Can music truly be intelligent, positive and banging all at once? Well, a spin through your local radio dial shouts loudly, “NO.” If you’ve been following the most recent shift in the industry, though, you’ve probably noticed a new breed of golden era sensibility creeping back into the mainstream pipeline, leading to a new crop of artists who have bars – and an excellent chance of actually gaining recognition. There’s also been a shift from the singles-era into a new day where artists seem to once again care about creating cohesive, solid, complete projects, rather than disjointed compilations and sloppy mixtapes. It’s a great day for music fans.
One of the latest artists I’ve recently discovered in this vein is Malcom Crittenden, aka M-See, who hails from Historic Selma, Al. At a tender age he developed a passion for music and rhyming – and some years later he’s dropped his third project, Soul Food: Music For The Soul. With a solid foundation of mainstream radio spins and buzz under his belt, this new project delivers a healthy dose of faith, reliability, sensibility and genuine love for hip-hop.
From the album’s title track, we’re instantly introduced to the fact that he’s using soul food as a metaphor for realness, down-home/ homegrown music – as a stark contrast for the more manufactured “fast-food”, to which we’ve become accustomed. M-See comes off with an almost melodic flow. I’ll try my best to sum up his sound, but it’s a bizarre blend of Andre 3000, Drake, A slowed down Twista and a young T.I. There are moments that don’t particularly stand out on this album; however, on songs like More Than Money, he sets himself apart with straight up bars like:
“I think it’s come time, to show you that I’m bright like the sunshine; take over the world, and when I’m done, Imma have a son and show you how my son shine.”
M-See does shine when he steps away from the mainstream influence and gets real. Songs like One Time, No Justice No Freedom, Prayer For Sel and Morning show off his pen game, and gives listeners a deeper look at what he has to offer the game. Standouts on this album are the bassy Don’t Lie to Me, and the super dope Paper Cutz (which is a must listen).
Sitting at 19 joints, the album is a pretty heavy plate of soul food to get through – and maybe could have been two smaller portions. Regardless, it is a solid, and cohesive listen. You can tell that M-See took his time in the kitchen – as you can hear the quality. Once you make your way through Soul Food: Music For The Soul, you’ll want to check out his other LP, Malcolm X, A Soulful Experience.
This is that type of food that sticks to your body – grab a plate!