Reviews

*2016* Pick: Prince Charlez Black And Gold Mixtape Is My Literal Jam

Prince Charlez has penned music for Kendrick Lamar, Mary J Blige Rihanna, and Beyoncé, and now is officially signed to Republic Records. The Compton native and sought-after songwriter has had so many accomplishment in music before his signing, it is hard to believe that only now he is debuting his mixtape. Yet, here is his Drumma Boy produced Black and Gold as my 2016 music pick to carry you into 2017.

If you enjoy the artists I named, then you will love Prince Charlez. His entire mixtape sounds exactly like the hits he has made for these artists, which basically makes his album an entire hit. Each of its 8 tracks feels exactly like your radio, streaming, club, or gym playlist, and explains why it is so instantly likable. In already being a “taste-maker” within the industry, Prince Charlez knows how to create music that finds a balance between his personal essence and mass appeal. Hence, he consistently assures that a rhythmic bridge is built between him and listeners to cross over and enter his kingdom. While I am not usually one to leave my own castle of imagination, Prince Charlez is a worthy venture because of his gem-like combination of trap music with soul.

When you think of trap music and soul, it is natural to not envision this sonic union. Soul seems more grounded than trap music, of which could sound like a giant, looming cloud of thunderous claps. Yet, Prince Charez finds their commonality in their “drama”. Trap music’s base is theatrical in how it syncopates and symphonies through songs, and Prince Charlez knows this completely. From ” The Prayer” to “Jewish Mafia”, Prince Charlez uses trap heavy, machine-like synths to induce the torn sentiment of his soul. As he rejects and dismisses any hate or enemy from his life, he feels emotionally weighed by the “Glossy (feat Trinidad James)” of his relationships and lifestyle in contrast to his spiritual salvation: a basic human, conundrum. Who does not question their life choice’s effects on their soul? Hence, Prince Charlez’s Black and Gold EP becomes one of surprising, lyrical depth, despite coming off like a series of “club bangers”.

Again, with his prestigious history as a songwriter for the stars, there is no denying Prince Charlez desire/ capacity to make a club track like, “Stamina” or “Bitty”. Yet, it his artful word-play in songs like “Life Matters” and “Help”  that makes the album much richer than one for just dancing. In said tracks, he shows his blatant desire to also be in the hearts and minds of listeners. In “Life Matters” he spews sociopolitical commentary with a prowess of wisdom and pain, which makes sense as it is usually our suffering that makes us wiser. Still, “Help” and “Prayer” leap out to me the most as singles because I genuinely love his singing voice. Although his rap-style could easily and successfully play into the Hip Hop scene, his voice has a natural fragility to it. He knows how to break a note as if it were a shell keeping his hurt inside. When he sings, which is not often enough in the mixtape, it adds a deeper layer to his talent and creativity. The same man talking about “bitties” in one track is also the one extending his hand and heart to help you. Once again, showing that he is only a wide-ranging, creative artist because that is his person, as well.

Prince Charlez’s Black and Gold might as well have been called Chameleon. He uses music to reveal his layers as a thinking, feeling man in this world; from one that just wants to hit clubs and play love games to one that wants to shake society for not having enough love. We all are walking paradoxes, but not many have the talent and mind to make our own hypocrisies and clashing thoughts sound good. For More Information On Prince Charlez Click Here.