don’t Go Funny
- Anogiri – My Heart
- Illbliss, Terry G – Enuf Space
- Tonto Dikeh, Terry G – Crazically Fit
- 2Shotz, Terry G – Kpef Dey Go
- Terry G, Reminisce – BLOOD
- Terry G
- AY.COM, Terry G – Passy Me Your Love
- Terry G – Change Am
- Terry G – Sexy Lady
- Terry G
- Jaywon, Terry G – Gbon Gbon
- Terry G –
- Timaya, Terry G – God You Are Too Much
- Terry G – Nagode
- Terry G – My Lord
- Terry G – Ori
- Terry G
- Terry G – Person Pikin
- Terry G – Sangalow
- Terry G – Pull Off
- Terry G – Bregedige
- Terry G – Trowey Pt 2
- Terry G, House of Ginjah – Free Madness Pt. 3
- Side One – One By One