It’s seldom these days to be absolutely impressed with a rap music project. With most artists on the rap scene regurgitating weak lines and repetitive hooks over trap beats, it’s easy to just walk away and wish you never tried to give someone’s music attention. Well this project isn’t one of those times. Thi’sl’s music embodies the best of what rap music can be if it were unmarred by the corporate invention of gangster rap. The quote “Heavy is the head that wears the crown.” is a well-known phrase which connotes the tremendous responsibility the king has in tending to the needs of his kingdom and the responsibilities of the crown. In Thi’sl’s latest offering it is obvious that he himself is burdened not only with events in St. Louis centered around Ferguson but with the plight of the youth and the very clear path in front of them that many may not ever get a chance to travel.
Heavy is the Head is a 14 track offering from Thi’sl a Westside native of St. Louis, who not only holds a Grammy for engineer work he has done but also has sold quite a number of albums and tours as an independent rap artist. This project was made to provide the youth an avenue to be exposed to Thi’sl’s music on platforms like Livemixtapes and others while also letting some frustrations out. Thi’sl brings out the bells, piano and synth chords with a gritty voice yet smooth flow in, “The Come Up”. Between his beginnings in the streets and needing to make the choice to pursue music he drops the hook:
“Sold 50,000 records on my own without a song on the radio/ the biggest artist in my city right now but they don’t even play me though/but God prepared a table in the presence of my enemies so they could watch me eat/God prepared a table in the presence of my enemies so they could watch me eat…”
This project is filled with great production, writing, and delivery and is a masterful work. On the song “Yesterday”, Thi’sl shares the track with songstress Theresa Payne and Hip Hop pioneer and living legend Scarface. The song is a somber tribute to those who we have lost and may lose due to street violence, a heartfelt remembrance to brothers and young kings, RIP Marcus Johnson. An actual tear running down your face is a testament to the power of this song as Theresa’s vocal encourages you to hope for a brighter day.
There are many great songs on this project and Thi’sl covers all the bases in wanting to make this a powerful album for everyone to enjoy. It has everything and I mean everything from trunk rattling bangers in “Straight Outta the Trap”, “Flex (Drop 40)” feat Dee1, “The Delay”, and “Pull Up (Beating)”. Each song slaps whether you listen in your head phones or whip. There’s also “Jay and Bey” featuring the beautifully talented Aloha Mi’sho which you can consider Thi’sl’s version of “Bonnie and Clyde” in which he professes his love for his woman. There are also joints like “Lean On Me” and “Dreamers” which are inspirational and encouraging and deal with real life issues.
“She just wanna buy her dream house/and wake up in the morning in a clean house/Her life is trying to choke her dreams out/but she gone fight through everything and make her dreams count/Fly baby don’t you see them wings/and God gave you legs so you can chase them dreams….He gon’ be a man he not gonna walk on his kids/he gon’ be a leader to his family and his friends/he gon’ start a business bring jobs to the community/he gon’ be a man of love teach us bout unity/his days gon’ get hard though try to choke his dreams out/he gon’ fight harder though he going to make this dream count. Go fly King you an angel don’t you see them wings and God gave you legs so you can chase them dreams.”
In every respect the project shimmers and shines from beginning to finish and has an audience for hardcore rap lovers to those who wish rap music could be more. Even though the project was birthed out of burden from protests, the tireless work involved in his own work within the community, and experiences touring the nation as a representative of St. Louis and a high calling to witness; he managed what few in rap music are able to do, make real rap music that touches the mind, body, and spirit. Heavy Is the Head, is my new obsession and Thi’sl is a rap artist whose music can save a city.
Buy Heavy is the Head w/ 2 Exclusive songs here on ITunes: Thi’sl – Heavy Is the Head
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