SLEEP SINATRA – SHAMANIQ Review

By SUNEZ

Introspection compositions, the song sheets that mettle the greater questions. In these worthed collections of approximately twelve to fourteen chunked minutes, a brother’s whole existence commences as those bars begin. Verses tell, choruses refrain, beats dispel disdain and scratches cut the pain. All for the recorded flaws that relate, the hells we seek to negate, the builds we A-Alike salute. Imagine a place to journal with the colors of truth and none of the shaded lies, to rock live mistakes but wax task lessons for the worst moments to soon come. Times of strife white devils we say may lay but merely us who with dissatisfaction we played…Self the songs of sights left to jam through, the way we prove the greatness can come again.  Finally, a way the children of our children can hold us Kevlaar-strong, sevens remembered in perfection. Hip Hop, the Art with two chains, the one to yoke your hells and the other to strangle competition.  I hear a Shamaniq crooning words to Sleep, sheep counted by night rally under the mindful herding of Sinatra’s songs.

Almost like a precocious KA, Sleep Sinatra is warped into the therapy of the written word to be flowed. As each bar finds its soulmate under syllabled syncopation, his personal anguish floods into macro repercussions that holds only micro solutions.  Our hells affect us and worsen the world but only within us is the liberating build. And Shamaniq is another bettering of Sleep Sinatra’s pensive edutainment surrounded by a selected score all molding into a dynamic groove while building record.

This is truly an MC’s MCing record and he begins with the cause just because (“They like, ‘nigga why you writing?’/Cause I’m trying to get away from this…” – “Men of World Renown”) with the wit to bomb (“You hating/get your glass house spotted from the porcelain” – “Globe Runners”) and filled with observations worded with uncanny design (“…souls in the fiery wasteland if man can’t escape then can God escape man/don’t shake hands with devils in the form of fake fam..” – “Komodo Tongue”).

Sinatra doesn’t really laundry list his problems but honors his namesake and shows himself Surviving Life and Examining Every Perspective. The LP continues his wondered catalog with intriguing inner excursions and the add on of select guest MCs offering vocal diversity.  Some as the impeccable verse from Bronze Nazareth on “Men of World Renown Pt. 2” (“Which way to turn?/cotton field or a cell burn/in their grave a shell turn/soul released leaving us to control the beast/black clouds now float over us/(teach)I can’t reach the mainstream/from my reality reef/so I blow reefer in pounds/turn light down to mic ground…”) that perfectly complements Sinatra who creatively commentates we “visually lost freedom to the hood carpe diem.”

The incredible MC that one must listen through, Sinatra’s inquisitive thoughts must be appreciated beyond the wealth of the idea but the choiceness of his phrasing and word selections as, “Still stuck on this hell that humans branded/imagine that whichever failed could be grasped/imagine if there were no commandments/imagine if there Europeans were the slaves of Africans/I’m talking about if we could take it back again/but would it alter evolution’s packaging…”(“Old Voodoo”).  While he can easily challenge himself further with varying tempos far more dramatically, his battle raps are powerful in losing none of the written skill.  On “Steel Drumz,” he starts off rhyming in slow start chants to lead into the verse with “coming at ya….live with the spiritual effects for disaster/from the middle of the mac/first contact like that….” The start up proceeds in such a casual motion the speed and precision of the delivery captivates bar by bar.  With “Yo, so come along for a ride on a fantastic voyage with a grandmaster’s employment/life’s a battle royale/the choice is the voice that’s reaching out to me I hear him in portrait/the short fews views confuse with views voided/that out move the Rubik’s’ cube shifted into orbit/you just a figment of my forces/of course/it’s the soul bender/the pretenders/getting drawn and quartered/defend the order/heart coroner/as the valves pump/deaded many a patient, get these piles up/karate loudgun I kick it in my section/seen a coward die a thousand times without a lesson/they read around a sign but never find what’s represented/meanwhile my mind’s embedded in my inner heaven/there’s no method infinite that could get as bent as/when he gets his pen in predatory lessons…” we get verses that are filled with internal rhyming, expert layering, exact syllable matching and a ill poetic mix of blatant battle punchlines, abstract musings and metaphysical declarations.

All this technical proficiency over smoothed vocals constantly lead to songs of profound thoughts, an opened diary, filled with sadness and the chronicled logic of smarter eyes clasing insane happenings as on “Cryostasis (Still Cold)”

“This is nothing close to a gimmick/how I approach like an artist with a portrait to finish/no hidden agendas…just complex expression/ that outline my work in inner details when venting/my grandfather has returned to the essence/Rest In Paradise/we’ll play a game of checkers when I exit/them 85’s like, ‘he ain’t anyone to mess with’/why you trying to show the devil a good time if you stressin?/a simple question/repeated like an echo/ in the halls of the bad memories we won’t let go/yet the fold play my hand ‘til I get rope/young father, high school dropout/monumental in my brain power/stand in rain showers never get soaked/I ain’t never truly gave up, just had to give hope/emotional stab wounds in my back never been closed/but I got my lane sowed/Used to feel my heartbeat/ in the street/ homes/now I’m seeing how my seed’s grown/it’s much deeper than you know.”

Musically, the countless producers force first credit to Sleep’s decision making.  Decisions that, though they often stay in the mid-tempo range, produce a Boom Bap groove session that lets us ride through verses and glide through choruses.  The bass’d piano keys punctuate Sleep’s vocals to a powerful clarity on DJ Al-X Rocks’ “Globe Runners.” The swirling womps on “Mala’s (Blue & Green)” by Red Beard soothes with a drums click clacking while Sm-Grims slows a menacing bassline on “’98 Turok.”  The airy string of Sassoon’s “Soul Calibur” and the flute whistling and bass drum kicks of Sm-Grims’ “Yah’s Dust” diversify the musical beds.  Diversity within a very select range of exploration, Sleep Sinatra has shown a world of MCing in meditative mid-tempo grooves that highlight the instrument of the most introspective of lyrics.

Eighteen pages from an MC of letters, the compositions flourish even in the world wavers in mire.  Leaving Sleep Sinatra’s authored Shamaniq a work the most darkened of shepherds in hoods rise, rewind and rhyme along with.

Knowledge the #ArtOnArt review of his previous LP, Monsters And Children HERE