This extended play was released on January 17th this year. I was sent a pretty intriguing press release for this project, and saw that Goya Gumbani has worked with artists like Sixpress in the past. I also know that Pink Siifu seems to have some connection to him. I’m not sure if they’re friends or just fans of each other, but I did some sleuthing and saw that Pink Siifu follows him on Soundcloud. I feel like I’ve seen Goya Gumbani’s name floating around in the past, but maybe I’m tripping. Anyway, I listened to a little bit of the first track since there’s a music video for it, and I was really pleased with what I heard, so I decided that I’d give this project a listen. Every song is produced by NCJG for Hallowed Ground Records.
1. The Mission (Intro)
The production on this track is fantastic. The whole thing is just one quick verse with no hook or anything. I think Goya Gumbani’s performance here is pretty cool; he’s not a super technical MC, and the lyrics aren’t particularly gripping, but it seems like he puts more effort into his writing than someone like Jodi.10k does these days.
My homie switched the plan, I had a question
What the fuck is this direction that we headin’?
And my nigga said we on the Glo Up
And it’s mad ’cause the grams never seem to slow up
His vocal delivery fits over this beat very well. I don’t really have any gripes with the song. I think it’s a very good intro. This shit is dope. The music video is cool too, so be sure to check that out.
2. Thing for Risk
I like this beat even more than that of The Mission. The jazzy production is fucking awesome. I wish I was better at recognizing specific instruments whenever I heard them. All I can say is that this beat seems to incorporate some woodwind instruments along with a piano and what could be a conga or bongo. The additional bass from Ross Westland is fire too. The first verse from Goya is pretty tight, although it kinda sounds like his voice is slightly drowned out by the beat. That unfortunately ended up being an issue that I had with the whole project, but that might just be me. The hook on this track is pretty dope. The beat switch for the second verse is awesome too. I definitely enjoyed the second verse on this song more than the first one, but they’re both cool.
Can’t make the same mistake twice
Got juked over a game of dice
When I strain in the night
I see the shade in the light
Like, “where we slidin’ tonight?”
I think I like this track slightly more than the opening song. This shit is dope.
3. Psalm 23
The beat here is fucking fantastic. At this point, I knew I was at least gonna love this EP from an instrumental perspective because the production from NCJG is awesome to me. I really like Goya’s flow at the beginning of the first verse. His performance isn’t super impressive or anything, but I definitely enjoyed it. I like the kind of violent theme of this song a lot. The second verse is dope. The Reggae sample that bookends this song is a really nice touch too. This song’s even better than the previous two in my opinion. It’s really dope.
4. Confrontation & Conversations
I love the sinister aesthetic of this song; the dark production is absolutely glorious. This is easily the most interesting song up to this point on the album lyrically as well.
The pain’s enormous, devil at my door
I find myself begging to the lord
I’m begging on the floor; where the fuck you been?
Bitch wanna see me doin’ more than a sin
I don’t think he actually said “bitch,” but I couldn’t really understand what the actual lyric was. The first verse is great, and the song just gets better and better lyrically. The instrumental switches to a less grim sounding beat for the final verse, but it’s still very good. I guess that’s the “Conversations” part of the song. It’s really dope. This is definitely my favorite track on the EP up to this point. It’s dope as hell.
5. The Lows
This is my favorite song on the project for sure. It has yet another stellar beat, and it’s actually the most uptempo song on the EP; the percussion here is very hard hitting. As the title of the song kinda foreshadows, this track has the most austere content on the project. The first verse is great, and the hook is really dope too. I think this is the most complete sounding & fleshed out track on the entire EP, which I guess shouldn’t be a surprise since it’s the only song that surpasses three minutes in length. This shit is dope as hell.
6. Abdul’s Sermon
The production on this track sounds very pretty and smooth, especially compared to the previous few tracks; it kinda sounds like something that someone like Curren$y or Action Bronson would spit over. It is admittedly my least favorite instrumental on the project, but I still think it’s good. I like the way it kind of evolves after the verse from Goya Gumbani. Speaking of which, I wasn’t really that invested in anything he had to say, but I don’t think it was a bad performance; it just didn’t really grab my attention. I definitely like this song to some extent, but it’s a low point on the project for me.
7. The Inbetweens
The kind of lavish production on this track is fantastic, and the opening poem from James Massiah is nice too. There’s just one verse from Goya on this track, and it’s not super impressive, but I did enjoy it to some extent. The main aspect of this song that I love is the production. The verse felt kinda short to me, but it was cool. This isn’t a favorite of mine on the EP; it’s another low point, but I’d still say it’s pretty good. I fuck with it.