The Nigerian dance hall space has never been solely dominated – every contemporary Nigerian artiste who has identified with the genre has equally established heavy correlations with other genres.
A typical example is Burna Boy who from 2013 to 2014, meted out massive dance hall tunes and drew major influences from the Jamaican culture which were very evident in both his music and fashion. These influences led fans, award organizations and music heads to quickly categorize the Don Gorgogon as a dance hall artiste – something that didn’t seat quite well with the singer. Burna boy rejected the dance hall identity and declared himself an Afro-fusion artist; an identity that allows for him to be flexible with his sound.
Diversity is the new wave and a lot of Nigerian singers are identifying with various genres and sub-genres across the world. Diversity is the future of music but it also allows mediocrity to breed as this has made it quite difficult to judge their sounds based on the standards of a certain genre.
‘You cannot judge an afro hip-hop record based on the standards of pure hip-hop’ a certain Nigerian artiste once said.
Just like his contemporaries, Yung L is a practitioner of musical diversities but unlike his most of his contemporaries, he his a master of the sound(s) he identifies with and his just released Better Late Than Never tape is a proof of it.
In the first four tracks, Yung L took a full swing in the dance hall direction and did justice to the melodies. Where You Dey leads the project off to a great start with additional vocals from Uncle Charlie which dissipates the common narrative of groupies and toxic family members who only reach out to you when the going appears smooth. The dance hall ride came to a close on the fourth track with vocal contributions from R2bess on Suzzy.
Sarkodie also made his mark on the tape with a charged up verse on Pressure with additional vocals from Jaij Hollands. Pressure, Migrate and Shupe all took the Ghanian route exploring both the Alkaida, Highlife and Pon Pon sounds respectively.
An array of influences from local Nigerian progressions to Jazz sounds were explored on the 19 track album and a laudable balance was maintained.
Yung L is not a new kid on the block and for an artiste who has been in the industry for over five years, the Better Late Than Never project is definitely not a punctual release but the singer made up for his lateness and we are honoured.
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