A review of ‘YEEBO’ by Afrobeats star Lemon Adisa

He combines Fuji, Afrobeats, Hip Hop, and the solemnity of his Islamic faith in making music that is introspective yet ambitious.

For an artist who would have likely been a Fuji band leader if not for Afrobeats, Lemon Adisa’s cadence leans almost entirely to Fuji. His vocal texture, flow pattern, and conversational style of music are quintessential to Fuji music.

On the introspective Konto bounce of ‘Vanity,’ he speaks on the dire realities of growing up with nothing which motivates him to desire the fine things of life which is tagged as “vanity”. “Is suffering not vanity?” Lemon Adisa questions before letting all know that what they consider vanity he sees as reality and by the heavens, he will bask in the reality he desires.

He stretches his vocals over the fuji percussions of ‘Kokoka’ and molds Fuji melodies reminiscent of Pasuma‘s music as he makes a mockery of society’s promotion of education over fraud in a society where education no longer guarantees a good life.

The willingness to embrace every part of their reality including the socially undesirable part and wear it as a badge of honour without caring for public pontification is a striking quality Nigerian Street music shares with American hip hop.

Lemon Adisa wears his ghetto realities with pride on the deliciously introspective ‘Ghetto Boy’. He restates his desire for success and asks not to be judged for dabbling in the undesirable on a record where his melodies are elevated by commanding adlibs.

He borrows from a classic Islamic gospel song for ‘Mama’ where he pays tribute to his mother on an Amapiano fusion that borrows from Islamic gospel music which greatly influenced Fuji through Were. Bhadboi OML‘s sampling of the famous nursery rhyme captures the creative freedom that defines Street music even as he remained within the thematic boundaries.

The growing influence of Western hip hop in Street music shapes ‘Son of Adamore (Son of Adam)’ where Lemon Adisa ponders on the endless struggle to break free of life’s travails. The palpable melancholy in his vocals increases the utility as he narrates how the lives of young men are been drastically altered by their socioeconomic realities.

The hustle isn’t easy and Otega‘s arresting vocals emphasise the price that comes with desiring the fine things of life on the swing record ‘Banki’.

Lemon Adisa doesn’t intend to shy away from his reality and with this mindset, he makes a neo-fuji project that connects with those who share his reality.

He’s part of the Street prophets whose gospel is leading the ascension of Nigerian street music.

Songwriting, Themes, and Delivery: 1.5/2

Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 1.4/2

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