Why is Adekunle Gold doing better than former label mate “Lil Kesh”

Making music should not be determined by a new trend birth or the style and flow currently in vogue. Trends can be viral,  extremely large and even blown beyond ones thinking , however, it slowly lean back like a setting sun into the dark. Just one day you wake up and you’re fade up with it and unto the next big thing.

Former YBNL artists


After Olamide Adedeji popularly as “Baddo” set up his self owned record label YBNL, he was immediately doing great for himself as a pathfinder. It wasn’t long the rapper decides to expand his label and he signed a couple new guys on the block. Amongst the new boys signed was Lil Kesh and Adekunle Gold as they caught our attention within a short time. The route they traveled to musical stardom was different.

Adekunle Gold and Lil Kesh

Lil Kesh talent captivated his former boss Olamide after the boss supposedly listened to his first professional single ‘Lyrically’. No doubt his kind of talent would definitely pull the attention of his fellow Bariga bred artiste and senior colleague Baddo. A guy with street consciousness, who raps in his indigenous Yoruba dialect was truly a catch for Olamide. ‘Lyrically’ was dope but Lil Kesh’s real music breakthrough came on the wings of a predominant sound ‘Shoki’.

Artiste started copying the style as they start dishing out danceable songs like the ‘shoki’ style for their songs to become a hit. Lil Kesh’s ‘Shoki’ was good but a remix with DMW boss Davido was truly a story changer. Lil Kesh gradually became a household name in the music industry after the release of the remix and it was nearly bigger than the singer himself. It didn’t take long before he was tipped to become the next big thing as well as being nominated for various awards.

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On the other side, Adekunle Gold broke onto the scene when he added his ‘Nigerianess’ to his cover of defunct boy band One Direction song ‘Story Of My Life’. Music lovers almost instantly fell in love with Adekunle Gold’s cover ‘Sade’. The soundtrack may have been familiar but the singer splash his gold dust on the song and we loved it even though the shoki dance was still very much in town. This Adekunle Gold’s sound which flirts between high life and alternative music wasn’t mainstream as at that time. The sound wasn’t borne out of a trend but of deliberate effort. ‘Sade’ opened doors even then Adekunle further cemented his presence with his kind of music with follow up singles like ‘Orente’, ‘Pick Up’ etc. Here he was Kunle Kosoko aka Adekunle Gold making hits while being different.

Since he parted ways with YBNL, the reality is that becoming a label boss may not be exactly easy for Lil Kesh & Adekunle even though their former boss Olamide may have made it easier.

The reality on ground is that Lil Kesh career has suffered a major setback after he officially cut ties with YBNL. It’s now obvious Olamide steadied his cruising ship and gave it a purposeful direction. Lil Kesh is merely groping his way through things these day.  On the other hand, Adekunle Gold has made a smooth transition into being independent and his own boss. The truth may be in the fact that Adekunle has managed to carve a niche for himself and gradually metamorphosing into his own genius which is not the same thing for Lil Kesh. For the most part songs from Kesh post-YBNL are not deliberate. The rapper doesn’t seem to have found his uniqueness even though he makes music for the ‘street’.

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Why is Adekunle Gold is doing better than Lil Kesh

Artists’ Personal Branding & Image

One thing that most have ensured Adekunle Gold enjoyed a seamless and hitch free transition from being signed to a record label and thereafter becoming a boss is largely due to his image. The ‘Ire’ crooner since his days at YBNL had managed to keep a clean and clear image for himself. You don’t need to look too far to see his maturity drip through his persona. He has his special ‘adire’ type clothing style which he proudly promotes. The Genre of his music doesn’t come across to a listener as razz and uncouth. Meanwhile, Kesh who is the owner of YAGI records is different from his former label mate. Juvenile exuberance still shines through Lil Kesh from fashion style to the kind of music he makes. If a multinational brand needed a poster boy for a campaign you know who the choice would be.

Artists’ Unique Sound

As earlier mentioned Lil Kesh has not mastered his unique kind of street music. He still plays along the level of offered by street hop music. Kesh is yet to fully harness and own his sound when it comes to indigenous and street music. His music is mostly built around a fad or trend which often get out of style.

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Adekunle Gold is amongst the new breed of artists who have made Nigerians begin listening to a subtle genre or alternative music. His sound is very African, unique and deep.  It’s a given you’ll always have music with good lyrical content from Adekunle. Most importantly the golden man knows his stage craft, he puts up a great performance during live performance.

Artists’ Lyrical Content & Storyline

Vulgarity and shallow lyrical depth is closely related with Lil Kesh’s music. Most of the times there is no real story told through his songs. His music always leaves much to be desired.

Meanwhile Adekunle Gold comes from a rare breed of artists who put in work writing songs. His music is one that speaks to you even after a long while. The message stays relevant, there is always a story behind his songs to listen.

Making trendy music or music born out of trending culture or sound is cool but an artist who over indulges risks being easily forgotten. A musician must always find a way to live forever with his music and doesn’t come by indulging trends or new obsession.

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