Nigerian-American and Atlanta wordsmith, Kolo, pens an emotional track about keeping his mind on the work. “So Far, So Close” is an expression of having faith in your purpose.
Leek Mali rides the high of a summer of crushing his goals. “Summer Forever” transfers his infectious confidence with a psychedelic beat that exudes timelessness, freezing listener and emcee in the high of success.
French-Cameroonian artist Dirtsa is back with another single. “Questions” is more of the lyricists’ fierce delivery over a winding beat. She questions the ignorance towards ongoing worldwide injustices in a way that implies seeking answers means taking action.
The subtleties of strings accompany a player persona as Chicago’s Jay Wood spins an image of braggadocio. But “She Got Me” soon flips the perspective as the emcee and listener soon realize who’s actually pulling the strings.
Taken from the prefix meaning “of all things,” Kevin Holliday’s ‘OMNI’ is an all-encompassing multi-genre EP that escapes from the serious. Funk grooves and indie-rock strings underpin a croon that positions Holliday as a romantic with a punk facade.
James the Prophet and Chester Watson rap about traveling a steadily shrinking world on “Tobago.” Lo-fi textures accompany creeping anxieties spurred by the climate crisis, but the beat’s gentle bob and the emcees’ listing flows lead the track to relaxing waters.
Sparsely populated with gentle acoustics that wraps even the saddest sentiments in a comforting glow, ‘everything’s going to be alright’ by Hoosh is a melancholy retrospective on the nomadic vocalist and songwriter’s changing conceptualization of home. It’s a tale of aspirations and opportunity costs that ends in a seismic shifting of person.
Blending hip hop with ancient Mediterranean instruments and brimstone bars, The Urban Renewal Project and Vic Mensa face “urban survival syndrome” with a warrior spirit. “Will to Survive” is a triumphant piece of music that energizes action.
Love brings life in the flutter of the heart and rush of awareness, but as easily as it gives, it takes. “Killing Me Slowly” by Paris Price bridges romance from life to death with features from Chris Patrick and Dende.
In a blustery duet, Eimaral Sol and Dende harmonize while drifting apart. “Season” is a mutual breakup song that sees two vocalists with unique edge agreeing to give each other room to grow independently.