We lost Tupac Amaru Shakur over 20 years ago and with losing him we also lost the image of what it meant to be a revolutionary and a rapper at the same time. When I say revolutionary, I do not mean talking about street life or saying, “f*ck the police” in your rap lyrics. I mean being someone that others can see their work, hear their message, and follow not just musically but become aware of them as a reputable voice. As Dr. Cornell West says in the opening track, Inspire, Tef bridges the gap between the old and the the new.
While listening to Black Julian 2: Never Satisfied, I thought to myself I wonder what Tupac would think of Tef Poe and I smiled. In a world without him for so long I began to consider that possibly Tef Poe is Tupac’s Tupac; Independent, smart, artistic, militant, hungry, and now equipped with a plan. It’s a long road from Pine Lawn and sleeping on Metrolink benches to the Halls of Harvard University as a Nasir Jones Hip Hop Fellowship recipient.
Black Julian 2 Never Satisfied was perhaps for Tef like putting a period on 2017 as he readies for what the next level of Tef Poe might be. Tupac never had a chance to see this generation or the legacy his style of infusing the life of young black males with the evils of this world whether they be political, internal, or external but he did believe that he might influence someone to help make a change. Had the man continued to live, rap would not even look the same but in his absence, I say wholeheartedly that the culture –the world needs a revolutionary who can rap, mobilize, and lead others through the struggle. I hope everyone is ready to listen and the Tef Poe finds even more ways to spread a message.
For this writer it is a more sure bet than Bitcoin that this album will top all of his other projects as being his 2Pacaplyse Now or Good Kid MAAD City. I say that believing this a new and different Tef Poe – an evolved Tef Poe. I know this is a bold statement, but when you have Dr. Cornel West opening up your project with a prayer invoking the names of Revolutionaries and Civil Rights’ heroes and saluting your efforts what else can you say or think, especially after the beat drops and Tef goes in over a soul beat and bluesy guitar riffs from Monkh.
While Black Julian 2: Never Satisfied is less politically charged than his previous releases, Tef Poe maintains his same brash delivery and opposition to White Supremacy and Misogyny as he switches up the flow from machine gun bursts, flips, and repetitive phraseology. On the production side Black Julian 2 Never Satisfied keeps you grooving and bouncing with tracks from Trifeckta, Jackpot, Average Jo, Duke Rellington, Audio Chef, and Morshabazz. I have been covering Tef Poe’s career for the past 7 years or so and this project is his absolute best so far and if he continues to evolve then the sky is the limit. Special shoutout to Cheech Forreign, who besides Dr. West, is the only featured artist on the project. Her voice and style is on par with anyone rapping today male or female. Be on the lookout for her.
Black Julian 2 Never Satisified is available to Stream or Purchase here:
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