featured REVIEW


D.Black Ali'Yah MYX Music • 2009

A dedication to moving on in the best way, to grow up, to deal with responisbilities, D.Black’s newest album seemed like a complicated task for a lyricist of that young age (22), but amazingly the Seattle rapper really did an admirable job. Without one time getting too preachery, 'Ali'Yah' (Hebrew for 'to ascend') is a testimony of life experciences and insights, that’s backed up by exciting, soulful production.

Although having been associated with a gangster image ‘they sayin I’m a gangster and I’m hood and I’m street’, D.Black immediately profiles himself ('Frank Lucas? Not in a million') as a rapper who searches his inspiration in the inner soul rather than in guns. ‘My joy, my pain, my life, my beats, my words, my mic', D.Black summarizes the concept of this introspective album in the opening Vitamin D-produced 'What I Do'. ‘Makin music takes who you are, but watch what they play to you', Black further states in 'Yesterday', one of the most motivating songs, urging people to forget about yesterday and move forward, to something better. 'It’s no longer cool to use our brain like a tool’, he criticizes in 'Keep On Going', where producer Vitamin D himself lays some conscious vocals over his own agile drums; ‘I hope we got change with the first black pres, health care work that bread!’.

With D.Black being fully converted to his religion, the album doesn’t tries to convert the listener, but now and then Black utters criticism towards religious institutes. On the Jake One snare-slapper ‘Yah Have Mercy’, he goes; 'they want us to go to church for the answers, it feels like a cancer, we feel pre-judged before we talked to the paster, from the pulpit we hear the same sermon on any given Sunday, is it even worth it? We celebrate Sabbath on the wrong day, a falsified doctrine and shuf it in their face. Mr Preacher, instead of hearing God, we listening to you’ and expresses his belief in God and God alone in 'Close to Yah',
Not afraid of having an opinion, that is well-developed and mature, Big Black’s on attack like the one and only, with a message for you and yours without turning into Mr Preacher. With its lush, jazzy, soulful sample texture ('Let It Go'), the record has an eerie soundscape with snares that kick you a conscience, and confronts you with a vision rather than entertaining you with superficialities.

POSTED ON 10|07|2009 by cpf

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