Every once in a while I come across a project that restores my faith in good music and perhaps more importantly, the details. Negash Ali’s African Dream EP is no exception.
The 4-track record from Denmark-native Negash emphatically kicks off with title song, ‘African Dream’. Hard-hitting lyrics touch on his disillusion with life, being African in a notably caucasian Denmark, “and I know I don’t belong here / I got an afro, they got that blonde hair.” The brashness of Negash’s tone and lyrical content (which, ironically, draws slight comparison to Yelawolf sans country twang) is balanced perfectly with Shakka-esqe vocals from Temu.
The next two records are assisted by Siff, who teases their collaborative potential with ‘Fire In The Sky’ before knocking it out of the park with ‘Outlaw’. It’s a great head-nodder with an incredibly engaging hook. However, Negash really saved the best until last. The production, flow, emotion and lyrics of ‘What You Got’ had me screw-facing from start to finish. It’s a record you would listen to before going to war (or a rave). I mean, try and listen to the second verse without pulling it up several times.
The African Dream expresses the struggles Negash has faced from racism and belonging, to drugs, religion, politics and society. The production carries his voice well with elements of rock, soul and pop all wrapped up in a very well packaged EP (even the artwork is great). There’s no compromising integrity for commercialism, it just happens that these songs consist of both. Nice.
Oh, and he lives in London now.