“I’m having illusions, all this confusion’s fucking me up in my mind”
I can only believe Sankofa did this on purpose. He’s too savvy and sharp as a lyricist and self-promoter to just accidentally record a song like “Rubber Raft” without knowing it would immediately be compared to Cypress Hill. In fact based on the album title “KofaSoCalfragilistic” I’d have said the Fort Wayne rapper intended this EP to be his tribute to Southern California. If that was his intention then the similar sounding songs can be read as a tribute to the Hill that’s real, but it set up an expectation for me that the other songs would have equally familiar samples. Listening to “Be a Man” featuring Royalty I couldn’t find a song to compare it to, but I kept on enjoying the soulful backdrop as I tried to place. Then I had my “OH!” moment and realized the album’s name refers to the PRODUCER. Their name is “SoCal” ya dig? Royalty’s name might as well be Sauce Money, something Sankofa mentions himself in the liner notes.
I then went back and listened to the opening track “Glasnost” again and noticed Sankofa shouting out SoCal right from the jump while noting “It’s about time for this man.” Based on how well the two merge I’d say he was right. They gel like sugar, water and crushed up animal proteins. The soft tapping of the rim shots and hi-hats on “Sonogram” set up the rapper perfectly for the kind of deep meditation and ruminations he’s best known for. Sankofa questions why we simply accept the way things are and don’t demand a better world for ourselves and others.
“We live in a world where we’re told we either make it or we don’t
and if we don’t we’re just a failure so it goes
A hundred perfect or none of that, that’s what they chose
Shoot for the stars, sell us rocket fuel and clothes
Proper equipment, ready for the all or nothingness
Handing us an idol target we can chuck and miss
Another feather in the cap some NASA bucket list
But we need that luxury, deserving lusciousness”
If you’re thinking “I don’t want to hear somebody be that serious all the time” rest assured that Sankofa is playful and fun too, as songs like “Goes Bump!” featuring JON?DOE are testament to. The only problem with a release like “KofaSoCalfragilistic” is that it’s too damn short to land the death blow a collaboration like SoCal x Sankofa could have. The range of musical production styles SoCal has on offer is impressive in a short EP, and makes you want to know what a full album of the two together would be. Sankofa is a gifted yet ruggedly independent rap artist who thrives off a dedicated fanbase, and hearing this music makes me think they would have happily waited for a full meal instead of a snack. At least it’s a tasty one.