Do artistic integrity, intelligent lyricism and a commitment to one’s ethical principles preclude entry into rap’s upper echelons? Booth newcomer Semaj thinks not—if the Bay Area emcee/spoken-word poet’s latest single (a Booth-exclusive world premiere!) is to be believed, he’s rising so fast that it’s only a matter of time before we catch him busting a move on the industry’s metaphorical Roof Top. Vantage Music Group‘s Will Shine produces, layering swirling synth arpeggios, piano loops and theremin flourishes over a jazzy, old-school bassline as Semaj delineates his ambitious, but uncompromising attitude toward the grind. Positioning himself as a proud outsider in the game, he scoffs at the idea of brown-nosing his way to success (“I refuses to kiss anybody assh*le payin’ my dues.”) and rejects the stereotypical vices of the artistic life—some of ‘em, anyway. (“I don’t drink boy, I don’t smoke boy, but when I hop onstage, baby, oh boy / Girls throw the cookie at me like a doughboy.”) Is this iconoclastic mic-murderer headed to the top? If you’re leaning toward the affirmative, keep it locked. Semaj’s Never Satisfied LP has yet to receive a drop date, but we’ll keep you supplied with the latest news and tunes.
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