Ycee has a creative lazy soul, which always gives off lazy vibes. The kind of vibes that suggest to you that the man is not about the stress.
“I’ve been doing this Industry Nite (weekly concert) since 2012, and it feels really good to have my own.”
Standing a few meters from the elevated stage at Hardrock Café, gave me a first class view of Ycee performing at his themed concert. This was 2am in Victoria Island, and the night was far spent. The stage which housed a very talented band, was lit with two sets of light. One came from the venue. And the other was supplied by the growing clicks and flashes from numerous cameras.
Photographers and Cinematographers from different media houses moved all around me, documenting this piece of live music history, with the aim of selling it as content to their audiences, viewers, and fans? Yes, those people too. Fans.
This was a show which was started on Wednesday, April 19 2017. But Ycee waited for the time to slip into the early morning of Thursday before he stepped on stage to perform.
Ycee has a creative lazy soul, which always gives off lazy vibes. The kind of vibes that suggest to you that the man is not about the stress. That vibe that says he loves to rest before he gets tired. The please-don’t-stress-me-vibe. And it shows. In his fashion sense, he does the barest minimum, but only pushes it when a fashion editorial comes close.
And for the music, he slurs for a living. Listen to Ycee sing-rap, it’s slow, almost an inaudible drone. But it is melodic, and syrupy. His comfort zone is when he is too comfortable, delivering lackadaisically, and just using his vocals as an accessory to the beat. So far it has worked on his pop singles. Check out the success of ‘Omo Alhaji’ and ‘Link up’. They are lazy gems, delivered by a lazy guy, who records lazily, to get the hasty money.
Somehow, you can’t fault that. It is working for him. It is not broken.
“How am I on a scale of 1-10?” He inquires of his fans, after performing ‘Wavy’ and ‘Don’t need bae’ off his EP. “How many 100 will you score me?”
The fans mostly approve. They came out, deprived themselves of sweet sleep for this performance. They have no other option. They must love it.
One person who seemed to love it more than most was an upcoming artist who was clad in faded black clothes, but had too much colour in his response to the performance. Let’s call him Yung Alaseju. He mimed every word, rapped every line, and yelled the choruses like it was his ticket to stardom. Only that he wasn’t the star of the night.
At some point, I tapped him to engage him midway through a performance.
“How far, you are really turning up oh” I smiled and probed for a reason.
“Boss, Ycee is my hero man. He has too much sauce.” The look on his face was pure admiration and pride. I couldn’t argue with that. So I let him enjoy his abundance of sauce. Too much of everything is bad. But not for Yung Alaseju. The rules don’t count when he is listening to his hero. I envy him.
Maybe one day I might be able to be caught up in the moment. Scream my heart out to Ycee, and lick all of his sauce off the stage. But I’m on a strict diet. And Ycee Ketchup can only be had in small doses.
The man does have a new song titled ‘Juice’. Produced by Adey, the most outstanding part of it was the chorus, which had Ycee singing “Too much juice, too much sauce.” Lazily off course.
The concert progressed but not without a string of guest acts coming onstage to perform their collaborations. Attitude, Saeon, Tjan and Bella Alubo have all collaborated with him and they all hit the stage to share in the moment. The first three were electric. But Bella needs more practice. She is yet to grasp stagecraft.
The show moved quickly. The songs on the EP were performed, and everyone had a taste of Ycee and his new work, live. But he wasn’t done.
No Ycee performance is ever done without his breakthrough songs.
“You know you have gotten to a certain level when you have throwback hits.” He bragged. Before treating the crowd to ‘Omo Alhaji’ and ‘Jagaban’.
This is Ycee’s career at the moment. One which has grown from strength to strength, and then plateaued for a while. “The First Wave” EP will have to work hard to make sure the growth continues, and ensure Ycee maintains his relevance.
Standing a few meters from the stage of Hardrock Café, I watched him walk off the stage, and everyone applauded genuinely. I didn’t see a pop star receiving adoration from his fans. I saw a young man, who just wants to get ahead in life by making money off his passion for the art.
You have to support that. You have to.