EletiofeRanking the Headies Next Rated Category since its inception

Ranking the Headies Next Rated Category since its inception

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For over a decade, the Headies Next Rated prize has become one of the most sought-after, highly anticipated, keenly contested, and polarizing Headies Category.

Wizkid, Olamide, Tiwa Savage, Ice Prince

The Next Rated Prize holds significant value in that it serves as a recognition for a set of upcoming artists who are being endorsed for greater things in the future.

In ranking the set of Next Rated classes since the creation of the award in 2006, factors that will be considered include success, impact, and longevity.

This is a year-on-year ranking of the Headies Next Rated category in descending order.

Nominated for the 2007 Headies Next Rated prize was Kage, Naeto C, Overdose, Lawal Olumo, C-Mion, Gino, and Blaise.

Overdose took home the award beating fellow favorite Naeto C.

Impact, Success, and Longevity

From the 2007 class, only Naeto C can be said to have achieved considerable success, His career-defining album ‘The Super C Season.’ In terms of impact, Naeto C is amongst the rappers who redefine rap in Nigeria by bringing the flare and swagger that took it from hardcore to a more subtle and urban sound.

Of the other nominees, Overdose and Gino enjoyed some level of success however, it was short-lived. The other nominees didn’t achieve any notable success and it will take a very curious reader to dig out something about their music. This consequently ranks them bottom of the list.

Omawumi, YQ, Kel, D'jnee

The class of 2009 comprises YQ, MP, Omawumi, Kel, and D’jniee.

Omawumi pipped the other nominees to the award becoming the second woman to win the award. A feat that has not been repeated.

Impact, Success, and Longevity

Aside from Omawumi and YQ the other nominees didn’t quite have much of a career.

Omawumi will go on to become an established act enjoying success and recognition. YQ also hung around for a while. However, following the criteria, the 2009 class is a disappointing one and Omawumi’s success and longevity is the only reason they aren’t bottom of the list.

Skuki, Jesse Jagz, Mo'cehddah, General Pype, D'Prince

The nominees for the 2010 Next Rated award were General Pype, Skuki, Mo’Cheddah, Jesse Jagz, and D’Prince.

Skuki took home the award-winning Mo’Cheddah and Jesse Jagz who were all favorites.

Impact, Success, and Longevity

General Pype recorded a decent level of success with his single ‘Born Champion’ gaining wide acclaim. D’Prince also had a nice run from 2010 to 2013 with singles ‘Give It to me’ and ‘Banana.’

Similarly, Skuki also recorded some success and Jesse Jagz went on to become one of Nigeria’s top rappers albeit with moderate success.

From the class of 2010, Mo’Cheddah appeared to be the artist destined for superstardom but her career quickly petered out after barely two years at the top.

This lack of convincing success and the short nature of their time in the spotlight places them third from the bottom.

Davido, Eva Alordia, Chuddy K, Priaze

The nominees for the 2012 Next Rated Award were Eva Alordiah, Davido, Chuddy K, and Praiz.

Chuddy K was later disqualified after it was revealed he had previously released an album. As expected, Davido took home the award with his hit single ‘Dami Duro.’

Impact, Success, and Longevity

Aside from Davido who is one of Africa’s biggest ever artists, the other nominees didn’t quite achieve much success.

Eva Alordia enjoyed some time in the spotlight but her career was short-lived and uneventful. Similarly, Praiz enjoyed some success but his time in the spotlight was short-lived.

Safe for Davido, the class of 2012 didn’t quite live up to the endorsement.

Mr Eazi, YCee, Aramide, Humblesmith, Tekno

Nominated for the Headies 2016 Next Rated award were Ycee, Humblesmith, Tekno, Mr Eazi, and Aramide.

Tekno was later disqualified for the award after he displayed a reluctance to partake in it. Mr Eazi who was a favorite took home the award as most fans expected.

Impact, Success, and Longevity

The winner Mr Eazi is credited for being one of the artists who slowed down the tempo of Nigerian songs. Since his nomination, Mr Eazi has enjoyed both domestic successes.

Ycee also enjoyed success in the limelight but his career hasn’t soared as many expected. Humblesmith enjoyed success with his single ‘Osinachi’ and that’s all there’s to his career. Aramide has established herself as one of Nigeria’s top vocalists and alternative acts but she has so far struggled to crack the mainstream.

Mayorkun, Maleek Berry, Zoro, Dice Ailes, Johnny Drille

The nominees for the 2018 Headies Next Rated award were Mayorkun, Maleek Berry, Dice Ailes, Johnny Drille, and Zoro.

Mayorkun who was the clear favorite took home the award in what many agreed was well deserved.

Impact, Success, and Longevity

The class of 2018 has gone on to have a decent career with Mayorkun the winner standing out. Both Maleek Berry and Dice Ailes have enjoyed some level of success albeit their time in the spotlight has been inconsistent.

Johnny Drille has emerged as one of Nigeria’s best male vocalists while Zoro is one of the foremost rappers from the East.

Omah Lay, Oxlade, Tems, Bella Shmurda

The nominee for the Headies Next Rated class of 2020 was Omah Lay, Bella Shmurda, Oxlade, and Tems.

Omah Lay who was the fan-favorite took home the award.

Impact, Success, and Longevity

Still in the early days of their careers, the class of 2020 has so far shown promise. Omah Lay has established himself as one of Nigeria’s most exciting and promising talents.

Tems has enjoyed huge international success becoming the only Nigerian artist with two RIAA Platinum plaques.

