The M9 Project
Sacramento, United States
"M9 is a collaboration of the Emcee/Poet Rasar Amani and the Producer…Styles1001. The two artists met in the studio for the first time in 2009 to work on Styles’ debut album “The
Solution”. A brotherhood was formed, and the rest is what they call history. In 2013, Rasar approached Styles about forming a duo called M9 and putting together an album called “The Mellow 9”. The idea was to have a thought provoking, jazz inspired,hip-hop album. Hence the name “Mellow”. The album name eventually evolved to “The M9 Project”.“The M9 Project” which is an album not sounding like anything we’ve heard before. Rasar’s smooth but deliberate lyricism/poetry withholds no punches while Styles delivers that jazzy, melodic, boom-bap sound he’s known for. All in all, this album is one for the ages, brought to you by two of the finest to do it." (Provided by the artist)
1. One of these Day
Coming in strong with their opening track listeners are brought into a whole world of soul, jazz and hip-hop in a true old-school fashion. The rap flow and lyricism all the way through this song are coherent and meaningful - there isn't one part that could be improved here. Reminiscent of struggles and holding onto the words of a Grandfather are the key themes within the heart of this over seven minutes track! A flawless and meaningful opening.
'King' will stop you in your tracks, from the sprinkles of keys to the full 808 and basslines. As the rap vocals come in, we get to hear another banging production from the M9 Project. Think the storytelling of the Black Eyed Peas combined with the rap flow of B.O.B and you've begun to visualise the tip of the iceberg of this project.
3. 2 Point 2
This uplifting track will get you feeling magical from the opening moments. The strings bring a slow classical feel before kicks and percussion join the mix in time for a speedy rap performance. I love how this song twists and turns in tempo and style. Talks of science and metaphysical junkies will get you feeling philosophical almost instantly during this production. Another great piece from this duo.
4. Mellow Nine
Mellow Nine is true to its title - it is mellow in its origins of smooth bell synths and bassline. The swaying nature of this piece is enhanced by soulful vocal samples and a mixture of electric jazz inspired guitar and distant telephone style rap vocals. Talks of detatchments, properganda, addictions and demons are mentioned within this highly inspirational story. The breaks between verses allow listeners to take in the instrumentation and vocal samples in between the high energy of its flow.
5. M9 Manifest
M9 Manifest invites listeners into a jazz bar with dreams of martinis and a grand jazz piano whilst it layers a full sample of a speech for its four minute and forty five second entirity. This allows listeners to grasp the backstory of the track in anticipation of the second half of the project. This is a relaxing and motivating educational interlude that works very well within its placement.
6. Save The Way Ft Poor Majisty & 5th Avenue
'Save The Way' marks the first external collaboration track on the album. The piece features Poor Majisty and 5th Avenue who add an extra layer to an already amazing production! The rap flow on this piece are similar to that of Andre 3000, uplifting listeners and offering something slightly different when accompanied with the female vocals on the production. If old school R&B/Hip-Hop is your thing then 'Save The Way' is the song that you've been waiting for! This is a masterpiece! From the instrumentation, a boom bap and a variety of vocals make this a track that you won't forget.
7. Need To Know Ft Annie Jay
'Need To Know' is a stripped down production that contains the sassiness of jazz through the use of brass instrumentation and the hip-hop drive of boom baps. This allows listeners to hear every single word that is being spoken within the track. This is an amazingly raw and open piece. There's an elements of experimentation within this piece in places allowing for another side of the project to be heard.
Seven marks the addition of another experimental piece. There is a noticeable increase in the tempo of the piece marking another depth and flow to the project. This is a track that talks of third eyes, plausibility and the nature of thought. What I love about 'Seven' is the way that the instrumental is highly repetitive as it offers a steadiness to the production and vocal performance.
9. Walk With You Ft Annie Jay
'Walk With You' brings Annie Jay back for a guest performance. It's great to hear the contest between these two artists. The rap flow is a whole universe in itself. The jazz inspired vocals of Annie Jay add something uneasy and experimental to a perfectly crafted rap flow. I love this! A catchy vibe with a whole load of skill.
10. Thank You
'Thank You' is a whole EP on its own! Coming in at over eight minutes long this piece merges the realm of conscious lyrical content with the jazz inspired hip-hop rap flows. The brass instrumentation offers the experimentalism of jazz whereas the boom baps offer a steady and familiar heartbeat to the piece. The lyrics and flows are absolutely flawless yet again!
'Convo' concludes the album by firmly offering something memberable. In this beyond five minutes piece listeners are guided through spoken word conversations that offer an insight into the nature of the artists' manifestations. Sometimes we need to hear this form of inspiration behind an artists' creations as they offer something personal and special for listeners as well as the artists' themselves.
To summarise, The M9 project is a brilliantly skillful creation, a true asset to modern day hip-hop whilst reminding us all of the old school origins. The lyrical content is a whole story within every sentence. The lyrics, conscious, the flow flawless. A 10/10 One2Watch!