Freemind Movement = Jurassic 5 x Little Brother
Sometimes you review an album that makes you feel like you have to step your game up as a journalist to show a project justice. This is how I felt when I was sent Saint Villian. Even though the project is painfully petite at six tracks, the three-man crew spits lyrics of substance that leaves the listener satiated. The infusion of piano keys, classic snares, violin strings, DJ Mixter Mike scratches and traditional beat breaks on the production side will resonate with traditionalists while the younger voice will resonate with fresher listeners. The sound isn’t very experimental, but it does manage to draw upon old-school principles (that boom bap!) while exhibiting enough contemporary cues to satisfy younger ears as well.
Beyond instrumentation and production, Freemind stays true to their moniker with spiritual, insightful and poignant content. It’s cliché to point out, but they display awareness and humility in their content that seems to resonate with old-school hip-hop fans. They’re aware of the power of music and the dynamic of being Utah artists who are distributing music in a digital era, as discussed on Track 4, “Whyse.” They speak about government improprieties (Track 5, “Hover”). They speak about the complications and intricacies of life and morality. The material is right in line with say, a backpacker’s tastes, but partygoers may find it a bit heavy for their late-night weekend debauchery—it’s more for car rides, working out or loungin’ at home.
Saint Villian is unquestionably SLUG playlist–worthy rap music. Check it out on Spotify or on Freemind Movement’s website: freemindmovement.com. –Keith McDonald