Masai, local to the 518 and member of super-group Against The Grain, is releasing the final installment in his trilogy of solo albums, right in time for tax season. We’ve still got another month of listening to Turbotax ads on Pandora until the album drops but I figured I’d let you preview what I’ve been listening to now.
“Almost Home” is a 15-track high calibre line-up featuring collaborations with a generous handful of other talented area rappers, producers and musicians including MIRK, JB!! aka Dirty Moses, Sev Statik, Knowle’ge, KassCrook and also members of his own collective, Against The Grain.
In advance of the February 13 release, Masai has made two tracks available for streaming.
“Circles” is a clear favorite of mine (of what I’ve heard so far, that is.) The track features Mike Arson and the two go back and forth about the competitive nature between rappers, of commercial and underground influencers alike, conceptually running verbal circles around it all. The motif of circles is prevalent throughout the song and the chorus has been doing laps in my head since I heard it.
Side note: I nominate this song to be included in a chapter I read in a hip hop book yesterday, which compiled a list of the top mentions of “sweaters” in contemporary rap music. Pretty random and interesting list which included lyrics from Biggie, Kanye West and Pusha T. Listen for it.
The second track is “February Pimpin’ (Tax Money)” and features JB!! aka Dirty Moses, with PJ Katz of Pig Food Records on the production duties. This track will get stuck in your head if you welcome it. Not only do I love the satire but the song itself is done well on all counts. I seriously hope there’s a music video in the works because that’d be fun as hell to witness. From the artists directly, “The song satirically takes a look at how materialism and consumerism, combined with poor decision making, can influence urban workers who foolishly spend their income tax returns.”
If you like what you hear, make the album yours!