Negus Reign brings through a classic and skillful approach to hip hop with a performance that mesmerizes from the offset and never stops working to impress and entrance its audience. Freedom Cry has a professional finish, a stylish beat, and a brilliantly rhythmic leading vocal delivery that pours lyrics through in a confident and brilliantly intelligent manner. It feels like the re-birth of original hip hop, the fire from the likes of Tupac and Outkast reigniting – clever and observational, thoughtful and reflective, open and unpredictable. The flow is insane and the sheer level of wordplay and honesty is refreshing among this vast ocean of much simpler modern rap music.
This is one of the most interesting hip hop releases of recent years, in my opinion. It doesn’t shout out for your attention, instead it subtly gathers it up with this inherent sense of reliability and knowledge. You want to listen because it feels like it means something, it’s humble but proud at the same time – a quiet sort of confidence that uses the power of words and the delicacy of an effective beat to leave its mark. Even the track’s hook, those words and the pace and groove with which they emerge – it walks hand in hand with that characterful backdrop and sets in stone the fact that you’ll remember this. More than that in fact, you’ll be swept along on the energy of it, and you’ll subsequently find yourself thinking far more deeply about things that actually matter.
Freedom Cry is an important song and one that turns back to the roots of the genre to let hearts and minds speak honestly and artistically. Not simply a cry out for likes or peer approval – a cry out for resolve, for strength, for togetherness and overcoming. It’s something of a secret masterpiece in what it sets out to portray and achieve. An absolute must-hear for 2018. Be sure to check out the Root of Evil EP, released on Surreal Artistry Music Group.