Jahi of Enemy Radio (Chuck D, DJ Lord, S1W) recently put out his 17th project Reasonings, a 10-track, self-produced project that pays homage to his Rastafarian belief. The album falls on the heels of the single release for “Fight the Power 2020,” which finds the Oakland-based emcee/educator rapping alongside Nas, Rapsody, Black Thought, and YG. As a practicing Rastafarian, Jahi has found his own unique way of fusing his beliefs with hip-hop without compromising either culture and the result is a mix stemming from more than two decades deep in the rap game.
The title track opens up the project and immediately Jahi lets his mission statement be loud and clear when he says “I’m an artist, not a narcissist, sidestep your artifice/people choosing money at the risk of human carnage” over the sparse xylophone-driven backdrop. This is followed by the anthemic “No More” with its triumphant brass lines and bouncy grooves provided by Jubba White. Jahi vents his anger with a characteristic calm in his voice and points out all the injustices the system has done against his kinfolk. Joining him on the track is Tuff Gong recording artists Arron Nigel who provides a stirring chorus to complete the mission.
Jahi sure knows how to create the perfect backdrops that suit him. He doesn’t try to overproduce or layer huge tons of musical elements for the fun of it and for the most part, he keeps it simple but effective. Tracks like “Globe”, “Nightshift” have a dark ominous feel to them and they fall in the low to mid-tempo range allowing Jahi to effortlessly convey his thoughts in a calm collected manner. On the vintage-styled bounce of “Magic” he speaks on how society looks down on natural black hairstyles and the effects of colonial mentality on blacks’ self-value. He wraps up the project with “Give Thanks”, a perfect closer where he shows appreciation to everything and everyone that has an effect on his life and implores us to also do the same. Reasonings is grown man raps at its peak filled with positive vibrations, feel-good music, and a reminder for all to always do the right thing.
Check out the video for “No more” below which was shot in New Orleans by Abdul Aziz and features Tuff Gong recording artists Arron Nigel on vocals and drummer Jubba White.
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