This extended play was released on June 30th this year. Sankofa is an artist with whom I personally have next to no experience. The only time I’ve ever heard him rap before was when he was featured on a posse cut from the first CunninLynguists album. I didn’t even realize this was the same guy until recently. On the other hand, I’m completely unfamiliar with SoCal as a producer. Unless I’m somehow mistaken, I’ve never heard any of their work. I had no idea what to expect from this project before listening, but I had hope that it would be at least somewhat enjoyable to me.
The EP begins with a track entitled Glasnost, and as soon as I heard it I knew I was gonna dig this project. I really like the traditional production style from SoCal, and Sankofa is a pretty accessible MC. He has a very nice, straightforward flow, and his voice is pretty easy to get into. He’s a great lyricist too. The first verse is super well-written.
The soul of a Soviet, patrolling with his golden bic
Jeff Spec the wordsmith, observe gifts then roll with it
The P is silent, Ptolemy on pterodactyls
Belief & guidance, the policy is rare and fragile
Comp assembles in a form inconsequential
In a land of Ayers rock talks, I ponder pebbles
Haunted echoes as the wraiths converge to party well
A mardi gras for all the martyrs who departed hell
The second verse is arguably even better though. I really love and appreciate how well Sankofa rhymes. Rhyming “pterodactyls” with “rare and fragile” is awesome. The song’s got a pretty straightforward structure, and the beat isn’t amazing or anything, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this track. I think it’s really good. It’s followed by a highlight entitled Rubber Raft, which flips the same sample that was used on ScHoolboy Q’s Blind Threats. I love the production honestly. I don’t know that it’s necessarily better than the beat on Blind Threats, but it definitely sounds darker, which I appreciate. Sankofa fucking slaughtered this track too. I love the way this song is structured. It’s just one long verse with no hook, and Sankofa is just goin’ off.
Do what you need to be ready, make a fly cassette, hike a trek or maybe trek a hike
Stepping back to recognize perspective that connects to life
Intrepid in the best of times, other moments tend to drift
From commotion pens equipped, bumping Kofa blends again
His flow is smooth as hell on this track. I don’t know what I love more between the production and the verse. SoCal & Sankofa both killed this track. I think it’s dope as hell. The following song is another highlight entitled Sonogram. I think this song’s even better than the preceding track honestly. I absolutely love the tense, emotional-sounding production from SoCal here, and Sankofa’s poetic lyricism had me hooked throughout the entire song.
I sell admission in the velvet glove of felt and shrugs Reaching for my pocket’s pen, and I then felt the rust Kid Icarus with my glider made of crimson feathers Shoutout to Damo for bringing me back to rinse with effort Grim endeavors with the lightness of a moment lost We buy the farm to reap a monogram and know the cost Driving past the place we saw first the sonogram Now he’s the size of Grizzlies minus Ja Morant
I think maybe a hook or a second verse could’ve pushed this song to the next level, but it’s still a contender for my favorite track on the project along with the preceding song. I think it’s dope as hell. The penultimate track is called Be a Man, and it features an artist with whom I was previously unfamiliar named Royalty. I think the production’s really nice, and Sankofa killed the first verse.
It's not so simple, it's just bringin' out the beast
Rasputin stayin' thirsty when the king is sound asleep
No need for kingdoms, I got my friends and my family
Frenzied mentions of Mansons in mansions romancin' randomly
The second verse from Royalty was also very good. I was definitely more impressed by that of Sankofa, but both of them did a great job. I think a good hook probably could’ve pushed this song to the next level, but it’s still really dope as it is. I fuck with it. The closing song is called Goes Bump!, and it features another artist with whom I was previously unfamiliar named JON?DOE. I think this song has one of the coolest beats on the album honestly. I think the production is great. The opening verse from JON?DOE is really good too. I think they have a cool voice for rap, a great flow, and definitely the ability to rhyme well. I unfortunately don’t really care for the hook on this track, but it’s certainly nowhere near bad enough to ruin the song. The second verse from Sankofa is one of the best on the whole project in my opinion. I think he really stood out here.
My accoutrement is Duesenbergs Medusa Prong
It’s in my nature to disregard or prove them wrong
The scintillator syncopating cadence to renew the song
The twosome gone on a trip where caged in cavemen choose to taunt
Again, the hook is the only gripe I have with this song. I think it’s really dope overall.
This is the best EP I’ve heard all year honestly. I guess it isn’t saying much since I’ve been more impressed by actual albums when it comes to projects this year, but it’s not like there’s no competition there. I just think this is the most consistently great EP I’ve heard. There’s not a single song here that I don’t like. I really enjoyed SoCal’s production, and I’m completely sold on Sankofa as an MC. The lyricism was great, and Sankofa’s got a nice vocal delivery and flow. I don’t really have any consistent gripes with this project. I mean, maybe some more ambitious, fleshed out song structures could’ve made certain tracks more memorable, but that’s just a nitpick. I think this shit is great overall. Check it out. It’s dope.