Hopefully my peeps know by now that I wear many hats! 🙂 One being a writer for two magazines. This is a music review I did for Delux Magazine (based in St. Louis and Atlanta). I hope you take a listen to this brotha’s music and tell him I sent ya!
“If you’re going to try, go all the way; otherwise don’t even start”…wise words from the intro off the September release from YUSEF, Jazz & the Joint Forces. And jazzy it is (mixed with a lil pimp shit – his words)! The melodies are filled with horns, flutes, and pianos. That sound is prevalent throughout the album.
With lyrics to make you rewind like, “Wait what’d he say?”, this DC dweller isn’t creating fast-paced, raunchy club hits for the kids to dance to, rather thought-provoking music for your mind. And not that you’ll have to think too hard to catch his point, but like an intriguing movie or television show, you’ll want to talk about this one while engaging in adult beverages with peers. Grown folks music, for sure.
YUSEF describes his music as “a love poem to life on the streets.” It’s written to “the fearlessness of generational icons such as Marvin Gaye, Malcolm X, James Brown, Public Enemy, and De La Soul to name a few. A raw glimpse of the past, present, and future of not only trying to just sustain life, but of the journey through the love for life and God that glues it all together.” YUSEF aims to shine his light on some of the roots of jazz music while looking forward to the future of hip-hop and good music in general.
One of my favorite tracks on the album, Flip Side, starts with a smooth instrumental introduction. About a minute in, YUSEF tells a story about a love that came out of nowhere. More than likely inspired by real life interactions, the new love quickly grew old. The flip side hit and had him “mentally drained, spiritually subdued.” In a song that could have had a bitter ending, instead he ends by saying, “We might not be meant but you’re still valued…I’m kinda jealous of your man when ya life gets smooth.” That’s something all ladies want to hear so we know it was real.
Grab a glass of wine and get ready to bob your head as you mosey over to his Bandcamp page to hear more!
(( Check how Awkward Black Girl used two of his tracks off of “the Epic”.))