Written by: Fletcher Bonin
Do not judge Yo Majesty’s latest venture Futuristically Speaking…Never Be Afraid by its first song. I assure you, listen on and you will not be disappointed. Most of the album is comprised of the shifty, ascetic, electronic beats reminiscent of the Baltimore underground crunk scene that Yo Majesty has become known for. With tracks like ‘Booty Klap’, ‘Get Down’, and ‘Grindin and Shakin’ you won’t be disappointed. All fourteen tracks of this 2008 release have all of dance club rap’s best features plus a little extra, Yo Majesty showing us on that they are more than a one trick pony.
But about that first track, entitled ‘Fucked Up’, this song is exactly that. Now, this is not to say it is a bad song, just widely outside the range of Yo Majesty and a bit of a surprise on a hip-hop rap album. ‘Fucked Up’ listens more like a heavy metal song with pounding backbeats and aggressive lyrics such as “I slash the tires and rip out your seats” and “come on baby hit me in the face, I love you” screamed into the mic. However, it can’t be ignored that the track is heavily passionate and almost obsessively raw, which is something I think we can all appreciate.
I think that Yo Majesty strikes gold on the track ‘Night Riders’. This song, my personal favorite off the album, is heavily reminiscent of 90’s rap scene with its steady, bouncing bass beats and well timed vocals. I would even go so far as to say that this song called to mind Notorious and Lil Kim with the powerfully spit female vocals and inspired lyrical genres. The title track ‘Never Be Afraid’ is equally powerful, also featuring quickly turned phrases and hard to catch lyrics, though a close listen will reveal Yo Majesty’s lyrical prowess. Their bread and butter dance club hip-hop tracks are as strong and powerful on this venture as they always have been.
But like I said, Yo Majesty is doing more than just rap on Futuristically Speaking…Never Be Afraid. The track ‘Buy Love’ is especially good, with a slower, chiller backbeat. This song calls to mind the style of the Black Eyed Peas and even conjures sounds found in the reggae genre. This album is multi-faceted and not to be dismissed as yet another hip-hop, club, dancefloor reboot. It is complex and Yo Majesty shows unique skill in their ability to bring their own originality to other styles of music that would normally be considered outside their wheelhouse. These tracks will make you think, chill you out, and most likely, make you want to get down.