The Solo MC. They became known when they use the forum as something to amplify the size of their worthy talents. They became famous when they can naturally relate what we want through. They become absolutely essential, vital and uplifting when their talents fulfill our wants yet their essence and content is everything we need. There are moments in the career of these latter MCs where one can notice the wonderfully blatant difference. Music is My Weapon is Hasan Salaam’s newest EP, one of those moments we gotta call real.
Music is My Weapon is a perfect use of the EP as transition to a highly coveted third album, Life in Black And White, the follow up to the stellar Children of God. It doesn’t play as a B-side short runner setting up the A-side long player but a reminder of his strong thematic awareness and his concept versatility. Initially intended to be given free, it is logically and justifiably linked up as a worthy purchase to fully support the funding of a school, clean water well, and medical clinic in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa (http://www.indiegogo.com/ItTakesAVillage). There are countless charities and organizations the Carnegie rappers disingenuously toss chips aside to appeasing their aural shit. It is rare to see the sincerity of an MC with albums worth of that quality naturally progress to funneling his humane bars outwardly.
The 9 track EP is a complete primer that merges major ideas presented throughout Hasan’s career with evidence of elevated song crafting skill. The militant multiple meanings of the EP’s title fuel the work and reveal Hasan as not only expressing his culture but as a man of culture. “Musical Chairs” is filled with bars of sincerity as the love of music itself is expressed with verses on his youthful experience with it and the discography of legends that soothe and lift us up. Using it the toughest way, “.1911” calls out bitch wiggas, fake niggas and “all the leaches in the game” with such intensity that the rewind captures a wealth of lines (“Ain’t no swine for mine you dig/my style Halal never fuck with the pigs”) and stylings (”You know the struggle I go go for mine, the G. O. Divine…”). The fury that Hasan possesses on the EP is engaging because it takes on any pacing as the hard mid-tempo on the ill collab, “Shining,” with Steele of Smif-n-Wessun and Reef the Lost Cause with Chace Infinite on the smooth chorus all attest to.
“This ain’t pop music but you could get popped to it/better Hip Hop to it or get your block rocked..” because there are constant flows of inspiration for we listeners of the real, most hopefully livers of it, can match to every occasion. This is the relevance that Hasan addresses on “Chaos Theory.” Either through his most aggressive cadences with charismatic fluctuations guiding clever lines(“Bulletproof soul under God’s control/but not like Creflo Dollar cuz his God folds…”) on “Chaos Theory” or the introspective fortifying of “All Roads Home,” the diversity is impressive. This EP is ultimately about the inspirational weaponry music is and whether describing his Earth on “The Letter,” the historical building through the Avtomat Kalashnikova (“AK-47”), the metaphorical commentary of “Miss America” capped with the classic quote of Richard Pryor’s bi-centennial nigger build, the beats themselves are workman respectful when separated from their lyrical instruments. The horns of “.1911” propel the verses while the b-boy breaks show the current stop in the musical movement, Hip Hop. Still, this 9 track EP with 9 different producers depends on the choices Hasan makes . Bass drums are the focal point though guitar, organ and piano loops and chops all persist to thematic supporting blends. The closing title track openly declaring this weaponry of music as a 500 year process from Blues, Jazz, R&B, Funk (Salsa, Bomba, Plena, Roots Reggae, Calypso, Merengue…), also proves Hasan is in the present moment of this movement.