A lot of the everyday knowledge we use (and sometimes take for granted) is given by the older heads in our life. One that my mother imparts to me were ones she got from my late grandmother.
It's this: "This world don't owe you nothing but a killing..."
Given today's climate, this is never more true.
But an adage we've all heard at least once or twice.
Tell the truth and shame the Devil.
I was therefore smiling to myself when I stumbled upon this tape. I'd been familar with South Johannson by his feature on iBeast's track "RNO" from Cadillac Diaries. This made me reach out.
We did an interview and I wrote this review. Granted, it's a long time coming but the best things cannot be rushed, something that can certainly say about the smooth progression of Tell The Truth | Shame The Devil.
What's presented here is an epic piece of music. With thirteen (13) track Johannson does something not even the most seasoned rapper can do-make a cohesive album. I was drawn in and lost within track after track with little effort. Usually with the more amazing tapes I take the time to outline every track's merits.
This is one of those tapes...
...but I'm about to go about it differently. Because I want to pique my reader's interest I'll give you a good look at three (3) of my personal favorites. Gotta whet your appetite a bit.
"I Don't Look Like What I've Been Through" is where I'm about to start. The title firstly speaks to a sentiment a lot of people can relate to. Often no one really looks like their circumstance. On this track South tells us a story of his own situations, his own circumstances. Aside from vibing to the production the words will really make you pay attention, maybe see something of the man.
"Drink 'Til Sober", produced by J3, at first sounds something like simple Atlanta trap music. But once the musical genius of J3 and the delivery takes it up to another level. To me this one is pre-game music before the hypest party, riding music once you're already half lit, and a club banger all at once. But what makes it so different is that this is light on the typical references you'd expect from a track like this. They are present but more peppered in for flavor like you'd add salt (or sugar if that's your thing) to grits.
"The Art Of Storytellin'" caught me because it gave me that same vibe I got when I would see the Outkast track of the same name on a playlist. Like the latter it's eloquent in that beautiful Southern way we have. It's a good ass story placed over a cool vibe in the way of production by WiFi Boys. It's introspective without being preachy and real without any bullshit, something hip-hop needs more of.
I would also suggest that you check out "J. Marie", "Best Friend", and "Sorry". Each add to the wonders of this project.
The tape as a whole is righteous.
I'm telling the truth. Promise.
Check out the tape here: Tell The Truth | Shame The Devil