Tuesday, September 22, 2009

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The U.N. Plan

As one third of the genre bending production team, Sa-Ra (a.k.a. Sa-Ra Creative Partners), Shafiq Husayn's individual talents have been obscured by the group concept, but on his solo set, Shafiq En' A-Free-Ka, he gets to step into the forefront and his album shows exactly what he contributes to the Sa-Ra projects.

His sound is very close to that of his group, fully grounded in Hip-Hop, R&B and Funk all at once, but that's just the basics. Obviously influenced by a broad spectrum of music, the magic is how Shafiq takes bits and pieces from other genres and blends them all together into something that's just off center from everything else. This track is like a bridge between Dilla and Fela Kuti. The vocal sample and skittish drums are underground boom bap but the rhythmic instrumentation gives it a World Music vibe until the breakdown where the track morphs into a wall of sound sprinkled with flutes, electronic blips and guitar licks.

This song exemplifies what makes Shafiq Husayn (and his crew) so unique. The ability to make music that defies classification. A very dope album.

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