Since 2017, Davolee has been telling his inner-city Lagos story with ‘Festival Bars.’
After the exodus that involved Chinko Ekun, Lil Kesh, Viktoh and Adekunle Gold, Olamide signed Davolee to YBNL in November 2016.
Festival Bar I
What followed in 2017 was the B-Banks-produced ‘Festival Bar.’ The song is a lo-fi, drum-heavy, bass-rich trap beat laced with a the story of inner-city lifestyle and majorly, the topic of deceit and greed.
In front of the bar is a shop owned by Mama G. In addition to his bar responsibilities, Segun (Davolee’s character in the song), also goes to Mama G’s shop that is managed by a sales girl named Salewa, a deceitful person
Salewa hikes prices on everything, and reject Segun’s counsel to stop doing such. She sees the money she makes from her deceit as a way to maintain herself. It all comes to a head when Salewa sold Don Simon a regular customer for NGN1,000 – it ordinarily sells for NGN600.
She was new, so she didn’t realize who she sold to was a regular customer who then protested so much that Mama G had to intervene. In the end, she chastises Salewa, but ends up blaming Segun for teaching an already corrupt Salewa bad habits of deceit. The song ends with Segun rejecting such claims of deceit as an ‘igboro boy.‘
Festival Bar II
Since leaving YBNL, Davolee has been relatively quiet, barring a single titled, ‘Way’ that struggled to shake a few trees. Released a couple of days ago, ‘Festival Bar II (Rodo)‘ is a continuation of ‘Festival Bar I,‘ and it chronicles Segun’s life after leaving Mama G’s.
Segun now jobless goes back to the hood. His life was headed nowhere, and he had limited life prospects. Fearing for his future, his family members tried to help him find his path shut his football dreams down.
With little money to fund an education, and an unwillingness to go into a life of crime, Segun took to working with with constructions company. When he realized that hustle was not going to fund his big dreams, he left it.
His parents started criticizing his life choices. Frustration became anger as he couldn’t find employment. So, Segun started lashing out, fighting and breaking bottles in the streets. About seven months later, Segun got a job at Aqua Dana where he was earning N17,500.
The money was insufficient to fund his feeding, transportation and music career so he started doing a little ‘Dine and dash’ at Iya Nafi’s place – he also introduced his friends to the madness. A little later, he quit Aqua Dana after having issues with his tyrannical boss, Mr. Tony.
Instead of apologizing, he left defiantly due to his ego. He then became a motor boy before he got sick. All this while, he was dropping freestyles on his Instragram page, but didn’t realize Olamide Badoo was watching.
This version ends with Davolee promising to tell the story of his short affiliation with YBNL Nation on the next ‘Festival Bar.’
Which ‘Festival Bar’ was better?
Bars, technique, flow and cadence
Neither version is about outrageously impressive bars. Instead, they both thrive on intricate, impressive rhymes schemes. ‘Festival Bar I‘ is the bigger one, but ‘Festival Bar II‘ has slightly better rhyme schemes and words.
At times, ‘Festival Bar I‘ seems to lag on beat counts with some bars ending abruptly. But at the time, Davolee was just coming into his own. On the second one, his technique is obviously better and growth is apparent.
Festival Bar I: 1.3/2
Festival Bar II: 1.6/2
Both parts have detailed stories, but Part one painted a better picture, while Part two adequately incorporated more moving parts.
Festival Bar I: 1.7/2
Festival Bar II: 1.7/2
Production on Part two is impressive, but the production on Part two is slightly denser and better.
Festival Bar I: 1.7/2
Festival Bar II: 1.9/2
Part I is one story at one sitting, but Festival Bar II fuses several timelines into one story. While Part I sometimes saw Davolee veering off course to amplify conversations, Part II saw Davolee focused and on course while managing several storylines across a few months on one song.
Festival Bar I: 1.4/2
Festival Bar II: 1.6/2
Both parts chronicle the unsavoury parts of lower-class inner-city Lagos Lifestyle. Part one runs on themes of deceit, empathy and implication while Part two runs on contentment, hustle, desperation, frustration, and pride.
Both times, themes were well articulated.
Festival Bar I: 2/2
Festival Bar II: 2/2