The independent record label Yahoo Boy No Laptop Nation, popularly known as YBNL Nation or simply YBNL, founded by Nigerian rapper Olamide in 2012 turns 10 this year 2022.
YBNL over the years, with their impressive roster of artists, has been pivotal in the explosion of the Afrobeats genre.
Music streaming giant Spotify through their Spotify Africa subdivision has released a mini-documentary to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Afrobeats label.
Phiona Okumu, Spotify’s Head of Music in Sub-Saharan Africa, disclosed in a statement on Saturday, October 29 that to celebrate 10 years of the legendary Nigerian label, Spotify took to the streets of Lagos to document its influence. She wrote:
“Spotify today released a mini documentary to celebrate the 10th anniversary of YBNL, the culture-shifting Afrobeats label founded by Nigerian music icon, Olamide.
“Over the course of a decade, YBNL has developed a reputation for taking the sounds of the street to global ears through showcasing Afrobeats stars and producing definitive hits.
She continued: “You can follow the groundbreaking YBNL story through the voices of music lovers on the streets of Lagos here.”
Okumu noted that since 2012, Olamide had discovered, developed, and exported some of Nigeria’s brightest music stars through YBNL.
She mentioned some of the artists nurtured by the outfit since its introduction, including Adekunle Gold, Lil Kesh, Fireboy, Asake, Pheelz, Young Jonn, DJ Enimoney, Zlatan, Naira Marley, T.I Blaze, Ycee, Viktoh, Chinko Ekun,and many more.
She also listed 10 defining moments in YBNL history that had held significance over the years as the release of Olamide’s second studio album, titled YBNL, marked the birth of his independent label.
According to her, “Ghost Mode,” a 2012 rap collaboration between Olamide and rapper Phyno was a cultural phenomenon that inspired a joint album, and is remembered as one of the best Afrobeats collaborations.
Led by “Eleda Mi O” and “Durosoke,” Olamide’s third studio album “Baddest Guy Ever Liveth” cemented the label’s A-list status, with Pheelz, his in-house at the time, producing all but one of the tracks.
“The success of “Shoki Remix,” supported by two titans in Davido and Olamide, rapidly elevated the status of Lil Kesh, the first of many young artistes signed to YBNL.
“Surrounded by signees and affiliates, Olamide made his fourth studio album, “Street OT”, into a YBNL showcase, giving platform to B Banks, Viktoh, Chinko Ekun, and Lil Kesh.
“Following a successful 2014, Olamide held “Olamide Live In Concert” at Lagos’ Eko Hotel, it was a huge success and became a December staple.
“Released in 2018, the YBNL Mafia family featured songs by all the label’s artistes, including the hit “Jealous” and a certain Fireboy,” said Okumu.
The executive also recounted that in 2020, Olamide announced a joint deal with the international distribution company, EMPIRE, giving YBNL artistes greater access to the global audience.
After that deal, Fireboy’s “Peru” was released as a freestyle and became one of the most viral Afrobeats songs of 2021, inspiring a globetrotting remix with Ed Sheeran, which has over 100 million Spotify streams and counting.
“With the release of “Omo Ope” (featuring Olamide) and Asake signing to the label in February 2022, YBNL entered its 10th chapter in style.
She added that the new documentary gives fans an opportunity to turn back the years and enjoy 10 years’ worth of hit songs from YBNL, featuring past and present members.
Check out the trailer below.