I recently had the opportunity to talk life and music with an impressive recording artist by the name of Archangel from my hometown, New York City. As I often am debating the culture as we know it the brother caught me in one of my rants about how Hip Hop has evolved and my acceptance of that fact. Anyone who knows me knows that I refuse to be the old head criticizing the young homeys because of how Hip Hop used to sound. The good brother challenged me to take a dive into his most recent body of work and wake up to what Hip Hop is. With my understanding of how all call outs are mandatory. I took him up on his offer. Here it goes, my break down of Hallelujah M.U.S.I.C Vol 1.
The Al Johnson “My Second Wind” sample is a soulful start to the project as Archangel kicks his Hallelujah M.U.S.I.C Vol 1 off with 2nd Wind; a melodic tune and appropriate lyricism describing interaction with a sensual young lady as his charm and charisma goes into overdrive. Archangel warns the young lady against becoming consumed as this is only for the moment this brand of “headboard” music sets a relaxing tempo to the project easily followed by the sultry “Bombay Dreams” where the party continues allowing each and every one of us to dance our lives away. Featuring Webofthemachine Bombay Dreams is diverse in context ranging from Archangel’s light jabs at the superficial society which we live to beautiful women, night life, and other shenanigans. As the hook goes “By the time you realize real life is black and grey……” your hand is filled with a nice glass of Bombay goes perfectly with this tune as you start your weekend.
Bombay Dreams is an interesting mix of melancholy and identification with the struggle Verse 3 plays as an open letter to a listener who is at the cusp of trying times and karma’s revenge. “In a battle with ya own demons / and you so stressed but you can’t see it …..” Something we can all relate to.
Find Your Way’s Guitar strings usher in more testimony of the obstacles and strife that life sends our way. Riding music in its truest form down the highway as exit signs pass like sand through the hour glass. Archangel speaks on his love-hate relationship with his city spewing bars in retrospect from his front door steps. Representative of Ghetto America the lines in this song are universally constructed for easy consumption. After all we all know hardship.
“They have no fear in God and neither no fear in self / they say its sick sins but they sending them to hell /as they posting pics of every gun that they purchase on the shelf / They praying for help – but where do it start / and it’s the same thing that be tearing me apart.”
Hustling for More marks the foresight and decision to climb out of the dark. Featuring Prince D-Jae & Ced Deviossy the track brings in a heavy bass nod and hope. “Mama aint gotta cry no more even though my ups and downs are like a tragic story.” Acceptance is the beginning stage of change. To overcome you must acknowledge. If you are at the fork in the road. Hustling for Moreis definitely for you.
Tell Us Why (Featuring K.I. & Miscellaneous) brings the tempo back to a high. Archangel personalizes a little more as he explains his evolution as a man who has become an art. Clever lines like I’m still posted on the eastside – still waiting / no need to do med school cause I ain’t got patience or The shit you kicking is a like a rerun – what’s happenin’ / I’m still doing music you confused what you asking. K.I.’s hook put things into perspective. Please tell us why you had to hide away for so long. Here is the map for you to catch up to the time he is on now.