Rating: 8 / 10
With all of the surrounding drama with the death of Trayvon Martin, the ever-increasing undertone of racism at an all-time high, and the fact that there is still a large number of people don’t seem to care about either situation, it would seem that a change of heart is needed now more than ever for most of American society. One artist who seems to realize that is the Chicago MC Add-2; fresh off his cosign from Common, Add-2 makes no motion whatsoever to sidestep the issues concerning his people in his latest release, Save.Our.Souls, and does it in a way that comes off as refreshing to the ear.
Lyrically, Add-2 gives listeners a great mix of clever bars and punchlines, but never strays from his topic. Songs like “The Real Back”, “Going Going Gone”, and “Bring ‘Em Out, display his versatile rap skills, and the presentation of those songs are dope as well; “The Real Back” samples some classic Bernie Mac lines, the 9th Wonder-produced “Going Going Gone” has a great vibe to it throughout, and the hook for “Bring ‘Em Out” serves as a nice nod to Alphamega’s verse on T.I.’s “Hurt” single.
Add-2 is incredible lyrically on all fronts, but he is at his absolute best on S.O.S. when he’s addressing taboo topics concerning Black culture. “Cotton Fields” outlines the parallels between slavery times and today’s times with powerful introductory bars (“My Granny used to put her fingers back when she was picking cotton / now I’m picking cotton shirts just for me to rock ‘em”) and ratchets up the intensity by the end of the song (“Ain’t a damn thing changed, it’s still a slave trade / NFL, NBA, just ain’t the same name / All these record label exec’s manufacturing songs / ask Jimmy Iovine how many slaves he owns…”). The scathing continues later in the tracklisting as “Modern Day Coons” takes aim at the Black people who aspire to be less than their worth.
It’s a great listen, but the best thing about S.O.S is that Add-2 is completely aware that he isn’t without fault and takes aim at himself as well. Songs like “Losing Me” featuring Nida Nasheeda shows the MC at a juncture of his life that even has him asking God to save HIS soul, in a sense. At the end of the project, as opinionated as Add-2 comes off, he’s the epitome of the intelligent Black male who realizes that all isn’t as it seems in his culture and expresses that well within his music. Save.Our.Souls embodies that aspect in almost every way, and it is well worth the download if you needed a reason to see why Common supports him.
You can download it here.
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