Malcolm London, a Chicago native, is a full time poet/educator/activist and most recently rapper. His most recent full length rap offering is "Opia" a great listen on social issues and Malcolm love for his city. Through the use of traditional hip-hop and gospel elements, creates a sound that is very very Chicago. Malcolm interweaves brilliant lyrics of hopes, ambitions that make this a fresh perspective.
Below is a track by track review of "Opia":
1. New Day
Reflects a feeling that this age we live in has affected many of our social competencies such how we treat each other, how we judge by gender, race, wealth. Malcolm understands these complexities but says there is nothing complex about “love and acceptance”
2. Get It Right
An aggressive track signaling Malcom has arrived and he is confident about it. He particular telling his white counter parts to get it right when he does arrive
3. House Party Feat. How To Dress & Femdot
Is a feel good, dance track that sounds like a classic house party. This is definitely a track made for the function.
4. Misses Vagabond Feat. Ethos
An ode to a very special person with a sound that sure will get you in the mood. Netflix and Chill anyone?
A melodic, laid back track with mesmerizing technical raps. A great song to block the haters with.
6. Opia Featuring Jamila Woods
The album-titled track featuring fellow Chicago native Jamila Woods, is a tranquil ode to his city. From topics ranging on how the city has shaped him to Chance The Rapper recent success. A great listen overall
7. Cigarettes and Coffee Featuring Kiara Lanie & Donnie Trumpet
A track that falls right in line with the classic Chicago sound, with a chorus from Kiara Lanie sounds like something straight from TLC.
8. Westside In the Rain
With its swirling organs, it reminds one of the nostalgic feel of church as a youth. A great song about his neighborhood, that doesn’t use that Chicago dance influence.
9. Take Your Time Feat. Noah Chris
Another feel good track with a bounce that makes you want to move. The infectious beat along with his lyrics about youth and the future of getting older. And a smooth chorus from Noah Chris ties the track together. Notable lines “My to do list be their bucket list”.
10. Charlie Feat. Christian Jalon
A dreamy track that combines an aggressive flow discussing everything from being a black boy to Jesus to Bill Nye. This song acknowledges how greed has blinded us and has made us cynical and conforming. Malcom expounds how this blind greed has made us victim to the system. and possible “what if” solutions to these problems. Ending the song with a beautiful chant celebrating the life of black people by Christina
11. NorthStar Featuring Vic Mensa & Maceo Haymes
A smooth, laid back track shedding light on the realities of his city to personal manifestos one must have if they wish to be a positive influence. This song greatly ties together personal reflective elements of the album and how that plays into the world around us. Malcolm is assisted by a great, beat hopping verse from Vic Mensa that makes this feel like an authentic Chicago project.
12. Malcolm London
A perfect conclusion to the album, shedding light on his past and his ambitions for the future. Not only his future but his city’s future and his family’s. Is a bright, aggressive traffic that perfectly gets across that Malcolm has indeed arrived.
For more info on Malcom London:
In Pixburgh, check out Malcom London w/ Benji at Cattivo! Grab your tix here