Chicago, IL-based rapper Blac Kami was influenced by 90s hip-hop with luminaries ranging from A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, Notorious B.I.G, to DOOM, Pusha T and many more. The rapper started off with the moniker Blac Samurai which was chosen thru a Wu-Tang name generator and has released quite a number of EPs, Albums and singles since 2018. His latest effort titled Iron Essence is an 11-track body of work that takes a deep dive into topics ranging from loyalty, friendship, the black struggle in America and then some.

The project opens up with “All I Know”, a laidback and warm track that sets the tone with Blac Kami’s bravado style which introduces listeners to his world and all he knows. He is also joined by rapper T.E.E who adds his own 2 cents into the fray. “Movin” has a throwback Westcoast vibe with its lush synths and soulful textures and sees Blac reminiscing on real-time issues as he makes moves in these crazy times. Lines like “Rushing for success, moms telling me to stay patient” shows us the youthful exuberance that sometimes clouds one’s judgment and we ultimately get to see how he follows through with his plan. “Know That” has a synth-driven bouncy backdrop and it is a departure from the first 2 tracks in terms of sound but the lyrics are contemplative and run through the ups and downs of the streets and chasing dreams.

“Say Less’ is a collaboration with Big Pat and talks about how silence is really golden in life. Over the bouncy bay-area-inspired soundscape, he talks about taking action as opposed to just talking about it. Big Pat closes it out on the third verse where he states his claim to be the best and throws several shots at all the detractors and naysayers alike. “Never” is made up of a dark atmospheric soundscape and it’s a feel-good track that captures Blac Kami in his comfort zone and away from the madness of this world. It is sure a good change of pace and we get to see the young rapper just relaxing and staying low.

On “24 Interlude’ Blac Kami takes us on a short ride through his city and the many events and people who have helped shaped him as a man who is trying to maximize the day. “Long Kiss Goodnight” is a tale about perseverance and his determination to be successful. Lines like “I can’t fall back, I want everything” tap into his true ambitions and passions. “Coogi Sweater” employs a familiar sample that many would recognize but regardless, Blac Kami uses it to give us more insights into his life and it’s quite revealing.

“Dear Beloved” has a soulful soundscape which serves as the right canvas for the rapper’s candid lyrics that dwell on love and the dynamics of true loyalty while “Backseat” is a solemn and sad tune that talks about his childhood and the view from the backseat. From junkies, pushers, fast women dealers and more, he gives us a short cruise through the underbelly of the city.

The project closes out on a solemn note with “Trips to the Ghetto”, an equally soulful track that explores the struggles of the black folk. The lyrics are poignant and vivid and break down the many elements of living in the ghetto and how the cycle repeats.

The project is just a little bit above the half-hour mark and it’s rich in terms of the topics covered but it’s also great to hear Blac Kami taking time off even if it’s a track or two because life seems to be hassle sometimes and one just have to get the strength to balance things out.

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