After what seemed like forever (that is after dropping Good Year and a video to Radio!) the cool kids from Blantyre finally made good their intention and decied to bless Africa with an EP. Very calculating these guys are. As the saying goes, good things come in bits and pieces. Who am I to complain? A quick first listen and I notice that Hayze predominantly features on this project, then I hear an AAA shout out. Wait…. yes, a shout out to All Around the A and my brother Joy Natu! This will be awesome. Sit tight, hold on and let’s go on a roll, all around Africa. If Vasco Da Gama did it, who are we not to?
So I’m seated here; back facing the wall, eyes gazing far off at the seemingly nearby horizon – to a place I think is Malawi (how much doess a compas direction cost by the way?), mind playing games as skipped Geography classes come haunting my vision and imaginations. A glass of whiskey in hand. I’m talking Famous Grouse. I swirl the glass, with pure class and take a sip, let the sweet bitter taste of it settle in, plug my headphones on and hit the play button. The view right outside my study room is clear, only the sky is blue. Well, not for long. So many things are about to turn blue as well. We are Blantyre bound.
VICTORIA AVE (Intro)
The Ep starts with a strap line speech from Hayze, painting a picture of the current situation; a studio session, no serious composition or recording going on. Just chilling and chopping it with his Nigga, Mr. producer Bengobeats, wondering where life is taking them (and probably fantasizing about that groupie chick they met last night at the Subway). Entirely laid back talk on a an equally laid back instrumental. I pour another shot and make a toss to an imaginary figure as he mentions people who are missed when they are gone. A minute and 36 seconds and we have a perfect intro!
Track two starts with back and forth speech and panned vocals, leading up to what sounds like a repeated lazy reggea strings. Right when you are waiting for the beat to drop(which it never does), Classick comes on as the beat is turned a notch lower. Then the Home Grown signature, repeated twice. A laughter follows. Then more silence. They are taking all the time they want. All the time in the world. Okay, in Blantyre.
He finally comes on with a verse that is more of a personal statement with lines like ‘we get a little money and we spend it on liquor’. It’s a cold world. He is talking to my consicious, only one difference. The girl I need hasn’t told me that I need Jesus. Not yet.
No drums on this one. Until you pray. All you gotta do is just pray nigga….
The Ep title and a sure favorite. It’s like they heard my ealier plea for a solid verse. Classick doesn’t hesitate to go in on this. ANd he is talking that tough talk and offering to share his plate of meal while at it. My favorite part is how he double rhymes change(d) ‘Baba’. No drums on this one still and I totally love it as it allows one to focus on their lyrics and delivery. Clever. Instead a hook, Hayze follows right up with a more pced up verse as compaired to Classicks. Also, while the former was offering to share his meals, the latter is rejecting handouts. Interesting contrast. Another brilliant twist to this is the switch up of the instrumentantion at the end as the track interludes into outro with explosive drums. This is ART.
This one got me off guard, like Chelsea fans this season. I mean, I’m only 4 tracks in and it’s a shout outs time? Fuck this shit. Just as I’m about to refill my tumbler, I remember seeing 9 tracks on the Ep, so I recheck my player to confirm if my brain is playying those stupid tricks again. Right then, I hear All Around the A being given a shout out and I calmly fall back on my seat. All sins forgiven. Aint the good book instructed us to be quick to forgive? I’m an obedient son of God.
Thank you HGA, this is just but the beginning.
ONLY ONE NIGHT
A complex one. From the instruments that can easily fit into a Kid Cudi project. To a delivery that is uniquely different. There are drums here, 808’s synth and synchronization. It reminds one of their single, Radio and here is when it really hits you that HGA loves to experiment with their art. Comendable. One tends to think that they purposely being mean with their raps and allowing the beats to play more. I don’t know. Matter of fact, let me think about it….
Being a Cole fan, I can listen to this record continuously without getting bored. The slowed-down-heavy rock drumsets give me life. And when I’m alive, I breath Hip Hop. I don’t know about you. Also, Hayze’s verse is not much paced out and I really love when he spits line after line, bar after bar. Fuck a space… and what a hater says.
I think i’m more biased to this type of arrangement and delivery. The reason why Good Year is highly rated in my books.
The longest title in the Ep, with the least vocals. It’s apparently an acronym that stands for “A Song About Nothing But Love Affairs”.
I had to listen to Tupac to confirm whether I actually aint got nothing but love for ‘esen-blah’.
On a second thought, you’ve got to give it to their producer on the mixing and mastering. The track is futuristic. Don’t be surprised if it becomes a big hit 3 years down the line. Humans are strange. So are their tastes.
Another of those Classick single verse records that leaves you rapping the repeat button. Is only me or should we have a collection of Classick’s single verses and put up a classic compilation?
This is where my favorite quote originates;
“Look here my friend, I made a lot of friends my fans
Look here my friend, I made a lot of fans my friends
That was the worst mistake”
Who knew the vision would come in the form of loud piano chords and Hayze’s paced out delivery on a Sunday Service replica? I’m always a fun of a preachings on any Hip Hop tracks. My all time jam is J Elects ‘Better In Tune’ so, you should already know that I was seeing visions with this. Visions of a full HGA album come 2016. And the vision was so crisp. Unlike my fazy eyes, staring at the the empty glass in my hand. If what we see on TV has got us living like the Americans, then what I sip from this bottles have me riding to Blantyre.
As I languidly unplugg the headphones and place them on the table, I raise my double shoulders in a sigh, fill my beaker once more to drown all the greatness that I have just absorbed.
Blantyre Blues is a teaser to the magnificence that is Hayze Engola and Classick. And as all crack dealers know so well – give them a tip and they will ask for the whole pipe (don’t let your pervertness cloud my statement, I am Holly). This is like chasing the lady of your dream, say Boity in Tehn Diamond’s case, and just as you finally get that golden chance to only put the tip, she abruptly gets up and says, “times up, gotta go for this photoshoot'” without even a blink. Hooha! Who said a quickie can’t be just as pleasurable?
With an introduction as such, one can only help but wonder what HGA has in store for 2016. I for once is absolutely staying peeled.
If you come to think of it, HGA has only been around for 2 years man. Just 2 fucking years. Let that sink in.
Would you like a Home Grown Africa interview? How about that for a starter this year?
DownLoad BLANTYRE BLUES