Did Eedris Abdulkareem Pave The Way For New Cats?


Legendary Nigerian rapper Eedris Abdulkareem recently sparked debate with his claim that his sacrifices paved the way for the global success of artists like Burna Boy, Wizkid, and Davido. As speculated by Naijassador, he credits his confrontations with industry practices in the early 2000s as the catalyst for change and respect towards Nigerian artists.

Abdulkareem known for his socially conscious music and activism, claims his 2004 fight against unfair treatment of Nigerian artists by concert promoters, particularly during an altercation with American rapper 50 Cent, led to industry reforms and better conditions for artists.

He argues that these changes paved the way for the current generation of successful Nigerian artists like Burna Boy, Wizkid, and Davido, who are now enjoying international recognition and respect. While acknowledging his career was negatively impacted by his confrontations, he sees it as a “beautiful sacrifice” for the greater good of the industry.

Reactions and Counterpoints

Abdulkareem’s claims have generated mixed reactions. Some agree, acknowledging his pioneering role in advocating for change. Others argue attributing the entire success of the current generation solely to his actions is an oversimplification. The complex ecosystem of the music industry involves numerous factors, including individual talent, hard work, industry trends, and global shifts towards appreciating diverse music. Attributing international recognition solely to one event may be inaccurate.

While Abdulkareem’s activism undoubtedly contributed to positive changes, dismissing the agency and talent of artists like Burna Boy, Wizkid, and Davido disregards their journeys and efforts. This debate highlights the intricate interplay between individual actions, historical context, and wider trends in shaping success. Recognizing his contribution should not diminish the dedication and achievements of the younger generation.

While Eedris Abdulkareem’s claims deserve recognition, attributing the entirety of current success to his actions alone paints an incomplete picture. The Nigerian music industry’s growth is a complex story with numerous contributing factors. This debate can catalyze recognition of diverse roles and appreciation of the combined efforts that propelled Nigerian music to the global stage.

Who is Eedris Abdulkareem?

Eedris Abdulkareem, known to many as simply Eedris, is more than just a rapper. He’s a firebrand, a social commentator, and a pioneer of Nigerian hip-hop. His music, often laced with sharp social commentary and political critique, has earned him both fervent fans and fierce critics. But one thing is undeniable: he is a voice that refuses to be silenced.

Early life and career

Born in Kano in 1974, Eedris’ life was shaped by the bustling city’s diverse culture and complex socio-political realities. He found his passion in music early, joining the hip-hop group The Remedies in the late 90s. Their socially conscious lyrics and energetic performances quickly won them a loyal following, making them one of the first groups to popularize Nigerian hip-hop.

When The Remedies disbanded in 2002, the rapper embarked on a successful solo career. His debut album, “P.A.S.S. (Party and Suffer Song),” included the iconic track “Nigeria Jaga Jaga,” a scathing critique of the country’s political and social ills. The song was a massive hit, resonating deeply with Nigerians frustrated by corruption, poverty, and injustice.

Eedris’ outspoken nature often landed him in hot water. In 2004, his song “Jaga Jaga” was banned by the Nigerian government, and he faced pressure and threats for his criticism. However, he remained undeterred, continuing to use his music to address issues like police brutality, human rights abuses, and environmental degradation.

Beyond Music

Eedris’ activism extends beyond music. He has actively campaigned for social change, participating in protests and advocating for better governance. He also established the Eedris Abdulkareem Foundation, which focuses on empowering youths through education and skills development.

Eedris Abdulkareem is not everyone’s cup of tea. His confrontational style and unwavering criticism have ruffled feathers and drawn accusations of negativity. But there’s no denying his impact. He has been a crucial figure in shaping the sound and consciousness of Nigerian hip-hop, paving the way for a generation of artists who dare to challenge the status quo.


Even as he enters his early 50s, Eedris shows no signs of slowing down. He continues to release music, engage in activism, and mentor young artists. As long as there are injustices to speak out against, his voice will continue to resonate, reminding us that true art isn’t just about entertainment, but also about sparking dialogue and demanding change.


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