Playbinn Top 20 projects of 2023

Playbinn Presents – Top 20 projects of 2023

As I reminisce about the bygone year, 2023 emerges as a truly special chapter in my journey. It marked the inception of a pursuit close to my heart – the world of music and music videos. In a country like Nigeria, where talent abounds in abundance, sticking to one artist or talent for an entire year can be quite a challenge.

Every month seemed to usher in a new “best artist,” as the spotlight danced from one exceptional talent to another. This, however, does not diminish the fact that each artist dropped music that we, can proudly celebrate.

Now, let’s delve into a curated selection of Playbinn’s favorite projects from the musical tapestry of 2023. Crafting this list was a delightful journey, and it brings me immense joy to share it with you. Whether you revisit it next year or a decade later, these projects will forever be etched as classics in the history of Nigerian music.

Written byEMSI LUCKY

20) Arlene Fl – First and foremost

 

Scrolling through a bunch of releases last year, I discovered this artist through her debut album titled First & Foremost! 

Whenever I stumble upon a female hip-hop artist who does the rap thing tremendously, I do not hesitate to show my support!

This is an album that will always be revisited by the platform as one of its all-time favorites. As always, I`d love to give you a little sneak behind the curtains on the standouts of this project! They are FINESSE, & ENERGY 

We can always expect so much more more in this year from Arlene Fl

Hop in and catch a vibe right now!

19) Crayon – Trench to triumph 

 

We cannot talk of 2023 without mentioning Crayon of course! Before the full album dropped, Crayon teased listeners with the standout single ‘ Ijo (Laba Laba)’ which became a favorite street anthem for a while.

One remarkable aspect of Crayon’s artistry is his unwavering encouragement to the hustlers. Through the lyrics of his songs, he seamlessly incorporates messages of resilience and triumph, providing a musical pep talk for those navigating the trenches of life. It’s more than just creating music; it’s about uplifting spirits and inspiring others on their journeys.

‘Trench to Triumph’ is not just a classic in the eyes of the audience; Crayon himself affirms that it stands among his best projects ever. This speaks volumes about the artist’s confidence in the impact and quality of the album. As we reflect on the sonic journey paved by ‘Trench to Triumph,’ it becomes apparent that Crayon has not only created an album but an enduring memory. The title echoes in our minds, reminding us of the resilience, determination, and eventual triumph encapsulated within its tracks.

18) Shallipoppi – Presido la pluto

The release of Shallipoppi’s album, ‘Presido la Pluto,’ was not without its fair share of controversies and mixed receptions. Many voices chimed in, dismissing it as trash, yet surprisingly, the album managed to amass an impressive number of streams. The plot thickened when Shallipoppi’s ‘Spotify Wrapped’ came into play, altering the narrative for those who had criticized the project by suggesting the presence of fake streams. Setting aside the controversies, delving into the essence of the album reveals a few words that aptly capture its uniqueness.

First and foremost, the vibe of ‘Presido la Pluto’ is unparalleled. Shallipoppi effortlessly steps into the recording booth, immerses himself in the beat, and delivers a hard-hitting result. The album emanates a carefree vibe, resonating with listeners who seek solace in music that brings joy without the burden of unnecessary complexity. The undeniable truth is that people cling to what makes them happy, and Shallipoppi’s album manages to carve its niche in this regard. Beyond its controversy-laden journey, what makes ‘Presido la Pluto’ a classic is its role in solidifying Shallipoppi’s position in the landscape of Nigerian music. Hop in! It`s a classic

17) Ayox – last son of a widow

 

Discovered this artist through his hit track ‘Walking Dead’ which took an unexpected turn in its journey to recognition. If you recall, the uncanny resemblance between in vocal timbre between Ayox and Mohbad left listeners baffled, with many initially assuming it was Mohbad behind the mic.

Ayox wrote on Ig “This is my Debut Project as an artist and I’ve waited for 7years to share this masterpiece with the world. The Ep is basically about me , my story , my early life and experiences. It’s a project that speaks about Life and Death cause those are the two things that shaped me into the kind of person i am today.

It’s a body of work filled with emotions, honesty, love, vulnerability and deep thoughts”.

This project will always be remembered as one which helped a lot of people through that difficult phase and it is only encouraging that I`m rooting for him to have a major breakthrough this year! Meanwhile, hop in and enjoy!

16) Begho and Inci – Don`t bother i`m not coming back

 

I recall writing an article about this when it first dropped encouraging those in love with R&B to dive in quickly. Well, that fact hasn’t changed up till this moment. Begho and Inci are incomparably prolific. The EP easily found a unique spot on this list of classic projects. Their combined artistry creates a mesmerizing blend of both masculine and feminine vibes that will undoubtedly take you on a soulful journey, almost subconsciously!

