Rapping and singing have always been mastered by people who stick to either of the two. However in recent years, musicians like Lil Wayne, Drake, Olamide, Phyno, Chance the Rapper etc. have all tried their hands in Singing and Rapping. While some people have had their Acidified rap sound diluted by singing, Drake and Lil Wayne have found a way to make the two art mix well. YCee is a musician who blew into the Nigerian Music mainstream as a Rapper but just like the above named Rap figures, he has diversified into singing. Releasing “Sauce” which featured Maleek Berry, he blew Nigerian in and out and that gave him a different route to in his effort in making music; giving birth to YCee versus Zaheer.
YCee versus Zaheer is a creative project which sells YCeee as a Rapper and a singer. What he did was give a name to his singing personality. He calls his rapping self as YCee and the singer as Zaheer. He made an album which sees him dive into the streams of Afropop and the wilderness of Rap music. YCee tried using this project to drag Nigerians who are predominantly Afropop music lover to listen to Rap music. He tries to use the Afropop jams in the Album as bait. YCee versus Zaheer is an album that whet the appetite of both Nigerians and American alike.
Although I have my reservation in terms of lyrical Rhythmic theme because its and unmixable mix, there is no doubt that it is a good creative work. Combining trap sound to ponpon sound and Afrobeats to create a single project is an uphill task but YCee did a pretty nice job even though it did not really blend. I am particularly drawn to the Afropop songs because one can hardly go wrong with Afropop sound especially when it has ponpon sound and Afrobeats as its inspiration.
Every music culture has its basic dominant lyrical theme and that was expressed in this album. In the Rap songs, YCee made songs which elevated his ego and hustle just like most Rap artist do in their songs. In songs like “Mo Salah”, he attributes his Rap skills and life style to the playing skills of Egyptian Liverpool striker Mo Salah. In the song titled “Cheque”, he talks about what drove him to become a Musician. He explains that he has always wanted to make money and get himself out of poverty. “Man” is a song which features Nigerian Rapper Phyno. The song talks about taking a break from the hustle of life to avoid death. “Bossing” is a song which had YCee get his bragging riights on. He Brags about his exploits and many more stuff that rappers do brag about.
In the Afropop songs, YCee or Zaheer goes full throttle Afropop culture by talking about women, love and money. My personal best song of this album is “Vacancy”. He sings about having space in his heart for a lady he is supposedly in love with. “Liar” has him sing about not being in love with a certain lady. He claims that he is on the road hence there is possibility of getting her heart broken by his actions. Working with Nigerian Afro house Queen Niniola; YCee sings about having a good time with a lady that has a banging body.
Switching from Hiphop to Afropop is mad work for any Musician. Working with thirteen Producers ranging from Willies Give Dem, Adey, BeatsbyKarma to KrizBeatz was some real hard work. However just like the excessive swap in Lyrical theme, so also is a kind of rhythmic commotion from one producer and sound to another. The production made the album sound like an accumulation of a series of singles packed together in one album. There is no definite style which could distinguish the vibes coming out from the album. All the producers created their sounds and YCee and his team selected a bunch of singles. Just like what Patoranking did in his Wilmer Album, YCee created an upgraded version with a clearer direction and message.
Possible Hits and Flops
“Vacancy” has the possibility of becoming a Hit although the bumps was not adequately mixed and increased. “Dada” and “Chocolata” have the possibility of becoming a hit songs because of the personalities featured. “Cheque” could make the Hit rank provided it has good airplay. However all the songs in this album could just fade away in a matter of weeks if a lot of money is no invested in the promotion?