MTU7SABA x CARMEN LOOKSHIRE

A year back I did a piece about Machakos Kyalo and the ONE TRyBE COMPANy, an African based music collective. I talked to MTU7SABA about some of One Trybe’s work, but didn’t really get to touch base on his music, and if I had the room I would have. MTU puts out great music often, and is all around a great creative spirit. MTU is releasing an afro-beat album December and another album early next year , so the song is a precursor of what’s to come.

“I got an album coming out soon after elections in my country. It’s an album full of African music. It’s a seven track album. I’m also planning to have a tour to promote my latest single “Don’t Tell Mommy Why” feat. Carmen Lookshire from the U.S,” MTU said.
“Right now am on a mission to preach peace in my motherland, I am a peace ambassador chosen by the gods.”

A month back MTU dropped a song with Carmen Lookshire, “Don’t Tell Mommy Why”, and it’s beautiful. I was supposed to write about it earlier this summer, but I got a full time-writing job so my blog was inactive and I was unable to write the piece, which I regret. The track would have been too nice for the season, and I did a lot of people wrong by not shedding some light on this track going into the heat of summer.

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Anyways, here is the track. It’s sad, sweet and warm. The lyrics can be a little heart breaking, but with the beach theme to back the wonderful music it still lifts my spirits.

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NliteN drops debut album “!NFiNiT”

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Photography by Gracie Gulick

Two years ago I wrote a profile on NliteN, and with an EP and a hand full of singles he showed a lot of promise. Well, August 23rd his debut album, “!NFiNiT”, drops. Taking a listen, right off the bat you can hear the sound NliteN’s had all along, but tighter.

Clocking in a eight tracks, the album is a cohesive work that will later define NliteN’s style to new listeners. !NFiNiT still has that tight flow that switches tempos on a dime and the ethereal Fly-Loish-Sci-Fi like production that had NliteN standing out as a rapper who’s time is well spent focused on production and lyrical finesse over aesthetics and straight hype- and it should be noted that NliteN did the production almost exclusively himself.

“If time is money why you wasted/ saw a message in a bottle drank it down now I’m wasted/ this flow is copyin’ and pastin’/ that’s a problem that I’m facin: threw a party in a basement/ coppers in the place/ anyone seen Jayson? …Grace and?… Anybody else I came with,” opening lyrics off the fifth track, “Fly”

Lyrically NliteN is clever and with how easily he switches his flow up, listeners won’t lose focus on his voice. NliteN flirts with the beats he raps over, his voice doesn’t detract but only adds. At the same time, you won’t necessarily find any crazy bass heavy party bangers. That’s not to say the album does not have energy, NliteN’s energy is in his delivery, you just won’t find a track that’s focused on messy fun; but that’s obviously not what NliteN is about. Without any features and considering the brevity of the album, !NFiNiT is a strong debut that showcases what NliteN cares about, his words and voice, his ability to put himself out there as a rapper you can listen to, enjoy, and take something from.

You wouldn’t do yourself or the album justice hopping around between songs, listen to the album as it is supposed to run and you’ll see a well thought out musical experience. Listen to it with some context from the visual story he provides along with the piece, and there’ll be a solid story that sets the album apart from any mixtape or NliteN release thus far.

Between the production and the time you can spend just listening to NliteN’s lyrics, I found myself driving to the album, writing to it, chilling to it. Importantly, I found myself really listening to it, something I haven’t done with an album in awhile.

Find !NFiNiT here

 

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