Mesiyah‘s AL C. CLARK is a 9-track body of work inspired by novels written by the late American writer Donald Goines. Each track takes its title from different Donald Goines novels and uses the theme accordingly with Mesiyah infusing his own perspective into the final product. Mesiyah handles most of the vocal duties and also brings in some special guests in the form of Boldy James, Willie The Kid, and Quentin Ahmad DaGod who help add their distinct styles to the record.
The first cut “Eldorado Red” is as scenic and graphic as can be with Mesiyah in the driver’s seat taking us to foreign places. The production has a dramatic feel with varied but hushed drum arrangements. What needs to be said is the way he paints his pictures with lines like “Designer luggage, grab the handle, my knuckle shine gold nuggets, player haters look disgusted/Superfly Curtis Mayfield, don’t let the smooth taste fool you, I’m known to blaze steel, heartbreaker”. He sounds unassuming but each line is intentional and serves as a headway into his thoughts and it’s a solid display of storytelling as well. Next up he teams up with veteran emcee Willie The Kid for “Daddy Cool” which sees both emcees as highrollers who play the game lowkey in the big arena. The production is quite soulful and has a vintage splendour that blends perfectly with their evocative delivery and engaging tales. Mesiyah announces his arrival as follows “The navigation is communicated to the satellite/I arrived at the destination, the valet opened the door, tip the man a Ben Franklin, smash a hand inside the grand piano/my man win against my word, took a gamble” and sets the scene while Willie The Kid follows through with a magnificent verse that centers on aspiration and the convergence of like-minded brothers who are ready to make moves. “Inner City Hoodlum” does exactly what the title says and it’s built on a cinematic and vocal-driven sample with hushed drums. Mesiyah takes us deep into the action with a gripping tale of the life of a hoodlum trying to survive in the jungle concrete. He is caught in a never-ending cycle where he is running from the feds and dodging scheming foes while trying to secure his bag by all means.
“Black Girl Lost” explores the life of a young lady with low virtue in the big city. Over the solemn and reflective backdrop made up of vocal samples and mellow keys, Mesiyah delivers a gripping tale that follows the aforementioned lady as she engages in all types of underhanded activities to satisfy her needs. Lines like “You wink your eye when you walk past them/ you two exchange numbers, he’s not knowing you got a husband/next day you fuck him at the hotel champagne bubbling/Seducing men, they refer to you as succulent” encapsulate the scene perfectly. “Whoreson” is as graphic and R-18 as they come for good reason. It’s far from glorifying the seedy lifestyle led by some but rather a cautionary tale that explores the downsides of prostitution as he deals with elements of rape, robberies and even murder. It’s quite a sad and melancholic tune that hits the heart. Mesiyah teams up with fellow rapper Quentin Ahmad DaGod for “Street Players”, a bravado and edgy track that follows the exploits of two players who paint the town red and move silently as they cruise through the mean streets where anything can happen. This is followed by “Dopefiend”, a horrid tale about drug addiction and the extent drug fiends would go to to get their next fix.
The project closes out“Black Gangster” and “Crime Partner” featuring Boldy James. The former has a blaxploitation vibe and sees Mesiyah embodying the spirit of a gangster who is making his runs and trying to stay afloat in all the madness while the latter is a tale of two partners in crime who reflect on their past endeavours and the many co-defendants who stood their ground through the war and then some. Overall, AL C. CLARK, gets the job done with its rich cinematic production and Mesiyah’s descriptive storytelling skills. He sure knows the assignment and uses themes from the Donald Goines novel to good effect and repurposes them as he fits.