Before you listen to the album, you have to realize his journey. After four years of deployments in Iraq as part of the U.S. Army during the height of the war, he was wrongfully accused of a crime and did the next four years in state prison in Virginia. Upon release in 2011, he faced many battles , musically and in life generally, externally and internally. With all the components brewing in the pot birthed the ideology of Stay R.A.W (Ready and Willing) Basically being prepared for ANY trials and tribulations to come at you. This album provides the soundtrack for it.
The first three records set the tone of the project, pushing the ideology and pride for the culture. Dis da Jawn should let you know he hail from the streets of North Philly with the Warrior Black Flag. I didn’t think i had to say it. As you get deeper in the album, one of the jewels of his arsenal is his storytelling that is profound yet relatable. Feast or Famine exposed the details of his prison sentence and the stress that went along with it, painting a vivid picture in your mind. Live Show Blues is a rhetoric that 99% of independent artists can relate to, showing the disengagement and unappreciation of the art, yet poised to push forward. Self Care and D.A.P are odes to mental healing of pain and mishaps that occurs. More likely there is a record that can relate to someone.
Also his versatility shines in this album. The base is boom bap and a dedication to the true art form. But the Trap Sound and 808s breakout just as much. Live instruments are heard. Even some Dubstep cracks open in a very appropriate lane. Furthermore, he stays true to oneself as he proves to drive in any avenue of sound.
In the independent hip hop scene Many say it was anticipated. For some, this might go over their heads. But this is one work of art that cannot be ignored for a myriad of reasons. This project is a complete testament to hip-hop, mental health, the value of equality, the independent scene, and the mistreatment of minorities and how to fight against it.