Yes Indeed serves as a thirst-quencher for fans, and reveals the sonic dexterity of Yaadman.
By Emmanuel Daraloye
Nigerian musician, Yaadman, who was Yung L until two years ago, makes a comeback with his new extended play released on August 18, 2023. He calls it Yes Indeed, a six-track project, which also features a remastered version of his 2010 single, “SOS.”
In 2021, Yaadman released one of the best albums to ever come out of Africa, Yaadman Kingsize, which I only got to know about after reading a review of the album. We can blame this on Yaadman’s lack of media exposure, and two years after, this has not changed much. His music has, however, matured since his last album, and he has eased into another phase of his artistry.
Yaadman was born and raised in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. His mother played an influential role in his musical interest, introducing him to drums at an early age, as he played drums in church and in secondary school. While at the University of Jos, he met fellow artistes, Endia, J. Milla, Chopstix, and Ice Prince, and together, they founded the GRIP Boy movement – a music collective. In 2011, he relocated to Lagos to pursue his musical interest, and by 2017, got signed to Chocolate City Music, with his debut album Better Late Than Ever released with the label. This new EP comes fifteen months after the release of his EP, CLRS.
Yaadman has always been talented, with each phase of his artistry presenting an opportunity for the artiste to discover and perhaps reinvent himself. His maturation came fully on Yaadman Kingsize, as his succeeding EPs have geared towards leveraging on the milestones he achieved with the album.
Yes Indeed begins on a familiar terrain. “Looking For Me,” the first track, oozes self-confidence intermixed with brilliant songwriting. The dancehall track is punctuated with a swanky guitar and drum rolls. The title for this EP comes from the hook of this song: “I heard you are looking for me, I have been at the corner of the MIC, I tell them yes indeed.”
Yaadman shows excitement and liveliness on this track. His perceived enemies, as he mentions, are not spared. There is beauty in Yaadman’s confidence and this swagger is interspersed on the track; the artiste believes in himself. “Looking For Me,” is a sunny response to messages from his fans about his whereabouts, with the first line essentially summarising what the artiste has been up to in the last 15 months. Yaadman’s contagious energy on this song can elevate depressed minds. It serves as a motivation for those who lack enthusiasm for work. As expected, Yaadman is quick to tell listeners about his artistic dexterity.
How would violence and peace co-exist in a sentence? Yaadman provides an explanation on “Vawulence,” the second track on this EP. The opening interpolates Blaqbonez’s hit track “Shut Up.” “I come in peace but I carry small violence, in case a nigga wanna try me, I blow my jay but na money dey high me,” Yaadman boasts. The second verse of the song tethers towards self-aggrandisement and troublemaking. The heavy production emboldens Yaadman’s lyrics. Drums, snares, kicks, and shakers are the major components of this production. Unlike the opening track, Yaadman is calmer here, his words are slowly drawn out and listeners can clearly hear each line he utters.
Old tracks are beautiful, and the allure of an old song increases when the artiste gets famous for said track. Bringing back such tracks years after, perhaps, through a remix or remastering, is an opportunity to give new fans a taste of a classic gem. I suppose that this is what Yaadman aims to achieve with the remastered version of “S.O.S” – the original track being a decade old now. The remastered “S.O.S” is driven by a heavier production and a fuller base. The original verse is retained, and one gets to appreciate the versatility of Chopstix (the producer) on this track. Yaadman was relatively new to the music industry when the track was released in 2013, nevertheless, his confidence level was boisterous, giving off the flair of an old-timer. Perhaps, he was prophesying his greatness into existence. The first “S.O.S” was a heartfelt letter to Yaadman’s future self. He dreamt it, worked on it, and delivered it.
As is typical of Yaadman, he never shies away from self-motivating music, even as it might sometimes come off as narcissistic. “Sabi Boy” fully explores this motivation, as the artiste sings about his craft, while also expressing his troubles with cynics. His concerns do not come off as a lamentation, but rather as a young artiste communicating his worries. As the backup singer shows off his beautiful vocals, Yaadman comes through and deftly takes on the song.
Nigerian underground artiste, Oliander, shines bright on the sultry track, “Me She Want.” She lands this collaboration with less than three released tracks, and this reveals her brilliance as an artiste. Both artistes seamlessly co-exist on this track, “E be me she want, e be me she need, after all is said and done, na my love she want,” Yaadman reveals in the opening line of the song. On her part, Oliander comes through as Yaadman’s romantic interest, singing from the girlfriend’s point of view. Her verse responds to Yaadman’s lyrics as Oliander declares her love and affection.
Without a doubt, Yaadman knows how to end a project, continuing his superb-ending streaks from the gospel-influenced “Land of Light,” off Yaadman King Size album, and now, with “Motion.” Yaadman leaves the listeners in awe, keeping them in a reflective mood on the last track, and giving them a fitting goodbye till the next project. “Motion” is heavily driven on a soft drum and a shiny bouncy piano chord, with Yaadman expressing his trouble in the course of navigating life.
While the fans anticipate a follow-up to the seminal Yaadman Kingsize album, Yaadman has been giving the fans teasers from his hard drive. Right now, they have two EPs to listen to. Yaardman recognises his worth, even as the music industry is yet to give him his deserving flowers. He expresses this self-worthiness through his social media platforms, his aesthetics, and essentially, in his music. Yes Indeed is a thirst-quencher for fans, and reveals the sonic dexterity of Yaadman.
Lyricism – 1
Tracklisting – 1
Sound Engineering – 2
Vocalisation – 1
Listening Experience – 2
Rating – 7/10
Emmanuel Daraloye is Africa’s most prolific freelance music critic. He has over 600 album reviews in his archive.