Have you ever watched a really dope movie that you think the public has slept on? Ever found a really good book that confused you as to why it wasn’t in everyone’s favorite content? Have you ever found a song that was so amazing that you couldn’t fathom the idea of not letting your friends know about it? To these questions, the answer for the majority of the population is “yes.” And to the appalling few who can’t answer yes, allow me to fix that.
Music has been the voice for many types of people in many locations for many years. Songs are like anthologies that can be read with eyes closed; and many forget to acknowledge that every album has a sort of difference. However, there have been many albums in recent years that have been looked over for their creativity and – while having good or outstanding ratings – have been overlooked by the majority of the population. I believe these albums should receive a little more accreditation for their beauty and story-telling ability.
An amazing tale of woo from a voice just as beautiful as the story he tells. Jeff Bernat has birthed within me the desire to be a true gentleman with this late 2011 album. Yet, The Gentleman Approach has gotten relatively small acclaim for its elegance and flirtation. An unsung hero of this album (Though my personal favorite song on the album is “Moonlight Chemistry”) is the song “Girl At The Coffee Shop.” It is a tale of intrigue and infatuation that shares the simplest of stories and takes its listeners back to the time when coffee shops were meet-up spots and when finding love was as simple as an introduction and a Venti latté from Starbucks. To hear this album is to hear amorous old-school vibes, and that is the reason I will always believe that it was an underappreciated masterpiece.
Words cannot express how woefully sad I become every time I ask a person their opinions about Omen and they display confusion. The Dreamville artist responsible for creating this lyrical masterpiece was as talented as an up-in-coming artist could’ve gotten, but has fallen off recently. However, even before he was able to get accustomed to fame, he questioned the value of it. He felt the impacts of it and decided to describe the addiction to it and the mental & emotional strain that it could cause. This tale of change became known as Elephant Eyes and has continued to be slept on since it was first conceived in 2015. The crowned jewel of this album, in my opinion, has to be “Same Jezebel.” As many of us know, fame has its drawbacks; and most of us would never have guessed that a lack of love would be one of those drawbacks for anyone. In this track, Omen expresses his feelings for a groupie that he thought of as more. She had a possible future in his eyes that was torn away due to her promiscuity and insincerity. His regret and sadness is at full display when the hook is repeated at the end of the song as the music softens and you feel the pain that he felt as another prospective love turns out to be more of the same thing he has known. Omen shows his listeners that no matter how successful you are or how well-known, there will always be needs that are tougher to fill than others, and that not all attention is good attention.
There’s just something about hearing some good ole R&B that brings a person’s soul to its most grounded state. JMSN’s It Is happens to be one of the deepest compilations of human thought that I have ever experienced. Listening to a man pour his heart out about his insecurities and his naiveté has a sort of magic to it that shouldn’t have been as overlooked as it was. This album is a raw mixture of emotion that lets its listeners have a clear view into the old soul of the artist that created it. The most impactful song on the album, in my opinion, has to be “Cruel Intentions.” In a world where nothing is forever, JMSN attempts to communicate his humanity. “At the end of the day,” he says, “I just want some attention.” This gospel-inspired track gives the listener their clearest view into JMSN, and we see how human a star really is. We are all naive, we are all confused and eager; and this makes us easy to manipulate. JMSN tries to warn his listeners about the cruel intentions of the world around them, and that is why I think he’s a really dope artist who deserved more attention than he has gotten.
I cannot name a rapper today that gives off the same wisdom and energy as Rexx Life Raj. He is a man who loved his parents and learned a lot from his father particularly. The journey of Father Figure is an amalgam of ideologies jumping from entrepreneurship to activism and even discussing drug usage. Rexx seems to be a man who understands the road he has taken, and would like his listeners to hear how his thoughts bounce with each track to different thoughts about the way he perceives the world around him. The pièce de résistance of this album, in my opinion, is “OJW3.” This track spits so much wisdom that it itself has evolved into more of a philosophical discussion in my eyes more than a simple song. The only way to truly succeed is to earn it because, as Rexx puts it, “ain’t nobody gonna give you nothing.” We want everything: money, power, fame, love, freedom, etcetera, but how hard are we willing to work for it? Will we give up when we lose our friends or when we don’t think we’re going anywhere, or will we keep going until we see the bright day we’ve been working toward? This is the question that is subconsciously asked of its listeners. Questions are meant for answers, but the questions Rexx ask are meant for consideration; and that’s why I believe this album was as slept on by the public as a mattress.
The greatest weapons in the rap game are fast flows and deep flows, so when an artist has both, they have the potential to impact the world with their greatness. Sylvan LaCue is one of those artists. A very talented rapper, Sylvan has created an album that sits its listener down and attempts to have them look into their own minds and explore themselves. Apologies in Advance takes place within a circle talk among people who have met up for the discussion. They bounce from topic to topic ranging from perfection to empathy and environmental factors that help people become who they are destined to be. The nearly therapeutic conversation is complimented by mind-bending lyricism that drives home the idea behind each discussion skit. This is not only a creative approach, but an amazingly empathetic way to relate to the audience. The magnum opus of the album in my opinion is “Guilt Trip.” This track is an intellectual spill of the thoughts and feelings of an artist facing the demons in his mind. “What is success, why do I measure?” is one of the many questions he asks himself in this track.
Where Sylvan’s mind dwells is where most people dwell when they want to find a purpose in their actions or lives. He is guilt tripping himself because he knows that what he wants is materialistic and without meaning or purpose. But, we all want what he wants for ourselves. We want to have a bunch of money and our own “7-45 dripped in leather” and we all know that it won’t bring us long-term happiness. But we still want it regardless. This track gets into our conscience and makes us question the intent and purpose of the things we desire and the things we do. This album is a free therapy session in which you find a person who thinks like you and describes your thoughts as he himself tries to better himself with the album, and for that, this album should be on the playlist of every person.