Driving with the anthem-like songwriting required to make waves, Man-E Man’s latest EP offers three original tracks designed and daring to take on 2020 with absolute style and confidence.
Beginning with the nostalgic flow and hypnotic, world-kissed soundscape of Maintain, the three-track playlist introduces listeners to an Oakland artist with clear Wu Tang influences, and a professional and unwavering love for the process.
While on the surface the track feels easily relevant to the current hip hop landscape, it also effectively brings in more than a few hints of skill, originality, and a layer of classic 90’s music that further builds upon its appeal. Think Too Short, Pimp C and Snoop Dogg – particularly on the track Don’t Stop.
Killin’ It takes the anthem-like approach a little further – a simple, short rhyme that feels familiar and well-suited to the determination and hustle mentality of modern hip hop. That Wu Tang aura kicks in again, alongside a hit of Snoop Dogg influence. Lyrics like “I be killing it like this gin and juice I’m sipping yeah I’m feeling it wavy on them wavy on them in my supreme” smoothly draw from historical connections.
Where the opening track lays bare plenty of truth, the artist’s individual story – offering a connection and a sense of realness – Killin’ It leads with a more laid-back love for the good times at first, and later presents just a few touches of authenticity to remind you of the man at work.
An official video release from the EP comes in the form of closing track Don’t Stop, where that Pimp C and Too Short inspiration stands tall. By now, Man-E Man’s humble yet capable vocal style and lyrical backbone has a recognisable core, so this track makes sense just the way that it is. The flow is a little more shunted, rhythmically jittering through words and bars in a manner that again tips its hat to contemporary rappers.
As the track progresses, Man-E Man injects more and more of his story, his truth, into the process. The accompanying video walks that line between nostalgia and now in a similar fashion, laying bare personality and energy in a simple yet visually captivating way.
Undoubtedly an Oakland artist with experience and passion combined, 510 Express is a musically humble yet impressive release – highlighting a clear understanding of what works in music, matching that with a unique and honest way with writing and performance.
Man-E Man makes hip hop because he loves the genre, the culture – there’s nothing fake about the set-up, and for all of these reasons he’s on track to be an artist in it for the long-game.