Originally Published on December 28, 2017
At the top of 2017, Hip-Hop lyricist, Lord Jah-Monte (formerly known as King Callis) hit the ground running, releasing his sixteen track debut album,TOETS HAAR Skipping, just in February followed by UNBUNTU & You, a 13 track album released in May. So it doesn’t come as a surprise that the Charlotte-based rapper, originally from Chicago has been working on a 4th album. The third project of the year entitled “Omi God” — Omi meaning “you me” in Swahili, is set to drop sometime today, a day before New Years Eve, and ironically only hosts 5 tracks, all of which remain true to Jah-Monte’s classic hip-hop sound. Like the other two projects released this year, this album is also rooted heavily in the Conscious rapper’s agenda, to spread light and love, “light” being knowledge or “truth”.
The collection of melodic tunes are led by “Touch Down in the Fo/ Cam Newton”, which shapes the overall theme of the album: His Lifestyle, more specifically, his lifestyle during his time in Charlotte. Jah-monte’s lifestyle is heavily shaped by his environment,the hood. This is noted with the mention of activities that usually go on in poverty-stricken areas, commonly due to the lack of employment opportunities, therefore lack of things to do and more importantly, a shortage in income. Rather than not be able to provide for his daughter and her mother, Jah-Monte chooses to “serve fiends” as hinted at in several verses throughout the body of work. This type of behavior has been ongoing, as revealed later in “Channel Wood Village Lords” with the use of the phrase “Five an L” to show just how much times have changed for the Black Market, changes endured personally by the artist. The artist contrasts his current lifestyle with the one he believes people of African decent should have, ideally rooted in African-based Spirituality and Education, which teach history from an African perspective, with the core ideologies that the black woman is God and that most Europeans are “Aboriginals” or “soulless” beings, both term used numerous times and ensure the message is received. This same systematic knowledge encourages the acquisition of Black wealth, both considered the “type of shit CMS wouldn’t teach us” by the lyricist. In fact, Jah-Monte believes that is the local government’s mission is the exact opposite– to instead acquire what little blacks do have through gentrification as highlighted on “Best Rapper in Charlotte Pt 3”; All of which he are tactics to decelerate Black advancement, the underlying message of the track “Give the Thanks to the Lord.
As if Jah-Monte doesn’t have a big enough headache, he’s also haunted with the likeliness of drive-by shootings saying “shells going out the window more than Taco Bell” when referencing Channel Wood Village, a neighborhood the rapper lived in for some time and the line “shooting out Grand Caprices”, an act that resulted in his brother serving a lifetime sentence in prison. He’s also plagued with memories of loved ones getting injured. That doesn’t stop the rapper from indulging in his own afflicting kryptonites though, warning it is best not to owe him money with the usage of flashbacks.
Well you know what they say– “they” being dealers turned rappers: “All I need in this life of sin, is me and my girlfriend” (if you don’t know who said that, then wooooow, but Hov aka Jay-Z); the same is true for the lyricist, even with all is rough ways, with all the chaos swarming around him, he has managed to find love which seems to be the only thing drawing him back to Charlotte, a core message in the 1st track. The love he speaks on is not just any love, it is a Godly one, one founded on the exchange of support and “truth”. I’m assuming a first for the King and his Queen as he describes it as “different” on the track entitled “Mwili Na Nafsi”, which means “Body and Soul” (also the title of the rapper’s first breakout hit about love) and poses the question: “Can this feeling be forever, Love. Me and you together, Love.”
While short and sweet, the highlight of this album definitely would be Lord Jah-Monte’s lyricism. His bars are filled with metaphors, similes, double entendres and alliteration, all over smooth classic Hip-Hop beats. A solid, atypical release by Jah-Monte this late in the year will definitely leave his fans anxious for the new year.