Reported by Imani Wj Wright
"You've been in this circus for a long long time."
Growing up, who were some characters or members of society that we looked up to? I'll name a few. Superheroes, Firefighters, 007.. James Bond was certainly one of my personal favorites. But why? Why did we look up to these figures? Why did we dress up as them for Halloween, and have our family spend money for action figures? Well, there are several reasons for it. They were, what we as human beings are sometimes afraid or simply not capable of being. Courageous, selfless, and fearless. However, the aforementioned are not the only ones who hold those traits. Artists like Mr. P Chill take it upon themselves to be a voice for change, and change now.
I'll get into the sound of Mr. P Chill in a second, but first and foremost, let's take a look at his aesthetic and what he chooses to display on the cover of his latest album, Living In Fragile Environments (L.I.F.E.). At first glance, it may look like utter chaos. And you know what? Maybe it is. The state of America was in a dire position while this project was being recorded, it's evident. To go even further, the state of the world was in some form of shambles. COVID-19 was ravishing through the world, as the U.S. was dealing with one of its oldest sins- severe social injustice. Though, this time around, the unrest that the murder of George Floyd created once again touched the world on a global scale, and created economic changes and initiatives that we haven't seen on this level.
"COVID-19 is fucking up my C.R.E.A.M."
While giving this project a thorough listen, I felt incredibly close to the sound. The production on this joint is brilliant, and reminded me of some of the idols I have had chances to personally interact with, such as Wu-Tang, and Chuck D. A few months ago, I was able to be on a private Zoom with Chuck D, and haven't been able to listen to public Enemy the same. This guy's understanding of the world, and deeper-level thinking is out of this world. The former half of L.I.F.E. certainly is reminiscent of something RZA would have his hands apart of. Songs like "This Circus' have these haunting loops, and vocal samples that work in tandem. This may be even more prevalent on the smooth cut "Searching." A woman is singing "searching" during the hook, as P takes on the verses, spitting about what may be considered our new normal. "Searching for truth inn the depths of reality."
While listening to this project, it's clear what stance P is taking, and what he stands for. However, in a transparent and genuine matter, P gives the space on this project to let us know that he doesn't have all of the answers. But nonetheless, he knows there has to be something done. "Where Do We Go?" This is one of the grooviest and funkiest tracks I've heard thus far this year. The bass and lead guitar on this track hits deep and grasps you within seconds. You hear P in the hook, "Where do we go? Where do we go?" as P responds: "I don't know." The use of repetition here is massive and his responses seem to increase in meaning as the composition goes along.
I hear lots of music on a weekly basis as a journalist, and with that, I hear plenty uses of samples. But this one was top notch. On his track "Millions of Militants," P samples, "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos," from Public Enemy's, It Takes a Nation of Millions To Hold us Back. P damn sure doesn't hold a damn thing on this joint. He gives a holistic scope of his take on white allies, white privilege, and domestic terrorism. "Your silence is violence, and this has been proven." P's versatility as an artist and composer truly shines here. This track is perfectly placed right before the next track "Subliminal" which reminded me of something Mobb Deep's Havoc could produce.
Ending the project with purpose, P closes out with Reflections. "Sit back and think about things a little bit. See where you been, see where you going, see where you wanna' go." Though this seems like an introspective record, this gives the audience plenty of space to be pensive, self-evaluating, and take in exactly what they heard on this project.
You know what? Let's run it back...
Take a Listen:
Mr P. Chill on Instagram: