From the church to the street. Conscious rap from Hezekiah...
Elle J Small 2007
Record label Rawkus was always synonymous with quality hip hop, so it was a sad day in the land of rap when its demise fell upon us. Thank your shell toe Adidas then, that its resurrection is here. Hezekiah is one of the first artists to release under the rekindled hip hop emporium, with this tasty, anti-shallow-rap offering.
Political and social commentary (cf: 'From the streets to the Middle East, we all fighting the President' from "If One Falls") is smattered throughout this retro soul and funk-tinged album. Not just a one-trick pony though, Hezekiah is also responsible for crafting the fluid, head-nodding beats. In fact he’s previously worked with the likes of Musiq Soulchild, Bahamadia and Pharoah Monche.
As with many American black music artists, our man grew up in the church and it was in the house of God that he began honing his musical talents. Those humble beginnings have clearly had a hefty influence on the Philly-based musician; it’s almost as though the eye of the Lord is watching as he spits his moral stance throughout. In a good way.
It seems the masses are finally becoming fed up of predictable, gangster-laden lyrics and empty, uninspiring beats. So if you’re loving Lupe Fiasco, The Roots, Mos Def and co, then you’re gonna fall head over heels for this percussion-heavy long player.
Collaborations with fellow notables, including hip hop star Freeway and underground, new-school soul legends like Bilal and Jaguar Wright simply add more weight to what is a sensational sophomore. We predict a riot.