“Everyone’s talking about Hip Hop is gangster, I ain’t no gangster. It’s about being true to yourself.”
-An emcee in the trailer to South Coast (If you aren’t up on that joint, check it!)
Sabac has been on his grind for a minute. Making a name for himself as part of the much loved Non Phixion and then dropping his solo debut exclusively produced by Necro he has always delivered his own brand of political commentary. With the release of his long awaited follow up The Ritual now out we are invited to hear where he is today and what is on his mind in these uncertain times.
“Americas A Business”
Leaving his hometown several years ago for the Bay area, to work with the school systems, Sabac has gone through some heavy changes which come to light throughout the album.
Sabac has always had the gift to come across as a genuine person, caring about what he is saying and concerned with using his art to give knowledge, if change is too much for one man to achieve? On “A Children’s Cry” he pulls on his experiences in the school systems to look at youth culture in America. Holding back nothing, he paints a depressing picture but offers hope for a better future both in his delivery (you can feel how much he cares) and in his content – never preachy nor dismissive he understands these kids and wants everyone else to see them and the potential they hold.
"Shift of the Earth"
The topics of discussion are far wide however and Sabac doesn’t get stuck in his own little world. He makes “The Commitment” to himself to eat better, read more, and to become an overall better person. While it may sound awkward at first to hear, he is being completely honest with us explaining what he feels he could do better with in his life. It’s an eye opening song that may make you consider some of those things you find yourself doing, or not.
He teams up with Slaine and Jordan “Playahnice” Battiste for them to discuss “Death and Destiny” and how the two intertwine. It’s a thoughtful song pulling from the personal pain of losing a loved one over a fitting beat from SickNature and Dennis Post. With great live guitar chords anchoring the song and those dusty drums I rave about far to often around here they paint a picture worth hearing.
Elsewhere Skammadix laces “Viva Boricua” for Sabac to pay tribute to his birthplace and the heritage of his family. Featuring a great salsa inspired guitar sample looping throughout and La Bruja drops a solid verse, but I’m unsure if it’s her on the hook. Whoever it is she carries the song!
Blue Sky Black Death produce a number of tracks here in their usual cinematic style, which fits Sabac quite well. “Breaking Through” is a great example as they fade in a bouncing piano line before dropping in the drums and a chopped vocal sample. Between being up tempo and having bright feeling present, it’s the perfect beat for Sabac to give us his movements of happiness on wax. Expressing his enjoyment with life and the positive mental state that comes with it, he creates a great song that as the Prodigy sample scratched in the hook says, will make you “feel so good.”
While the added bonus tracks do little to continue that vibe, you won’t walk out of this album depressed. You may be thinking about some heavy topics, but that’s the goal. Take what Sabac has to say and think about it, talk about, discuss! It’s our future and with all that is going on, the only message worth transmitting is conversation is key – this album may not top anyone’s year end lists or sell a noticeable about but it will inspire you to think. What’s that worth?
Bonus Video: "The Commitment"