Bella Shmurda is a recognizable name in Nigeria’s street hop and his music has earned him the admiration and love of numerous fans. Oxlade has established himself as one of Nigeria’s finest pop stars with a lot of promise.

Reekado Banks, Lil Kesh, Kizz Daniel, Cynthia Morgan, Korede Bello

BY far the most controversial Next Rated set, the 2015 Headies Next Rated Prize was contested by Cynthia Morgan, Korede Bello, Reekado Banks, Kizz Daniel, and Lil Kesh.

The award was won by Reekado Banks on a night that was marred by controversy.

Impact, Success, and Longevity

Nigerians had high expectations from the greatly talented class of 2015. Some of the artists were able to leave up to the expectations while others suffered a painful decline.

Since the award, Kizz Daniel and Reekado Banks have enjoyed success and time in the mainstream.

Cynthia Morgan was on an ascension before her career nosedived and she was never able to make a comeback. Similarly, Korede Bello enjoyed some time in the limelight before his career dipped.

Lil Kesh enjoyed huge success during a fine run but suffered a painful decline. However, he has been able to make a comeback although he hasn’t quite hit the level he use to be at.

Rema, Fireboy, Joeboy, Lyta, Victor AD

The 2019 Headies Next Rated award had Rema, Lyta, Victor AD, Fireboy DML, Joeboy, and Zlatan Ibile vying to take home the prize.

Zlatan refused to partake in the award due to his belief that he was bigger than the category. The award was won by Rema who became the third Don Jazzy artist to win the award.

Impact, Success, and Longevity

The Headies Next Rated class of 2019 has gone on to achieve commendable success with Rema and Fireboy leading the pack.

Fireboy and Rema have become Nigerian superstars who look set and ready to take Afrobeats to the next level. And Joeboy has emerged as an exciting talent who seems destined for the top.

Victor AD and Lyta have enjoyed moderate success but they have not been able to measure up to the level of their fellow nominees.

Patoranking, Runtown, Yemi Alade, Skales, Orezi

The 2014 Headies Next Rated Nominees were Runtown, Orezi, Patoranking, Skales, and Yemi Alade.

Patoranking won the three-horse race between himself, Runtown, and Yemi Alade.

Impact, Success, and Longevity

In terms of impact, success, and longevity the class of 2014 is one of the most successful Next Rated Class.

Yemi Alade and Patoranking are both Nigerian and continental music forces. They have achieved great success and after 7 years, they are still at the top of the game.

Runtown is one of Nigeria’s most talented artists and since being nominated for the Next Rated prize, he has enjoyed great success and fame.

Skales and Orezi also enjoyed time in the limelight albeit and they enjoyed a decent level of success before their careers began declining.

Sean Tizzle Burna Boy, Phyno, Seyi Shey, Dammy Krane

The 2013 Headies Next Rated award was contested by Burna Boy, Dammy Krane, Phyno, Sean Tizzle, and Seyi Shey.

The award was won by Sean Tizzle who defeated Favorite Burna Boy.

Impact, Success, and Longevity

The Next Rated class of 2013 all went on to achieve varying levels of success with Burna Boy and Phyno standing out.

Burna Boy enjoyed popularity and his fame soared with his 2018 release ‘YE.’ Ever since, Burna Boy has gone on to achieve international fame and become the first Afrobeats act to win a Grammy.

Phyno has also established himself as one of Nigeria’s biggest rappers and his impact on Igbo rap cannot be overemphasized.

Seyi Shay and Sean Tizzle enjoyed the mainstream success that lasted a couple of years before their careers dipped. And out of the 2013 class, Dami Krane is the only nominee whose career didn’t amount to much.

Wande Coal, MI Abaga, Banky W,  GT The Guiterman

The nominees for the 2008 Headies Next Rated award were Banky W, Wande Coal, GT The Guitarman, M.I, and Cyrus da Virus.

Wande Coal took home the award after enjoying an electrifying run.

Impact, Success, and Longevity

In terms of impact, success, and longevity the Headies Next Rated class of 2008 has left an indelible mark on the Nigerian music industry.

Wande Coal has become a forerunner of contemporary Afrobeats sound and achieving notable success in the process. He has inspired some of the biggest artists such as Wizkid, Fireboy, Reekado Banks, and Teni, amongst many more.

MI will go on to become one of Nigeria’s greatest-ever rappers with a significant impact on the Nigerian music industry. Banky-W also went on to become a forerunner for RnB in Nigeria before becoming a label boss that produced Wizkid.

Although GT The Guitarman and Cyrus da Virus had way below-average careers, it doesn’t take away from the success, impact, and longevity of the 2008 Next Rated class.

Wizkid, Olamide, Tiwa Savage, Ice Prince

The nominees for the 2011 Headies Next Rated were Wizkid, Ice Prince, Tiwa Savage, and Olamide.

Wizkid won what was undoubtedly the most competitive Next Rated category in Headies history.

Impact, Success, and Longevity

Wizkid, Olamide, and Tiwa Savage since their nominations have gone on to become one of the biggest names in Nigerian and African music.

Their success, impact, and longevity cannot be debated nor does it require proof.

Ice Prince also went on to become one of the biggest rappers and artists from Nigeria and Africa. At his peak, Ice Prince was nominated for the BET Awards and he was perhaps the leading Nigerian artist between 2012 to 2013. Although his career didn’t enjoy the longevity of other nominees from the 2011 Next Rated class, Ice Prince was nevertheless a huge success.

The success, impact, and longevity of the 2011 class are unparallel and that’s why they are the greatest Next Rated Class in Headies history.

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