This uniquely themed, conceptual project from St Basil offers up seven original songs, each one designed to represent a particular color and subsequent mood or series of events. The project in full, however, proves to be an expression entirely of its own – one that continuously throws in unpredictable curve-balls to keep you compelled.
Leading with ambient production and emotive progressions, Yellow kicks things off and throws in a strong, striking lyrical backbone that works beautifully with the soulful meandering vocal melody underneath it.
The subject matter makes the theme clear – the detail is unexpected, as is the angst for a color that generally conjures up images of summertime and nature for many. The song explodes into the room, featuring confident, captivating performances and skillful, engaging production, and these qualities stand tall throughout the album.
Green follows, aptly linking to money – a track loaded with personal reflections as well as a notable level of broader, all-encompassing references that are easy to relate to. A definite lyrical highlight for its poetry and depth – where the opener was a scene-setter, this one is a contemplative, deep-thinker and a somewhat profound experience.
White hits afterwards and switches gears a little. The music is of a more electronic, synth and beat driven aura, the vocal line focused on white skin and the injustices that have come to light throughout much of 2020. An again poetic and intense yet rhythmically satisfying track that quickly leaves its mark.
An infamous soundscape introduces the powerful Purple. Lyrically and musically immersive, the track prompts you to throw in a Coolio verse or Stevie hook, but goes on to captivate with its own contemporary tale of war and pain.
Red mixes things up again – a Caribbean vocal intro, a haunting soundscape, a doubled-voice for added weight and intensity during the rap verse. Another stand-out for its volume and shock factor. Then we get a more mellow, piano-led and heartbreaking Brown, a highlight again but for a totally different reason. Complete with a spoken word segment, the track takes things down a personal, emotional pathway, which redirects your thoughts towards the individual story and experience.
At the final hurdle, Blue’s blaring siren – the devil in the blue suit – introduces a fitting end to the conceptual and hard-hitting journey that has taken place. It’s another intense listen, but it holds tight to your attention, putting you right in the center of the story, and prompting you to head back and re-listen to this entire collection – now with a certain air of knowledge and understanding.
There’s plenty to consider throughout this whole album, and it’s heavy – nothing like the lightness or optimism implied by the title and artwork. It’s actually refreshing to be so surprised at what you find within, and for it to still, in hindsight, be incredibly well-linked to this topic of My Colorful World. It’s a modern day work of art in its own gripping and gritty way, and as a hip hop project, it speaks volumes on behalf of the talent and dedication standing tall just beneath the mainstream radar.