Since hearing Sa-Ra's Hollywood Recordings, I've been a fan of the trio. When I heard Shafiq Husayn, 1/3 of the exprimental group, released a solo project; I was stoked to check it out. Shafiq Husayn en A-Free-Ka brings that Sa-ra feel, but on an even more instrumental level. Theres a few complete songs, but most are rhythmic drums laced with spaced-out synths and vocal add-libbs. Shafiq's booming voice is wrapped thoughout the album with either spoken word or short flows. From the first listen, I can hear the new direction Husayn wants to take hip hop arrangments.
He spoke a little on it in an Okayplayer interview.
Quincy (Jones) said, ‘hip hop mastered the beat, but we didn’t take it to the next level with arrangement,’” he says. “And it’s true. Out of all the musical forms of the 20th century, hip hop brought the beat to the forefront, in a way so that any musical style that comes forth now is going to be predicated on the standard that we set; the Marley Marls, the Pete Rocks, the J-Dillas, the ?uestloves. But the first person who goes all in with arrangement and changes it for real, that’s going to be the king.”
Stop by Okayplayer.com for the rest of the interview.
Here's one of my fav tracks "Le'Star"