Even his stage name, Young Carter, was heavily inspired by the Young Money boss. He broke out, his launchpad was a ‘Trapfro’ record titled, ‘Jagaban.’ but his maiden superstar moment became ‘Juice,’ on which he debuted his sing-songy style, dripping in his Hip-Hop foundations and defined by his funny, yet workable vocal texture.
He became a star and with it came female adulation. He was tall, handsome and broody. But as he told Pulse Nigeria during a 2019 interview, beneath the hardcore exterior that ladies love lies a lover of love, romance and intimacy. It’s then no coincidence that until 2021, his best body of work was Late Night Vibrations, a collaboration EP with Bella Alubo.
As much as that EP showcased his wide sonic palette and versatility, it was also inspired by a breakup, which left a younger version seething with anger and thoughts of what could have been. Men and women; boys and girls alike loved ‘Late Night Vibrations,’ for its intimate routines and softer brand of music.
A year later, YCee released his debut album, YCee vs Zaheer, an unassuming experiment in his duality of Hip-Hop and R&B/Afro-pop that didn’t quite work out. But after a brief hiatus, he returns with Love Drunk, a 7-track EP. Equally inspired by a breakup, YCee is grown and more open with his vulnerabilities.
While he discusses his potentially perpetual admiration from the ladies on ‘Abeg,’ he admitted to not-so-flattering glances from the ladies on the impeccably produced ‘Anymore.’ He sings, “They say I no fine anymore…” with reservations, blended with cynicism and hints of a slight worry.
As open as ‘Late Night Vibrations’ was, listening to the brave honesty on ‘Love Drunk’ would make a listener realize that YCee was only being tentative on the former.
This time, YCee’s vocals haven’t just gotten better as a singer; his beat selection hasn’t only significantly improved since ‘YCee vs. Zaheer,’ his songwriting has also improved.
While Smyley’s nasty beat steals the ‘Anymore’ show, YCee’s detailed songwriting on ‘Abeg’ and ‘My Ways’ embellishes and typifies the morose emotions he aimed to show on the first three tracks of this EP.
Alongside ‘West Indies,’ YCee’s hook on ‘Abeg’ standout. And don’t even get this writer started on how impressed he is with YCee’s switching flow schemes, to match the different genres of the beats he selected.
On ‘Intentionally,’ that pocket, “Worldwide connector/ baby rewind selecta/ back to the centre, enter/ stain my magenta/This kain wey dey mental…” typifies the form that YCee rides on.
‘West Indies’ is also a beautiful track.
With all its brilliance, ‘Love Drunk’ would have been an even better experience if certain things had been done;
- The EP runs at seven tracks and 24 minutes. Most of these tracks would have been better at 30-45 seconds shorter.
- YCee needed to produce more resonant and sticky hooks. Records like ‘Anymore,’ ‘My Ways’ and ‘Intentionally’ deserved slightly better hooks. The mumbled vibes on ‘Nu Riddim‘ are alluring, but the track would have been better if people could actually hold on to certain words from its hook – that’s how songs have staying power. The same thing can be said of ‘Anymore.’
In conclusion, Dwillsharmony should also take some plaudits for his impressive cameo on ‘My Way’ and he should be snapped up. ‘Nu Riddim’ and ‘Aunty Lovina’ are underrated tracks.
Themes and Delivery: 1.6/2
Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 1.6/2