Gift of Gab has dropped his first project since the 2015 Blackalicious effort Imani Volume 1, hitting us with a powerful seven-track offering entitled Rejoice! Rappers Are Rapping Again.
Proving a kidney failure in 2012 wasn’t about to hinder his output, the Bay Area wordsmith has always been known for his surgical-like flow and verbal precision — this project shows no change in skills. With Gab flexing his tongue-lashing delivery on tracks like “Bowling Pins” and the 1960’s Batman theme song flip “Gabman” (shoutout to the “comic book kid” in all of us!) Rejoice! brings us nostalgia from all angles. The only guests on the EP come in with the track “Freedom Form Flowing” (seen above) by way of newcomer A.F.R.O. and underground veteran R.A. the Rugged Man, a former “Hip-Hop Quotable” star from The Source #203 (10/06). The trio make it a lighthearted vocal-sparring session, and the result is a far shot from anything considered “mumble rap.”
As the project progresses, each track offers more than just lyrical bicep curls. One of the standout songs,“The Gentrification Song,” needs no explanation when it comes to content: “The city lost its soul and gained a lot of hipsters/ But does that really make it better or a little weirder?/ And will the idea of America come to fruition?/ Or is to push the poor away really the real agenda?” Gab explains the frustrations of a situation that is becoming more and more common around the world — more and more frustrating for the people who once called these places home.
Gab has always been a lyricist’s lyricist, and while this EP probably won’t place him next to the Drakes and the Tekashi 6ix9ines of the world when it comes to popularity, Rejoice! Rappers Are Rapping Again! was never aimed to get that type of reaction. Gift of Gab is well aware of his lane and is happily syllable sideswiping his way around, whether you come along for the ride or not.
Listen to Rejoice! Rappers Are Rapping Again! by Gift of Gab right now on all streaming platforms, including Spotify.