DISTANCE – the second track off the EP is a staff-picked favorite song. Now I know you want to find out why. That`s why I`ve added direct links below to help you get straight to it!

15) Olamide – Unruly

 

In a defining move, the OG himself, Olamide, graced the music stage last year with the release of ‘UNRULY,’ leaving fans both intrigued and curious about whether this might be the superstar’s final album. If indeed it is, did Olamide bid farewell in a manner befitting his legendary status? In my humble opinion, a resounding yes!

Looking back over his illustrious career, Olamide has undeniably etched his name in the annals of the music industry, earning the unyielding respect of the streets. While the question lingers about the finality of this album, one thing remains certain – Olamide, the tireless workhorse, has left an indelible mark. Even if he were to take a hiatus and return years later with new projects, the streets can rest assured that the music would still resonate with the same force and impact. ‘UNRULY’ features standout tracks like ‘GAZA,’ ‘PROBLEM,’ ‘NEW RELIGION,’ and ‘JINJA’ emerging as top picks. This album deserves recognition as a classic, it is for this reason it made it on this list! Tap in!

14) Davido – TIMELESS

 

After a notable hiatus from music, Davido made a triumphant comeback with the release of his classic album, “Timeless.” The project, packed with chart-topping bangers, redefined the narrative surrounding his musical ability. Tracks like “Unavailable, and Feel,” featuring prominently as the main anthems, the infectious “Kante” featuring Fave, and the compelling collaboration “No Competition” with Asake, reaffirmed Davido’s status as a force.

The standout track, “Feel,” was also complemented by a visually stunning music video courtesy of Tg Omori, a renowned figure in the realm of music videos. The anticipation for the video reached unprecedented levels, making it the most awaited release in the country before its unveiling.

Attempting to encapsulate the essence of “Feel” and the “Timeless” album at large is a task that goes beyond mere words. 

13) Burna Boy – I told them

In the previous year, Burna Boy did a lot, and amidst his myriad accomplishments, the project that stood out was none other than ‘I TOLD THEM.’ This album became a cornerstone in the playlists of millions of fans around the globe. Notably, some of his features, such as ‘Masculine’ with Jhus, became perpetual favorites, further solidifying Burna Boy’s status as a global musical icon.

‘I TOLD THEM’ is yet another jewel in Burna Boy’s discography, joining the ranks of his many masterpieces that have graced the world over the years. This project, enriched by the contributions of unique artists like Dave, J. Cole, Seyi Vibez, 21 Savage, and others, undeniably stands out as one of the best musical offerings of the year 2023.

Asking about favorite tracks from such a stellar album is like choosing among treasures, but if I had to pick, ‘City Boys’ and ‘Big 7’ resonate with me. Now, it’s your turn! Dive in and share your favorite tracks.

12) RunJozi – Mind of a Jedi

Runjozi dropped this classic piece consisting of 7 tracks on March 24, 2023, featuring a friend of the Platform OluwaMillar, and others like Droxx, Vrsd, and Norlyi

He made his playbinn debut with his single ‘Tolani’ earlier this year and I`ve not ceased to stay in touch with the special talent

‘POPPING’ is a personal favorite, where the beats hit hard and Jozi calmly flows with the rhythm delivering bar after bar. Who knows, we might just get a video for this track soon! Hop in and I guarantee RunJozi is sure to leave you satisfied.

11) Blaqbones – Emeka must shine

 

Blaqbonez showed a lot of Nigerians he`s an agile hustler and proved it to the last letter through the release of his album. The impact was nothing short of phenomenal, with streams skyrocketing on the first day of its unveiling, and with each passing day, the album’s resonance only magnifies.

The echoes of ‘Blacky, where you go’ lingered in the air of Lagos streets throughout the past year. Achieving such widespread recognition is no small feat, and artists like Blaqbonez, who manage to accomplish this, deserve to be acknowledged and celebrated.

What sets Blaqbonez apart is his ability to craft music that resonates with the masses. The album, a collaborative effort featuring prominent artists such as Black Sherif, Don Jazzy, Odumodublvck, Victony, and others, contributes significantly to its widespread acclaim.

Hop in!

10) King Lu – Militant Mindset

 

The release of “Militant Mindset” by King Lu had me cranking up the volume with Hip-hop beats on the highway consistently. This project stands out not only for its musical brilliance but also for housing some exceptional artists, including the likes of Alpha Ojini, Odumodublvck, Layydoe, Lyandra, and others. It’s safe to say that this album is making its mark as one of the finest Hip-hop projects to emerge in 2023.

