Soul Position: 8 Million Stories

Soul Position: 8 Million Stories (Rhymesayers/FatBeats)

After a few listens, you realize that, compared to most popular hip-hop albums, 8 Million Stories , the new album by Soul Position is incredibly refreshing. Most pop hip-hop songs revolve around spacious egos, unattainable diamonds, big booties, and even bigger guns. Blueprint’s honest lyrics about his girlfriend and shitty job are definitely more appealing than hearing about how one emcee thinks he’s the shit because he got a gun and shot someone who pissed him off. Who cares? What does being hard have to do with talent?

Don’t get me wrong. Blueprint’s sound is solid and his voice is strong, but he’s not playing into the system. Take the second track, “Inhale,” which makes you dance around your house until you realize Blueprint is asking the listener to think twice, inhaling and exhaling, before taking action. He raps, “Let my thoughts direct you when you start feeling lost./Tune into my frequency, don’t ever turn me off, …/Let me be the theme music, you won’t take a loss…/Exercise mentally, get in shape spiritually./Visit me and take deep breaths of my imagery./Exhale all the hate you had for your enemies.”

There is a definite RJD2 sound to the album that is incredibly funky, yet moves instrumentally forward. You realize immediately that RJD2 is not just a DJ; he is a producer. He is creating all new music for Blueprint’s songs, not just spinning records. You hear layer upon layer of beats intermix with bits of songs and melodies. Is RJD2 making these songs and giving them to Blueprint, or is it the other way around? Could they be working on them together? Either way, the whole album is tight.

With RJD2 gaining more and more interest from the music industry and working on another very anticipated solo album, will he have time to collaborate with Blueprint again? The real question is, will Soul Position last? Let’s hope so. We need more hip-hop that’s about life—songs that make us laugh and think—and less about death and the unattainable.

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