On the title track of his fifth release, soso wonders aloud: all this for what?
In a calm, resolute voice the Canadian rapper grapples with “seemingly obvious but elusive truths.” He wanted to write a record about god, the hunger for myth, benign cruelty, and acceptance. He wanted to explore the complexity of life through an assemblage of personal reflection, contradiction, and observation. I can’t put my finger on it, not to stop the bleeding, not to tie a perfect bow… (Pretty as a picture)
This is a record about trying to figure shit out. It’s not pretentious, but it is edging rap lyrics into somewhat unfamiliar territory. It is contemplative. There is yearning. There is vulnerability and frustration. What is the distance between resignation and surrender? (If I ever knew you, I don’t know you now)
soso is an unorthodox hip hop artist best known for songs that explore family and social histories, personal experience, and place. His latest album is a culmination of the creative strides he has made over the past decade. The writing is more wordy than previous efforts and is laced with idioms, double negatives, and nuance. There are moments of off-kilter crooning. It’s a bit obtuse, but certainly sincere.
The album was produced by indie hip hop stalwart and long time collaborator, Maki. Best known for his melodic, brooding sample arrangements and a strong no-nonsense drum program, Maki has been quietly killing shit from his desert valley home in western Canada. After a string of 7″ releases on European bespoke labels Luana and MISM, he returns to where it all began. It is a homecoming of sorts. Embracing obscure shades of progressive rock, folk and rap sensibilities, he has created the perfect backdrop for soso’s best moments. Not for Nothing is forthright, aching, haunting.
I will listen for your voice in every empty cup. (The blushing bride)
01. The wait
02. Things started out so pretty
03. Pretty as a picture
04. The rain barrel
05. If I ever knew you, I don’t know you now
07. The extermination of a raccoon, first part (Revelation)
08. The extermination of a raccoon, second part (Epiphany)
09. The blushing bride
10. Not for nothing
11. A map of all the constellations I can see from my kitchen window