Among the standout tracks on the album, ‘PAY ME’ featuring Layydoe & Lyandra holds a special place in my heart. Its compelling blend of lyricism and beats continues to resonate with me, making it a personal favorite.

King Lu, beyond his role as a typical Hip-hop artist, wears another hat as a music executive. Stepping out of the recording studio, he engages in other crucial endeavors within the music scene. This multifaceted approach adds a layer of depth to his artistry, showcasing a commitment not just to his craft but to the broader music community. Such dedication deserves acknowledgment, and it’s only fair to shower him with the recognition he rightfully deserves.

I previously penned down my thoughts on “Militant Mindset” when it first graced our ears a few months ago. For those eager to delve deeper, you can check out my article [here], or better yet, immerse yourself in the full album experience!

9) Droxx and Rebel wav – Haram

 

And what other reason did this pack get on here other than the unmatched energy? I recall listening when the project dropped and maxing the volumes at the gym the following day. Hard to find another hip-hop project in 2023 with a higher frequency/energy. 

If you’re a fan of hip-hop, there`s no reason why you haven’t listened to this project. It is a gem, suited head to toe in some of the craziest bass lines, and rhythm that offer this one-of-a-kind feeling when listening to hip-hop.

Add this classic to your playlist and live the dream of a vivid hip-hop fan

8)Eeskay & Mojo Af – No Excuses

“No Excuses” by Eeskay & Mojo Af is a revelation into the world of these two talented artists. Prior to stumbling upon this track, I had heard whispers about Mojo Af, but for some reason, I hadn’t given his music a proper listen. That all changed when “No Excuses” dropped, and boy, I hopped in real quick!

The song kicks off with an electrifying verse from Eeskay, setting the stage with a gradual build-up of intensity that draws you in. As Mojo Af steps into the spotlight, the synergy between the two artists becomes clear. The wordplay in “No Excuses” is not just intense; it’s intentional, showcasing the intellectual proficiency of both Eeskay and Mojo Af. The track proves the fact that these artists bring more than just musical talent to the table – they bring a profound level of intelligence that shines through their lyrical craftsmanship.

In the realm of 2023 releases, “No Excuses” stands out as a true classic. 

Hop in, will you?

7)ASAKE – WORK OF ART

 

Asake aka ‘Mr money no dey waste time’ had an incredible run since his unveiling at YBNL record label. In the previous year, he once again stormed the charts with an album ‘WORK OF ART’ following the success of his previous album ‘MR MONEY’  and fans couldn’t help but admire his consistency in creating street anthems.

The 14-track album was done almost solo except for Olamide`s appearance on AMAPIANO. 

Top picks off this album are BASQUIAT, WHAT`S UP MY G, 2;30, AMAPIANO & LONELY AT THE TOP which ended up being the favorite song of the year for millions of people. This album is also a great project out of 2023!

Rumor has it that the artist is currently working on another album! The year is gonna get busy very soon. Before then, help yourself to this classic piece.

6) Caleb clay – Pressure

 

At the time of its release, I was not familiar with Caleb Clay. Thanks to Runjozi for putting me on, it easily became one of my favorite tracks in 2023. It becomes way better to note that we`re premiering a video for the track on the 10th of this month on the Playbinn YouTube channel! I hope you’ll be there to watch with us. In his bio, the rapper describes himself as a misunderstood voice in a noisy world. This is not far from the truth if I may be honest. With a lot of tracks dropping every minute in the constantly evolving music scene in Nigeria, it may be quite difficult to point out the real ones in love with the art and doing it real way. Sometimes, people choose clout over real music, other times, they choose real music over clout. So hard to understand the chaos.

Caleb Clay is one of the few most promising acts right now, which is why it’s only right that he slides in on this year’s list. If you’ve followed him closely, then you’d know that his evolution and rise have been nothing short of spectacular and inspiring.

I don`t know if I`m allowed to speak about this, but there`s a project coming this month! Stay alert folks

5) Tonee C – 50 shades

 

Tonee C.’s journey in the previous year was nothing short of extraordinary! I got on board a few weeks after the release of “50 Shades Part 2”. This typically means that there were earlier installments before I joined the train. 

The project, comprising 5 installments with a total of 10 songs each, is collectively known as “50 Shades of Tonee C”. Now, I know what you might be pondering – how does an artist manage to drop over 50 special songs in less than a year? The exact answer might elude us, but what’s undeniable is that Tonee C., as an underground champ, deserves our applause for such a remarkable feat.

