Focus The Truth closes out the year with TrillaSZN Vol1 The EP, a 4 track EP that encapsulates the rapper’s life and all his various experiences as a black man balancing life and his art. The tracks are compiled from his recording session for his upcoming album and he didn’t want the tracks that didn’t make said album to go to waste.


The project starts with “Homegrown”, a dark scenic track made up of moody haunting pads, organ riffs and punchy drum grooves. Here Focus proceeds with a commanding vocal tone and gripping flow peppered with lines like “Please don’t disrespect my intelligence, down to break bread like a fellowship/keep the circle tight, you need membership”. Focus takes no shorts and losses as he details his workings for us to see how far he has come and lives up to the true meaning of being homegrown. The following track “Karma” continues the cinematic theme of the track and we get thrown into the mix of the action immediately. Focus embodies the spirit of the true go-getter who knows the ins and outs of the concrete jungle. Bolstered by the menacing backdrop, he draws us in with lines like “Always keep it a beam, not a Muslim but I stay on my deen/I need millions, fuck a dollar and a dream/Every song is a classic, blue faces so I’m swiping the plastic/ Humble nigga but I’m ready for action”. He goes further to break down the characteristics of a stand-up individual who shows integrity and authenticity at all times. Next up is the soulful “Timelapse” featuring fellow rapper Stargiela, which is comprised of a dreamy drumless backdrop and insightful bars from Focus. Here both emcees run through their experiences as black men in an unforgiving world while dropping more than a handful of jewels for listeners like “Good-hearted but I been born sinner like J Cole/Streets don’t love you my nigga stay home in the zone/Put grayscale mode inside my phone, do not disturb, do best work when left alone”.

The final track “Venus Retrograde” sees Focus teaming up with vocalist Elle Simone. The track is an open letter to everyone who doubted him and also to people who looked up to him to succeed. Over the sombre piano-driven backdrop, Focus digs deep and shares candid thoughts on his personal growth, his mistakes and the never-ending journey to find internal solace in what he truly loves. Again, Focus doesn’t mince his words when he says“Once it’s perfect timing, stars aligning, won’t let my mistakes define us/Something I tell my friends and myself/This music, well is therapy, I feel like it helps/Been trying to find this place, I get the best of myself/cause aint no benefits if you keep stressing yourself”. While it feels like a confession of some sort, it also serves as a moral booster to listeners to take hold of their destinies and do the needful instead of crying over spilled milk. Elle now closes the track with her soothing and commanding vocal runs.


Overall, TrillaSZN Vol1 The EP is as cohesive and concise as can be. The production style sticks to familiar terrain with dark, cinematic textures, punchy boombap drums and a touch of soulful drumless soundscapes. On the other hand, Focus pen is still sharp and profound enough to elicit various emotions that can amp you, make you think deeply and inspire you to be better. With that I leave you with one final quote from Focus The Truth, The pain is temporary but the regret is forever



TrillaSZN Vol1 The EP is a sampler to The LP version of TrillaSZN Vol 1 which can be found here.


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