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A Bonafide Classic!
Posted June 17, 2014
By DwayneLacy_NRT, Staff Reviewer


Mali Music is going mainstream and he is signed to RCA Records! Questions have arisen of whether he is totally neglecting his Gospel music audience and why would he throw it all away? Previously known for such powerful songs such as "Yahweh", "All I Have to Give", and Conqueror", he also has songs like, "I Hate You", "Impulses" and "Job Experience." The latter song is what he performed on the BET Awards and garnered the attention of Akon and others. 

And the rest is history. The talent that oozes out of Mali Music is nothing short of astounding, and it was only a matter of time that he would garner the attention of people in the mainstream. The mainstream can afford to have Mali Music as a neophyte in this sometimes exclusive fraternity of sorts. He releases a soon to be classic in Mali Is

I would be lying if I said that I was not salivating at the thought of this new album. Several singles were released to do more than stimulate my appetite and also create more fans who previously had never heard of him. "Beautiful" is the single that garnered a new group of people asking, "Where did this guy come from and why haven't we heard of him before?" He performed this on American Idol and on The View to critical and audience acclaim. 

So what is the fuss about? It is dedication to the beauty of people who manage to stay hopeful and resilient in spite of the vicissitudes of life. This one is infectious for several reasons such as the simple piano loops, smooth beats and organic feel. 

The way Mali basically tells a story and takes the listeners on a journey with his vocals and lyrics makes one think of the likes of his influences: Sam Cooke, John Mellencamp, Donnie Hathaway, Jonny Lang and Marvin Gaye. That is great company in itself. 

He metaphorically explains his mission and goal in the banger "Ready Aim." In the bridge, he shuns the metaphors and explains, "Trying to take Water to a dry place / Trying to take hope where it ain't none / trying to take low to a high place / Wanna make the shooter put the gun done / So a mother gets to hold her son now." Even if he has naysayers, he is still aiming to reach those who are broken. He reaches out to those who are in the spotlight and at the "top" to keep their priorities in order on "No Fun Alone."

Mali exchanges the vocals for the "mic" as he spits bars on "Make It." The tempo on the song sounds like it should be singing throughout while a few of the other songs could have be the ones that he rapped over. However this is what sets him apart. It has a uptempo style that makes you want to clap while he raps. He explains that this life is not he, but God's and all must must focus on Him as they long to reign with Him in Heaven. 

He speaks to the Christians to remind them of who they are in Christ on "Royalty." What he does with the sampled vocals on "Little Lady" is dope to say the least. This song is neo-soul at its finest.

Closing Thoughts:
His journey to the mainstream is not one where he is forsaking his mission, but one where he broadens his horizons to reach those who are skeptical and may not come to the "church". "Mali Is" is one of the best albums I have heard in a while for the non-cliched songwriting, his amazing singing and the message. DO NOT sleep on this album! It lives up the hype. 

Song to Download:
"Ready Aim" (Get it on iTunes here, or Stream it on Spotify here.)

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