After a very long wait, YCee’s debut album, YCee Vs Zaheer is finally here, and it’s every bit as solid as the lead singles promised. The project, which includes features from Davido, BOJ, Niniola and more, finds the versatile star showing the full breadth of his range.
About why he made the project, YCee told Zikoko:
“For me, the main thing was creating an understanding of who I am as an artist.
There were a lot people saying I couldn’t be called a rapper because I sing. I just wanted to show people that it’s not a crime to be good at both.”
So, instead of a traditional review — which would have us praising just how sonically and lyrically impressive the entire project is — we decided to have YCee pick and breakdown 10 lyrics he believes best represent the album’s wide range of themes.
“They want me to save the game, I no be Jesus Christ” — “Mo Salah”
At some point, people thought I was here to be some sort of hip-hop messiah. Then there was the heartbreak that came when I started singing. So, this was just my way of saying that their expectations of me are very different from my expectations of myself.
“Man no go kill himself, but they trying to kill me/ Started off I was 18, Imma still spit till I’m 60” — “Man”
This was just my way of saying that I’m not trying to stress myself. Basically, I believe I’m here for a good time, not a long time. The second part of the line is inspired by something I’ve been saying a lot recently: “No more breaks until I’m old”.
“I fit to die for your matter, but if I die for you, tell me who’s going to love you” — “Wahala Dey”
This line is about my romantic struggles. It’s about questioning my own eagerness to always go above and beyond for the one I love. Had to ask myself: If I die in the process of trying to make my partner happy, who will be there to love them?
“You gon pay me for the feature and still get bodied on the song” — “Amazing”
There are a lot of people that think I did way too many features this year. While I don’t agree with that, the fact remains that none of those appearances were free. So, the line is about me getting paid to kill other artists on their own songs.
“As a nigga from the west side, think twice before you let me inside” — “Liar”
People will most likely call it a ‘Yoruba demon’ anthem, but it was actually inspired by how unrealistic love songs are. A lot of people just go into the studio and sing about loving someone unconditionally. I wanted to make something sincere, and this line is me dropping an honest disclaimer.
“Say you’re getting dough. Omo men, e be like audio/ Na hear we don dey hear about am. No dey really show” — “Cheque”
A lot of people rap about money. We always hear about how much they are making, but we never actually see it. I used to be like that when I first started out — rapping about making money when I wasn’t. This line is calling out people that do it.
“It would have been so nice” — “So Nice”
I made the song before my well-documented crush on Justine Skye. After the crush finally died, this song felt like it was about her. So, while it wasn’t written with that intention, this line, in particular, definitely makes it seem like it was.
“Koko waves are different from dada/ You have cloth but do you have swagger?” — “Dada”
This song is an anthem for people with locs. Often times, you see people that don’t have the required amount of hair trying to feel among, and the first line is for them. The second line is about people who have clothes, but no fashion sense.
“You got problems with you me, you caused it/ You talk shit about me, you lost it” — “Bossing”
This line is about me not having wahala. So, if you have any problems with me, then it’s definitely on you. Also, if you’re out here talking shit about me, especially since I’m usually just minding my business, then you must have a few screws loose.
“We got to be doing it big time/ Feed me, I feed you, that’s 69″ — “Bassline”
Alright. This one is very self-explanatory. Honestly, if you get it, you get it.