Yaaaaow NikkiSiixxers! Remember when Rap was an entirely different entity than Hip-Hop? Remember when Hip-Hop was actually… Hip-Hop? Remember when Hip-Hop spoke to the soul? Remember the first time you heard Mos Def’s “Black on Both Sides”, The Roots’ “Things Fall Apart” or Mos & Kweli’s “Black Star”? …If you don’t, then the project I’m introducing to you today will definitely remind you.
Abiola Otusanya a.k.a. Musiq Man brings us an album that is the embodiment of Hip-Hop, soulful, melodic and marvelously cultured. Musiq Man’s project, entitled “The Journals”, contains 12 tracks with blends of Hip-Hop, Soul, R&B and Spoken Word that he entirely produced and composed himself. That, along with vocal and written contributions by talented artists such as Sophie Paul, Z, Jon Hope, Kahifa, Pyinfamous, Carolyn Mcgoldrick and O’nimsi Da Wordsmith was enough to bring a tear to my eye.
Kinda’ like the first time I ever tasted a Cinnabon…or Frosted Cheerios.
Hailing from Brighton, this Artist/Composer/Multi-Instrumentalist/Performer of Nigerian origin put together a beautiful collaborative effort on a production with melodic layers that fit together seamlessly. I listened to this album multiple times. I pulled random people off the street and made them listen. I’m two listens away from knocking on doors and making them listen too. I’ve officially turned into some form of Hip Hop Jehova’s Witness…the aggressive kind.
This review isn’t to say that there is anything wrong with what is called “Hip-Hop” today. There are many talented artists out there who make different versions and sub-genres of Hip-Hop/Rap, but its nice to see that there exists artists who haven’t forgotten this culture. Musiq Man is one of those artists. It’s as if he combined all of Hip-Hop’s best elements and put them in “The Journals” project.
Do yourself a favor and take a listen to this project. If you’re into that true Hip-Hop soul with elements of jazz, R&B and culture then you’ll appreciate Musiq Man’s interpretation of music and how he perceives it. I did. If I had a grading system for the music I listen to, I would give this album 10 out of 10 “Smack Yo’ Neighbors”.
“A Rigorous Polygamist. I’m married to the streets then patrol to the beats.
Still seein’ the struggle on the side. Nothin’ in the budget for a bride. They told me that they loved me but they lied.”