Pink Siifu - GUMBO’! Music Album Reviews

Pink Siifu - GUMBO’! Music Album Reviews
The genre-defying rapper’s third album pays tribute to the artists who helped shape his sound—and sounds like something else altogether.

Before he was a rapper, Pink Siifu was a dancer. “I would battle people at parties,” he told the blog Passion of the Weiss in 2018. “I wasn’t a b-boy, but pop locking and krumping and dances I grew up on—I was doing that.” You can hear it in his music, which prioritizes movement and feel above almost everything else. The Alabama-born artist seems more concerned with following his own kinetic energy than abiding by the rules of genre or narrative focus.

When Siifu occupies a style, he tilts it, keeping that sense of play alive. His early Bandcamp releases were spacey, jazz-inflected sound collages that occasionally waded into ambient. He raps in koans; he doesn’t tell stories so much as he drops hints. He can create strangely memorable moments out of densely muttered lines, but he also knows when to just let the beat ride, saying only enough to propel the song along. On last year’s Negro, Siifu yelped and screamed, begging for deliverance from the earthy pain caused by racial oppression and police violence. His latest album, GUMBO’!, is a sprawling homage to the artists that purportedly shaped his sound (especially Dungeon Family). Mainly, though, it serves to prove how unique his sound is.

On GUMBO’!, Siifu deconstructs hip-hop and neo-soul, treating the genres as blank canvases for his own odd compositions. Over the G-funk ambience and clomping hi-hats of “Bussin’ (Cold),” he uses his voice as percussion, repeating the words “Snakes all eye see” in a clipped monotone. Cincinnati rapper Turich Benjy drops in with more straightforward lines (“Can’t keep fucking these dusty ass hoes/Wondering where the money had gone”) that seem to exist just to remind listeners that this was supposed to be a trap song. On “SMILE (wit yo Gold),” Siifu is backed by singers V.C.R and Coco O. and the jazz-funk band Butcher Brown, who add warm percussion and syrupy guitar. He sings the song’s title with a raspy growl of desperation that contrasts with their more mellifluous contributions; it’s as if the other musicians are pulling him away from his angst.

When Siifu wants to, he can skillfully step into the frame provided by one of his references. On the gorgeous “Scurrrrd,” a posse cut halfway through the album, he comes as close as possible to recreating a classic Outkast song. Over a Rhodes-centered beat created by Siifu and Richmond producer DJ Harrison, it opens with spoken word by Dungeon Family associate Big Rube (who famously provided some of the most poignant lines on “Liberation”) and closes with Georgia Anne Muldrow’s earnest promises of comfort and health for her son. In between all of this, Siifu details hardships and prays for his family. It’s a loving emulation, played straight and made with care.

But on most other tracks—the rage-filled “Roscoe’!,” the introspective Alchemist production “Living Proof (Family),” the playful “lng hair dnt care”—Siifu is more inscrutable. He buries his voice low in the mix and goes wherever his mood takes him, even if that makes him hard to pin down. As he told Stereogum recently, “I just want you to just listen to this, and hopefully be like, ‘Nah, Siifu his own cat. He’s on his own shit.’” GUMBO’! is an ambitious sprawl that doesn’t always work perfectly. But when it does, there’s nothing else like it.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Pink Siifu - GUMBO’! Music Album Reviews Pink Siifu - GUMBO’! Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on August 13, 2021 Rating: 5


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