The Return of Blackalicious – Imani Vol. 1

Old school hip hop duo Chief Excel and Gift of Gab are back in fine form with their first new Blackalicious album since 2005.

Imani Vol. 1 is the first of three new Blackalicious album instalments they say are coming.

Blackalicious - Imani Vol. 1 (2015)

Blackalicious – Imani: Vol 1 (2015)

Anything I have to say about the nitty gritty of its 20 tracks matters not really. Sufficed to say Imani Vol. 1 is a refreshing throwback to glory days of hip hop gone.

Instrumentally producer Chief Xcel and a handful of live players on drums, bass, guitar, keys, horns and strings have created a diversity of sounds crossing funk, blues, jazz, soul, R&B, rock and dub.

Lyrically, Gift of Gab (with his killer, high speed flow) and another handful of guest vocalists and MCs bring positive messages of hope, faith, perseverance and love – in spite of and despite the struggles life deals us.

All in all the Blackalicious crew has created sounds of music that will command your attention again and again; and, all things being equal, give you the experience of feeling better, feeling good, feeling inspired, feeling hopeful and, feeling that your body must move.

What more do you need from your hip hop?

Blackalicious - Imani Vol. 1 (2015)

Check out two sample tracks from Imani Vol. 1 here – remembering as always, they are compressed mp3 versions only. For the full sound goodness, buy the album on vinyl or cd here.

Blackalicious - Imani Vol. 1 (2015)

Blackalicious – “Blacka”


Blackalicious (feat. Lateef, Lyrics Born, Monophonics & DJ D Sharp)- “Alpha And Omega”


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Papaya Republik – Tongue in Cheek Colombian Fusion Music

Think about the meaning of ‘Banana Republic’. Know that ‘papaya’ is a Colombian fruit and, without wanting to sound obvious, that ‘republik’ is Spanish for ‘republic’. There you have Papaya Republik – a contemporary Colombian fusion band making unique sounding, quality music.

Papaya Republik is 7 Colombians from different regions of Colombia, with diverse musical backgrounds, based in Bogota.

Papaya Republik live

Papaya Republik create and play music with flavours of groove, jazz, reggae, electronic, dub, rock, cumbia and other traditional Colombian styles. According to the lead vocalist Mauricio ‘Batori’ Pardo, they don’t use traditional musical styles but rather, “reconstruct and mutate them into new styles”.

Mauricio ¨Batori¨ Pardo - Papaya Republik

Mauricio ¨Batori¨ Pardo

Batori uses intelligent, tongue-in-cheek, and often sarcastic lyrics that tell stories about social and political issues in Colombia. He says that his use of sarcasm is like a survival mechanism for avoiding the feeling of constant despair about the ever present problems seen in Colombia.

Lyrics aside for non-Spanish speakers, Papaya Republik’s music is special. The use and blending of a variety of older and newer musical genres is done creatively and with skill, with an end result of music that is fantastic.

This is one of my favorite contemporary Colombian fusion bands and their one album so far, Vol 1, is an absolute pleasure to listen and dance to.

Papaya Republik live

I am especially happy that the group has a real horn section (clarinet, trumpet, alto sax & tenor sax), because for me personally, horns in music generally always makes it better. I will pick up my trumpet again some day.

Check out these sample tunes from Vol 1 and let me know what you think…  

Papaya Republik - ´Vol 1´ Album Cover

Papaya Republik -´Vol 1´ album track list

Breve La Vuelta

Cumbia Del Pescaito


If you like the music, buy it through official channels and enjoy all the sounds you won’t hear in those mp3 versions. If for some reason you can´t find it, contact me and I will.

If you want to see Papaya Republik’s ideas about fusion music, check out the Fusion Music page.

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