The third offering from Zubz has been one of the most anticipated 2009 hip hop albums in possibly the whole of Africa. For starters Zubz has quite a rep compared to most MCs in the region given his track record from The Last Letta Mixtape right through to the experimental Headphone Music in A Parallel World. Cochlea - One Last Letta is the latest release from the man.
Given the very futuristic inclination on Headphone Music In A Parallel World i was not sure what to expect on this album. First point to note is that every song is double titled (doesn't really bother me). It opens up with Cochlea - The Love Thought featuring soul guru RJ Benjamin which is somewhat an introduction to the whole album. The song is about your ability to turn situations to your advantage by excercising more 'love' in your decision making. In a way it is like the opportunity cost of doing one thing over another. Zubz is amazing at giving musical concepts beyond what would be deemed more widely accepted and i believe it makes his music far more enjoyable. The Entertainer - Smoke Screen Bounce reminds me of his first commercial hit, Superstar where he refers to the variety of listeners who would rather listen to shallow lyrics with a good beat because 'there is more to life'. It questions the willingness of music lovers to engage in deep thought when listening to their favourite musician bearing the question 'Why do we really listen to music'. From an artist perspective the question being 'For what purpose do i make my music?' The song is quite enjoyable with a throwback breakbeat. The beat on Drowning - Running Out of Time also has an old school feel to it (did i mention the venomous energy on the raps?)
The first track i heard from this album is A Different Life - Live It Up featuring the lady Pebbles. It covers many stories in one to convey a message covering issues like being judgemental, stereotyping and vantage point. Part Time Lover - Part Time Freek featuring Ameen shows somewhat the 'fun' element of the music on the album with some great production. The song itself is about being used in relationships for sexual satisfaction where the male is a serial polygamist having left a trail of broken hearts. The following track, Love Blind - My Girl's a... featuring Kabomo tackles the female side of the equation on a soulful note and is a vintage Zubz track. The girl in question is creeping and the man is in denial about it yet the whole world knows (hell if that happened to me!). I really believe Zubz explored his influences within music from the 70s, 80s and 90s for this album giving it his own personal signature (and sounds like he also got some influence from Kanye West on this too).
Besides the ones already mentioned also watch out for I Got This - Bait The Prey, Batanai - A Tale Of Two Cities, Bring U Back featuring Kalakoda and A Pot Of Green Tea - Good Conversation featuring Tracey Lee. For a 16 track album this is a great listen. I am not yet sure if i still prefer this one or Headphone Music in a Parallel World but one thing is for sure i was able to comprehend Cochlea - One Last Letta quicker than i could the former. This is like Zubz reinvented but you will still enjoy what he has to give. Recommended for all the hip hop heads out there!
Buy it here: http://www.pricecheck.co.za/offers/6909677/Emi+Zubz+-+Cochlea+One+Last+Letta/
Cover Art - 6.5/10
Music - 7/10
Technical Sound - 8/10
'I Like Factor' - 7/10