Since its emergence in the Bronx in the early 1970s, hip hop has grown from a local movement to a global phenomenon, influencing fashion, language and lifestyle. It has given a voice to the voiceless and brought diverse communities together.
Chocolate City says the release of the cypher honours the genre’s legacy by showcasing the best of Nigerian hip hop and blending topical conversations articulated through brilliant wordplay and effusive lyrics.
“From the days of MI’s groundbreaking hits to the current era of Blaqbonez, we have not only witnessed but also shaped the evolution of this genre in Nigeria,” Chocolate City Music CEO Abuchi Peter Ugwu said. “This cypher celebrates that legacy and our ongoing commitment to hip hop.”
Chocolate City vice-president of music Aibee Abidoye added: “Through this cypher, we’re weaving the past, present and future of Nigerian hip hop around music that fans will enjoy. ‘Chocolate City Cypher’ showcases our contribution to the genre and reminds us of its power to voice societal narratives. We’re proud to be a driving force in this journey.”
Chocolate City’s impact on Nigerian hip hop can be traced back to the late 2000s, starting with MI Abaga’s ‘Safe’ remix, which the company credits for “revolutionising the industry”.
“MI’s lyrical prowess and storytelling set a new standard in the Nigerian music scene, paving the way for future hip hop artists to thrive. MI would go on to win [at] the MTV Africa Music Awards as Best New Act in 2008 and numerous other awards for his hip hop style,” the label said.
The introduction of the Choc Boiz – a crew comprising MI, Jesse Jagz and Ice Prince – ushered in a new era, with the trio receiving critical acclaim for their unique fusion of Afrobeats and contemporary hip hop.
Chocolate City has also continued to shape the careers of respected names in Nigerian hip hop culture. It has provided a platform for rappers like Loose Kaynon, AQ, Pryse, Candy Bleakz and Blaqbonez. To date, the label has produced some 25 hip hop albums.
Watch the video for ‘Chocolate City Cypher’ below: