From the album’s first track, “Healing Trauma,” these songs introduce a wave of unapologetic self-restoring affirmations. The vocals are canvased by soothing piano chords, and flowing bass, giving each beat a lo-fi hip-hop vibe. Meditative music typically comes from traditional Indian flutes, gongs, ambient sounds, etc., but tracks like “Letting Go” and “Self-Care” invite you into a meditative state through guitar strings. Personally, I’ve meditated on my front porch to a variety of hip hop—from rappers reflecting on their past through hardcore beats, to R&B singers expressing heartache from the top of their lungs.
The Spiritual Gangsta (Trapsoul) speaks from the core of healing. I can appreciate the variety of uplifting beats. There’s even a guided meditation at the end of some tracks, which I feel is why this album pioneers a new trend of meditation through the sounds of hip-hop.
I learned similar affirmations spoken through each song when I began meditating six years ago. Today, I find the lyrics around daily practices of gratitude, self-forgiveness, and breathing meditation, to be the blueprint for many artists who reach a state of self-actualization. That’s the part of a healing journey where someone learns to move unapologetically. Meaning that what they do, say, and respond to isn’t influenced by others. More importantly, they understand how to separate themselves from their emotional reactions when disturbed.
These lyrics speak to the core of what the healing process is about. The words are a reminder that self-care is a practice. Sometimes you must act selfishly to sustain peace within, and other times you must act selflessly to teach others. And that’s the contrast of healing once you understand it’s a dance to a certain degree—recovery is crucial.
Meditation helps you understand the next move in that dance because to be selfless and help heal others, you must understand yourself. I think of the selfish part as a defense mechanism because people will doubt you, question you, and drain your energy. The Spiritual Gangsta vocalizes more than enough affirmations for someone to begin taking notes for a healing journey within.
Understanding that people new to the healing process can be apprehensive about the spiritual and religious aspects of meditation, the album promotes an attitude of self-devotion. Each track reminds us why meditation is often found across many cultures over time.
Mass rituals around compassion, letting go, and gratitude will always withhold the test of human civilizations. Not only because we are social beings, but in my opinion, we connect better through music than words.
I once read a quote, “Music is the vernacular of the soul,” and I feel that without the soul masking itself across cultures for people to hear a healing ambiance, it can be stigmatizing.
With an honest listening to each track, between songs is where you can have an honest listening to your emotions. Wherever you cringe is where you begin.
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