Daquan Mebane, a hidden gem on the rap stage, just dropped his new album, “Tales From da Sinner,” a musical masterpiece. Every song in the playlist has less than 1000 plays on Spotify, a number that does not justify the quality of this album. This album brings mellow backbeats to poetic verses talking about Mebane’s feelings and emotions. The album talks about racism and inequality and Mebane presents these messages with great accuracy. It is a true work of art.
Rap is becoming increasingly reflective of poetry, providing a message, moral, or feeling in every song and this album perfectly presents a specific feeling, one that we see in a lot of new rap albums. The idea of racism, injustice, and poverty have been emphasized in Mebane’s album and many albums before. This is a massive shift from the 2004-2012 era of rap, where rap songs talked mainly about money and sex. However, in 2012, Kendrick Lamar set a name for himself, releasing the album “good kid, m.A.A.d city,” a piece that redefined what a rap album is. This album brought back the poetic qualities of rap, qualities last seen in the early nineties. During the early nineties when rap was still in its early stages, it’s verses told stories and told feelings, similar to Kendrick’s albums. One of my favorite songs that comes to mind is “Mr. Wendal,” by Arrested Development, a song that outlines the extent of modern poverty and the ignorance that comes alongside.
Kendrick Lamar’s career brought back the poetic, meaningful style of rap, and we’ve seen his influence on many artists: J. Cole, Joey Bada$$, EARTHGANG, JID, Juju Rogers, and of course many lesser-known artists such as Daquan Mebane. This music critiques American culture and ignorance. You don’t have to look very far down the Billboard 100 to find songs outlining corruption or giving a message of inequality. Music is becoming a medium for people to express their feelings and underline hidden problems in our society. One could call modern music the 5th branch of government for its amplification of different opinions. Music is easily accessible and often expresses unequal representation and injustice. This kind of music provokes thought and lets listeners look at life through the rapper’s perspective. Songs like “Meditate” by EARTHGANG, “DNA” by Kendrick Lamar, and “Chains & Shackles, Pt. 2”by Daquan Mebane talk about racism. They talk about the constant uncertainty and fear and I feel ignorant about their problems listening to this music.
I believe that the power of modern music, especially rap, has grown to where the meaning behind a song is valued more than the musical quality itself. Rappers make names for themselves by portraying a scene for listeners to understand. Music isn’t about how catchy a song sounds anymore. With a rap songs having a theme of fear, guilt, and pain, a new definition of the music style emerges. Rap is not music with some lyrics, but rather a message with some music. Check out Daquan Mebane’s album, a collection worth listening to, and try to find the message in every song. Be inspired, and invoke change.
Follow the playlist “Modern Rap”. Username: zippy333b.