AWKWORD – World View (2014)

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Artist: AWKWORD

Album: World View

Tracklisting:

1. Gas Land (Frack Off) ft. Chaundon [prod. by Numonics] | World View Intro 04:31
2. Throw Away The Key [prod. by L.Ment (Canada)] 05:44
3. Bars & Hooks ft. Sean Price, The Kid Daytona & The Incomparable Shakespeare [prod. by Harry Fraud] 04:48
4. Penny [prod. by Dismas (Romania)] 02:55
5. The People’s Champions ft. Shabaam Sahdeeq, Punchline & Beretta 9 (of Killarmy) [prod. by Harry Fraud] 04:55
6. Got Class? [prod. by Fresh Nerd] 02:16
7. Notorious ft. Wordsmith, Jasiri X, Jus Daze & Capital X [prod. by Amin PaYnE (Australia)] 05:18
8. Doctor Doctor ft. GuessWho? [prod. by MajoR R.E. (Malaysia)] 04:34
9. Requiem ft. SoulStice, Ess Vee & CuzOH! Black [prod. by ATG] [add. vox by Jay Daniels (Australia) & Mark Deez] 04:40
10. Melting Pot (Made In America) ft. Chaundon [prod. by Numonics] 03:57
11. Rape [prod. by Fafu] 02:53
12. Rap Genius ft. Perseverance & Chino XL [prod. by The White Shadow (Norway)] 03:51
13. It’s Not Possible [prod. by Recluse Crew (Finland)] 01:42
14. #AaronSwartz ft. L*A*W [prod. by Steel Tipped Dove] 03:28
15. The World Is Yours ft. Sha Stimuli & Viro The Virus [prod. by Dominant1 (Malawi)] 03:53
16. Imperialism ft. C-Rayz Walz & Reks [prod. by Jonny Lupo (Moldova)] 04:08
17. Radio 2.0 ft. KRS-One, Dug Infinite, Brimstone127 & Mista Lawnge (of Black Sheep) [prod. by Vice Souletric] 04:51
18. Metal Music ft. El Gant, ILL BILL, Tenacity & Blame One [prod. by Tranzformer] 05:09
19. Go! ft. Joell Ortiz, Slug (of Atmosphere) & Maya Azucena [prod. by Domingo] 03:25

Note:

This review for AWKWORD’s World View has been a long time coming.   It’s a long time coming for two reasons:  1) AWKWORD has been working on his magnum opus for well over three years 2)  I took another two months to digest the project in between other releases.  But here we are at the moment of reckoning to determine what makes World View special, or if it’s indeed special at all.

 

World View is an incredibly complex piece of work.  There are many topics that are tackled, emcees tapped for verses, and beatsmiths used for a diverse array of production.   It’s a lot to sink ones ears into, but let’s give it a try anway.

The first song,  Gas Land, was a song that we covered when it was released as a single but it instantly captivates my attention once again.   Music reaches a powerful apex when it attempts to make a difference.  And this is what Gas Land not only attempts to do, but accomplishes.   I had heard the term ‘fracking’ before but I had no idea what it was and how it was indeed dangerous.  This track enlightens listeners and makes you want to find out more about the topic.  It’s intelligent hip hop.

Another track that many members of Joe Public can relate to is the song Melting Pot.  This song again features some guest bars from Chaundon.  The song is a bit ironic for it’s title because it suggests that we are society that embraces cultural acceptance, tolerance, and equality but in many cases that’s the furthest from the truth.  Those familiar cases are addressed within these bars from Chaundon:

Looking at the news, black teens getting gunned down / And the shooter gets to hide behind standing their ground / How that sound? / No jail time was joke / But they’ll throw away the key if I was found with some coke / You see the scales are tipped and the blindfold is see-through  / Strengthening the argument that we were never equal…

That’s some incredibly deep material.  It’s relevant and impactful as are many of the ideas that are addressed throughout the album.

But lets not pretend that this album is without bangers.  There are some heavy hitters on this album.    Tracks like Bars & Hooks, Requiem, and Metal Music are posse cuts that absolutely knock just for the sake of knocking. And there’s nothing wrong with that.   Skill is in itself and ends to a means which you will see countless times on World View.   But it’s when Awkword is given a topic where he really shines.  Lets take the track Rape for instance.  This is where Awkword is primed to depict situations that are all too familiar to things we see on the daily on our TV screens or newspapers:

Life’s not how you perceive it /She fears nobody believe it if she keeps it a secret / The key to all of her deepest and darkest feelings / Came from a happy family and a house with high ceilings / And everything was OK until she was eight / The day her parents ran late / Jada was raped

Awkword then narrates two more verses, each with a different circumstance in which a woman was raped.  The narrations that occur  between those verses, mingled with the bars, make for some incredibly powerful music.  It’s probably the most articulate song I have ever heard broaching this topic.

So what is World View?   I will summarize it like this: World View is the fusion of the human conscious with an emcee’s ability encapsulated inside boom bap rhythms.  The power of music is certainly on display for anyone who gives this album a listen.  As a matter of fact, if you cop the album, you are sending a powerful message as ALL the proceeds from the project are donated to the nonprofit, Guns 4 Cameras.  Don’t forsake the power of music.

 

 

 

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