Thursday, December 29, 2016

Blackalicious - IMANI Vol. 1



 
Greetings waveriders.  Crowd funding the creation of albums has been around for a few years now.  I have happily taken part in helping artists I like bring their latest work into the world, and I will readily give other artists money in the future to produce new music that I hope will enrich my life.  One of the albums I took part in funding this year was IMANI Vol. 1 from Blackalicious.

Admittedly, Blackalicious is my favorite hip-hop group.  If you take a look at my bio on this site's "Who We Be" section you will discover that I have their album Blazing Arrow, which single-handedly changed my mind about an entire genre of music, among my top five album list.  With that in mind I didn't have to think too hard about whether or not I wanted to further support them monetarily.  I was very confident that the music they produced would be to my liking and it turns out I was right!

IMANI Vol. 1 throws down the good-time-gauntlet from the jump.  The one, two, three punch of "Blacka", "Ashes To Ashes", and "On Fire Tonight" leave no doubt that Gift Of Gab is here to profoundly stimulate your mind with his lyrical gymnastics and Chief Xcel will not be satisfied until your whole body is gyrating to his wonderful productions.  Yes friends, this music is a prime example of the type of hip-hop that I seek out and treasure.  While not the be-all and end-all I'm always more impressed by emcees who deliver higher words per minute than those who rely on basic phrases repeated over and over again.  Also I do enjoy electronic, club friendly music but if given the choice I'll always prefer organic production rooted in actual instrumentation.
 
Similar to Blackalicious' previous releases a musical theme is interspersed throughout IMANI Vol. 1 tying all the songs together.  That's a good thing because there is a lot of musical variety on offer.  Emotions run the gamut.  There are joyful, happy songs.  There are boisterous, aggressive songs.  There are laid back, pensive songs.  Regardless of what you're looking to hear this album has you covered.  My favorite track "We Did It Again" falls squarely into the 'joyful, happy song' category, and it puts a smile on my face every time I listen to it.

Waveriders IMANI Vol. 1 is a fantastic record that will improve your life.  When you listen to this album the amount of positive vibes emanating from your speakers or headphones will invariably affect your mental state.  Hearing this music forces all the negative nonsense we all experience to fade away, at least until the album concludes.  But hey, one press of the play button and you're back to your happy place!  Join me there won't you?

-Penfold


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