THE CUTS is a short review of songs, videos or albums that we think you need to hear or watch. The music is not genre and/or region specific. Once it is good, it will be covered here. THE CUTS is available each FRIDAY
Laura Lora – Rebel
One of the best things about music or being an artist is, you can speak your peace and your words would connect with others. Laura Lora’s ‘Rebel’ is her cathartic session-she is airing out her frustrations about getting misunderstood. ‘Y3 fr3 me rebel/they ain’t never seen nothing like me/ so they get the bible/ all they wanna do is pray for’, she sings on the synths and piano stub hook. The sentiments expressed on the hook reveals how every sort of rebellion against a system is misconstrued as work of the devil.
At 22 years, Laura is at that point in life where she needs no distractions, especially from those who find her ways unconventional (‘humble, traditional bullshit and nonsense pissing my ears’). The challenges of adulthood aside, Laura contends with identity crisis in the second verse: ‘not African enough, not American enough, never woman enough, goddam who made these laws’, she wonders. Basking in a low tempo, dull glow, Laura’s voice float atop the beat. She sounds fearless; like one who is fed up with the stereotypical construct of society. She wants to be free. She indeed sounds like a rebel.
Jon Foli – Late Night (Her Last Note)
Jon Foli’s music is message driven-whether it’s about love or social issues-he clothes them in stories. Off his new EP, ‘’Tear Stains on Blue Satin’ comes ‘’Late Night’’ (Her Last Note), a song inspired by the sad demise of a university student through an alleged suicide. Jon Foli raps about how the weight of expectations from parents affect their beloved kids negatively, leading to some taking, sometimes bad decisions. ‘’On Late Night’’, he intimates how his love for his parents and readiness to make them proud. But, their absence from home and lack of personal relationship between him and them keeps the distance of intimacy far off. This means they don’t get to see the pressure he’s reeling under. The song is his apology for taking away his life.
The 8 track album has songs like soulful ‘’Desires’’; a song about feeling unappreciated. ‘’Wash Away’’ has him musing about his crush over bass, kicks and heavy piano chords. One could see traces of J. Cole on this song. Jon Foli sings about the complications of human relationships where a simply call or text could resolve every strand of foolishness away on ‘Missed Calls’. On ‘If I Could’, he talks about how ego and pride could ruin something perfect. The increasing addiction to social media and how it’s taking over our lives is addressed on ‘Technology’. Closing the album is ‘Losing Interest’ featuring Dean. The two describe how they moved on after a breakup. TSOBS showcases the rapping and singing skills of Jon Foli and his love for storytelling and good content. Even though he doesn’t possess the voice of a god, his singing is good, something I enjoyed listening to. He should consider singing some more.
Zarion Uti feat PsychoYP –Aye
Hard work beget success. Doubters can’t get into your heard if you know what you want especially when your pursuit doesn’t fall within the crafts considered conventional. For Nigerian afro soul artist, he has one goal and that’s making it in music. Over a mellow trap beat, Zarion addresses those who doubted his ambitions and said he may ‘never fly around the globe’ or drive a nice car. The featured Psycho YP, like Zarion carries same mindset: ’just 19 but I’m tryana buy some land, Got to intervene cos they wanna change the plan’. His raps gave the song a bit of energy and balance. Aye is one of those songs that sucks you in from the beginning to end, thanks to its melody, catchy rhythms and relatable lyrics.
DanQuah – Selfish (Cover) Refix
DanQuah hands ‘Selfish’, the breakout hit of King Promise a new look by laying a rap verse to it. Maintaining the beat and the hook, DanQuah fills the song with raps about love. He celebrates the qualities of the girl in his life, like how she ‘builds a big barrier between you and your foes’, the fights and the amends, and how she isn’t swayed by the antics of other guys. DanQuah makes it clear in his raps that she is more like a best friend than a lover. A graduate of KNUST, DanQuah began rapping in Senior High School. After a break from making music, DanQuah has picked the mic again with this cover being his first release.
Azizz – Summer Time
The Chicago singer has a jam perfect for the summer season. ‘’Summer Time’’, as the song is titled, celebrates women across the world, especially the melanin possessing damsels over an afro beat sound tampered with a dancehall/Caribbean vibe. On the mid-tempo song, Aziz sings ‘your melanin girl, it got me stuck on you/can I have a taste of you? / You know I got sweet tooth’. Dancehall artist Jah Shanti pops up, dropping some Caribbean vibe to the tune. His musically toned voice is a necessary addition. It gave the song this positive effect. ‘Summer Time is the first single since the release of ‘Mood EP’. Interestingly, the song loops the DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince classic ‘Summertime’ bop.