The Hebrew term “Ali Yah,” literally translated as “ascent,” is one of complex spiritual significance; for example, it is used to call the faithful to read the Torah at a prayer service, as well as to describe the holy act of Jewish immigration to Israel (okay, I’m done paraphrasing Wikipedia). For Seattle-based emcee and Booth newcomer D. Black, the word is much more than a catchy title for a sophomore album—the multifaceted concept says quite a bit about how he approaches hip-hop, and what he hopes to accomplish through his music. On new single Keep On Goin’, the rapper steps up the mic to uplift and inspire his people, spitting verses that, though packed with sociopolitical ponderings and down-to-Earth wisdom, are informed by his deeply-held spiritual beliefs. Vitamin D, a type of fat-soluble prohormome—sorry, I was looking at Wikipedia again—a Washington-based emcee/producer, matches Black’s thoughtful lyricism with an old-school, sample-driven beat and a reflective closing verse. If you’ve been holding out for a ‘motivational record’ that’s more than skin-deep, this is your jam, and you’re sure to find more to your liking on the rapper’s latest LP (due out Sept 5th).
Written by richard on 07/1/09
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