Mar 19, 2015

HOMEMADE by SoULFULL EP Review by Niles P.

It’s rare that when I truly get introduced to the music of an up-and-coming artist and it’s someone for which I have no frame of reference.

This would be a rapper without a guest verse on a song you like or affiliation with one of your favs. Such was the case when I had SOULFULL’s debut EP HOMEMADE sent to me for review. To tell the truth, I’m usually leery of projects by new up and coming rappers. Most seemingly try to replicate Chicago drill music or southern trap music or both. It’s the same bland rhymes over easily-duplicated beats (y’all know how I feel about that goddamn snare roll). Soulfull thankfully bypasses all of that and lives up to his stage name and delivers a soulful debut that seems to really come organically.

He was most known for shooting the video for labelmate Sir Moore's selfLOVE. It was assumed that he was the videographer for the New Jeru Natives at that time. Let's fast forward to now.

The Franklin, New Jersey emcee pairs a gruff flow over serene and easygoing beats. He raps over a 9th Wonder beat on the romantic iFOUNDu. He uses similar beats that are both tranquil and sample heavy. On meettheparents he raps from the perspective of his own father giving advice and encouragement while simultaneously explaining why he parented how he did growing up.  This is a concept track that most new rap dudes don’t attempt.  He also uses a clip from the movie Baby Boy to set up loveHATE which talks about ups and downs in relationships.  Soulfull even uses skitONE to simultaneously joke about the patch in Rasheed Wallace’s head and then freestyle with his friends. FINALwordz serves as a fitting outro and features some of the best saxophone work this side of a Statik Selektah beat.

Soulfull has a Jamla type sound, which is in sharp contrast with most of the new young rappers out.  I can appreciate witty punchlines and street tales sometimes but it’s always refreshing to hear rhymes that come from the heart and reflect on everyday things that anyone can relate to. This EP sounds like something recorded in somebody’s bedroom and I mean that in the best way possible. You can tell that this dude simply loves hip-hop and writes from his heart and soul (hence the name).

He avoids a lot of rookie pitfalls on this project. Guest appearances are limited to three singers on three separate hooks which helps us get to know Soulfull and get familiar with his rapping style. The EP is 10 tracks, which consists of eight songs and two skits/freestyles. Being a new dude you can tell at times that he’s still feeling his way around, in a manner of speaking. But it’s his first project so he’ll become more polished the more he writes and records, the more he’ll hone his skills. He already has a niche without being run-of-the-mill and has an excellent ear for beats that sound different from what’s popular for most new jacks. Homemade is a great start for Soulfull, now it’s up to him to reel us all in.  Can’t wait. Rating: 4.85 out of 5

Listen to HOMEMADE by SOULFULL after the break.


Multimedia Journalist, Founder and Chief Editor of WTM Host of A-Side B-Side Podcast and more. I like to talk about stuff and write it down. Sometimes to a microphone. Either way, I need you to feel this.

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