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Mixtape Review: Add-2’s “Save.Our.Souls”

Rating: 8 / 10

With all of the surrounding drama with the death of Trayvon Martin, the ever-increasing undertone of racism at an all-time high, and the fact that there is still a large number of people don’t seem to care about either situation, it would seem that a change of heart is needed now more than ever for most of American society. One artist who seems to realize that is the Chicago MC Add-2; fresh off his cosign from Common, Add-2 makes no motion whatsoever to sidestep the issues concerning his people in his latest release, Save.Our.Souls, and does it in a way that comes off as refreshing to the ear.

Lyrically, Add-2 gives listeners a great mix of clever bars and punchlines, but never strays from his topic. Songs like “The Real Back”, “Going Going Gone”, and “Bring ‘Em Out,  display his versatile rap skills, and the presentation of those songs are dope as well; “The Real Back” samples some classic Bernie Mac lines, the 9th Wonder-produced “Going Going Gone” has a great vibe to it throughout, and the hook for “Bring ‘Em Out” serves as a nice nod to Alphamega’s verse on T.I.’s “Hurt” single.

Add-2 is incredible lyrically on all fronts, but he is at his absolute best on S.O.S. when he’s addressing taboo topics concerning Black culture. “Cotton Fields” outlines the parallels between slavery times and today’s times with powerful introductory bars  (“My Granny used to put her fingers back when she was picking cotton / now I’m picking cotton shirts just for me to rock ‘em”) and ratchets up the intensity by the end of the song (“Ain’t a damn thing changed, it’s still a slave trade / NFL, NBA, just ain’t the same name / All these record label exec’s manufacturing songs / ask Jimmy Iovine how many slaves he owns…”). The scathing continues later in the tracklisting as “Modern Day Coons” takes aim at the Black people who aspire to be less than their worth.

It’s a great listen, but the best thing about S.O.S is that Add-2 is completely aware that he isn’t without fault and takes aim at himself as well. Songs like “Losing Me” featuring Nida Nasheeda shows the MC at a juncture of his life that even has him asking God to save HIS soul, in a sense. At the end of the project, as opinionated as Add-2 comes off, he’s the epitome of the intelligent Black male who realizes that all isn’t as it seems in his culture and expresses that well within his music. Save.Our.Souls embodies that aspect in almost every way, and it is well worth the download if you needed a reason to see why Common supports him.

You can download it here.

  • Amanda White

    This is prob the best hip hop album that I’ve listened to in a LONG time that actually made me FEEL something. Every time I listen to “Losing Me” in particular it gets me a little choked up because I’m sure everyone can relate. Love it! His best project to date.

    •  The funny part? I couldn’t write about that song in detail… That song hits me a little too hard just because I can relate to everything he’s saying.

      Dope music. All around.

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  • $18916246

    It’s good to see a  young conscious emcee, I’m an older dude so I know and support parts of this message. Black folks have been conditioned made ni**ers wanting even more today to be….made ni**as? I objectively asked my people to work at DE-NI**AFYING themselves. The fears and obedience to a racist white power structure mentioned in this song is steeped in the dominant ni**a mindset. The lost of self worth, the blatant abandonment of the black family structure disgustingly perpetuated by none other than black people. What I don’t support is the imagery and acting depicted in this video. Here we have a black man beat down by a white man in broad day light and in doing so, the black man shows no resistance? Then to add insult to injury to further convey this message, the same white man drags the black man into a wooded area and hangs the black man single handed? The whole scene was unnecessary and only makes me the viewer feel like the artist or rapper reciting the song sides with the fear of white folks he raps about. Whites or other races partnering whites in racism need no ideas or instruction on commiting such heinous acts against black people. Brother choose another way to bring about shock value to your work. This depiction was a bit careless. Please take my strong but humble opinion as corrective criticism . No man could strike me knowingly without resistance or fight in defense of my person. No other race should be made to assume that I or my black people would do anythings less than fight for their lives.

  • Moses

    The quote is “My Granny used to PRICK her fingers back when she was picking cotton.”  Just to clarify and help reinforce the overall meaning of the song. Good article though