Before you continue reading, here’s a summary of my thoughts on Yaadman Kingsize—
Now, let me explain why I think it’s a 10/10 project.
The Nigerian music industry suffers from scarcity. The most fundamental of all these manifestations of scarcity is the scarcity of artistes that understand how to make an actual album. You can easily blame this on Nigeria being a singles market. However, the fact remains that this scarcity exists. It’s this scarcity that makes it difficult to appreciate artistes who actually understand how to create projects.
Yung L is definitely one of those artistes that understand that projects, especially albums, must be cohesive. That the sounds must come off as one organic unit. That the sound engineering must ensure that not one song on the project sounds off. Albums must as a matter of fact have a theme. A themeless album is simply less than a mixtape. Yaadman Kingsize is a proper project. It’s honest, revealing, conscious, equal parts laidback and equal parts funky.
Songs like “Puna”, “Eve Bounce” and “Bwoy” have very solid hooks. It displays Yung L’s ability to create bangers with extremely catchy choruses. It’s songs for everyday people like “Operator” that actually prepare you for a really exciting time. The bouncy loops on “Womaniser” and Tiggs Da Author’s verse slow down the project’s tempo. This emphasises Yung L’s commitment to creating a cohesive body of work.
More complex beats like “Rasta” are complimented by very laidback lyrics. “Cool & Ease” also stays true to the project’s laid back side. It’s the prefect song for 420 when you have friends over. The project also brings the consciousness of the reggae and dancehall scene on “Police & Thief”. In a time when conscious music is doubly important, the placement of the song just before the Outro is a stroke of genius. I earnestly hope that such an important track isn’t glossed over by the impatience of today’s listeners.
On features, the commercial move is for an artiste attempt cross pollination. This usually creates hit singles. However, more often than not, it creates great songs that don’t quite feed an album’s cohesiveness. In these cases, the numbers might not indicate that the project suffers fundamental defects— but the fact remains, these defects are there. If you listen hard enough, you’ll find them.
Yaadman Kingsize doesn’t stray too far off from its genre in seeking out features. In some regard, this is the project’s only downside. The danger of refusing to take bigger risks on features means that there’s a chance of monotony. However, the project self-corrects through sonic coherence and a short yet well balanced track list. This way, the project morphs into an authentic dancehall record.
On Yaadman Kingsize, Yung L plays to his strengths. With very inspired collaborations reminiscent of simpler times. Times when lyrics actually mattered. As you listen you’re reminded of music from the late 2000s and earlier in the last decade. He has crafted a project worthy of the Afro dancehall hall of fame. With relatable discussions on the human spirit, sex, God, family, weed, fame, and more— the project is easy to digest. As you listen for 27 minutes, you settle in for a proper 10/10 experience.