Each of the 5 chapters – LIVE, BALANCE, COSMIC, NOSTALGIA, and MAGIC – is a masterpiece, seamlessly crafted from the recording phase to the final delivery. The thought that the first chapter of “50 Shades” hit the airwaves in August, and the concluding chapter made its mark in December, is proof of Tonee C’s unparalleled work ethic and visionary approach. It’s no wonder that this project earned a well-deserved spot on Playbinn’s list of the best projects of 2023.

Kudos to Tonee C for making 2023 a year to remember in the realm of music!

4) Seyi Vibez – THY KINGDOM COME

 

Seyi Vibez emerged as a consistent purveyor of sonic excellence in the previous year, feeding his fans with a musical feast that included “Memory Card, NAHAMciaga” EP, and the crowning jewel, the “THY KINGDOM COME” album. Not to be overlooked are his electrifying features, such as the soulful contribution to Burna Boy’s album with “Giza” and the collaboration on “Gwagwalada” alongside Bnxn & Kizz Daniel.

Seyi Vibez, with an admirable work ethic, led some fans to humorously question if he owed his landlord, given the relentless stream of high-quality music he released.

The track ‘Man of the Year’ from the “THY KINGDOM COME” album is so relaxing to listen to.

This project is a dynamic display of Seyi showing us what he is made of, building an eclectic yet hard-hitting soundscape that frames his projects.

This album holds a special place in the hearts of fans, and rightfully so.Tap in and let us reminisce together on how good last year was!

3) Sknny – Green / Root of all evil

 

Landing here at number 3 on our list is Sknny, who released two phenomenal tracks that saw him debut on this platform last year, GREEN & ROOT OF ALL EVIL. Green is a trip down memory lane that hits you right in the feels.

It`s the kind of track that hits you when those melancholic moments come knocking. Root of All Evil on the other hand is a certified G track that draws parallels with Kanye West`s ‘DEVIL IN A NEW DRESS’ from the iconic ‘MY BEAUTIFUL TWISTED FANTASY’ album This classic is a hard-hitting, bass-heavy record where Sknny not only flexes his pure rapping ability but talks his shit seamlessly in a bold manner, shedding light on the story of where he hails from and a few street OT (Wisdom).

The phrase ‘Protect your neck’ goes a long way to tell you to cut the jokes. It`s one of last year`s favorite projects. Hop in and If you don’t listen closely, its brilliance will go right over your head

2) Odumodublvck – Eziokwu

 

When we talk about the Rap Artist of the Year, it’s impossible not to direct our gaze towards the undeniable champion based in the heart of Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. Throughout the year, from an impressive feature run to the release of a groundbreaking album, Odumodublvck consistently dominated conversations and playlists, firmly engraving his name on the lips of millions of fans worldwide. It’s safe to declare that the impact of the “Eziokwu” album will echo as a classic in the Nigerian musical atmosphere for years to come.

Odumodublvck’s Competence reached new heights as Turntable charts bestowed upon him the title of the only rapper to command the coveted Number 1 position on the official Nigeria Top 100 for an astounding 7 weeks in a single year! This remarkable feat not only solidifies his standing as a force to be reckoned with but also underscores the immense appeal of the “Eziokwu” album.

From the captivating “Declan Rice” to the high-energy collaboration “Tesla Boy” featuring Blaqbonez, and the gritty narratives of “Blood on the Dance Floor” with Bloody Civilian & Wale, to the street anthems like “Dog Eat Dog II” and “Picanto” featuring Zlatan – every track on the album is a bang!

The year 2023 undoubtedly marked a stellar run for Odumodublvck, and as fans, we eagerly anticipate more masterpieces from this exceptional artist in the years to come. 

1) Oluwamillar – Agbalagbi

 

Arguably the hardest Yoruba drill track of the year, Agbalagbi has harnessed over 20k streams since its release in October last year. From the cover art to the song itself, there are not enough words to describe its brilliance. This is easily one of the best projects to come out of the underground scene yet, and I believe that it has some of OluwaMillar’s best moments as an artist yet. As we all know the track was shortly accompanied by a music video which currently has over 1.8k streams on YouTube.
 
This is a moment not just for OluwaMillar, but for myself, Playbinn, and the fans of OluwaMillar music. Agbalagbi will always be a classic jam not just for the few of us who witnessed it pop all over the underground scene, but also for the multitude of people who will listen to OluwaMillar in the near future.
 
To wrap things up, the rapper has hinted at an EP which would drop any time soon. Whilst you wait, enjoy the gospel of OluwaMillar in the tracks below!
 
 

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