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Review: Raury - Forbidden Knowledge (feat. Big K.R.I.T)

Rising star Raury delivers a thought-provoking track...

Review: Raury - Forbidden Knowledge (feat. Big K.R.I.T)

Album "All We Need" Available from 16th October

Nicolas-Tyrell Scott

W!ZARD News Author

Hip hop’s roots stem from the turbulent tales of Black voices in America. Through the vicious and thought provoking lyricism put forth by pioneers such as NWA, Run DMC and Public Enemy - hip hop evolved into a sociopolitical movement of some sorts.

Since its evolution, however, we have seen the genre grow and deconstruct itself, branching out into new sound waves, lyrical focus and, overall, become a genre so diversified that it’s definition in the contemporary arena can’t be pin pointed to one exact focus.

Raury, one of Hip-Hop’s most promising new additions, however brings that consciousness which was so central during the 70’s – mid 80’s back to the table with his new track “Forbidden Knowledge” which precedes his highly anticipated debut album, which is imminently due. Joined by fellow Southern American Big K.R.I.T, the two bring a vibe and presence which can’t be ignored.

Kick drums and a light choir initiate the songs production and the listener is introduced to a Zen-like atmosphere, a feeling quite common in the realm of Raury. Before we’re left to get too comfortable, the first lesson of the day is put forward by preacher, Raury. “Forbidden Knowledge, can destroy mankind” he utters. The drums pace slows down slightly as Raury begins on his mission of truth.

The lyricist goes on the offensive as he brings us through history and indeed the present laying out the issues in society. “At first they keep us separate but equal, but it’s not and so we fight against the hatred and evil// Now they let us think we got it and they killin’ our people”.

Raury fearlessly reflects on American race-relations over the last few decades, depicting the Civil Rights movement to Police brutality, all while skillfully keeping the same tone throughout, but somehow he keeps the focus of the listener successfully not falling victim to sounding monotonous.

As the chorus hits, Raury repeats “Forbidden knowledge” as the production shifts and allows in a jazzy guitar alongside a rise in the choirs vocals. The song as a whole begins to slightly rise in atmosphere but still maintains its signature sense of mellow. Raury now shifts focus to the systems in place and their role in this “Forbidden Knowledge” anecdote. “I’ll never understand your corporate greed//Just a group of people all they want is more than they need”.

The Southern rapper hints at the issues with Capitalism, and the selfishness littered in today’s world, again challenging the listener to think more broadly. But he isn’t finished there, “Blood resulting from the ink that they bleed, that’s forbidden knowledge”. Raury ends this verse with a chilling metaphor, evoking images of all the war and death in both history but also present day life.

Before our class of the day can finish, Big K.R.I.T. adds his fragments of truth on verse 3. Over a similar production as Raury, Big K.R.I.T tells us that we are Kings and Queens who are “made for better things”. In his signature southern tone, he also reminds us that we “Don’t have to go to jail” to “pick up a book”, and lastly ponders what both Malcolm and Martin Luther King learned in Mecca and Selma, which hints at us finding our self-progression and expanding our Knowledge breaking down the “Forbidden”.

This track really has it all, while not using a lot at all. The laid back production really allows us to get a sense of what Raury is about artistically. The content was spot on in terms of contemporary global and domestic issues which is part of what allows the track to be so engaging.

The relaxed and matter-of-fact tone in which both Raury and Big K.R.I.T. deliver their verses is so evocative of the Southern-American way of life and successfully works on such a conscious record such as this. “Forbidden Knowledge” is the an eye-opener and dropped at the perfect time to remind the world that Raury’s era is here (October 16th) and the talent he possesses is sky high.

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