The Headies is perhaps the most respected award for the music industry in Nigeria. Established in 2006 (when it was known as the Hip Hop World Awards) the Headies reward achievements over the past year in several categories.
Instituted by Hip Hop World magazine, the ceremony is usually broadcast live in HipTv, a television channel run by the owners of the magazine and with a focus on the music industry. The ceremony features celebrity presenters, star guests and the ‘Headie,’ the 21-carat gold award. The ceremony has been held at many venues since inception but traditionally all with Nigeria’s commercial and entertainment centre, Lagos.
Initially considered to have a hip hop focus, the Headies has taken in all genres. Yet one of its most highly regarded categories is the Lyricist on the Roll category. It has been won the most amount of times by rapper Mode 9, generally considered the country’s best rapper. Like the Grammies, which it appears influenced by, the Album of the Year category is also well-regarded. Its 2014 edition saw rapper Olamide take the award for his ‘Baddest Guy Ever Liveth’ album.
Another key category is the Next Rated category. The category is meant to recognise an up and coming artist with potential – it is expected that in the coming year the awarded artist makes good on his promise. It has become one of the most controversial categories, Wizkid, Wande Coal, Omawumi have all won the category and gone on to success.