Everything can be traced back to its roots. Sometimes, those roots are ignored, overlooked, unattended to, and uncared for. At the heart of American culture, the roots of African-American became nurtured through the historical beauty and ugliness of American society, and those cataclysmic experiences still resonate within the black culture, mindset, and way of life.
Conscious rapper and producer NEAK‘s latest album ‘Die Wurzel’, explores black life post 1619 to the present day. It is designed to make you pause, think, and reflect on the black experience in America with a level of compassion and sensitivity that has made way for perceived cultural black norms deriving from African-American’s trials and tribulations. Jammed back with black musical roots: gospel, soul, jazz, funk, and rap, ‘Die Wurzel’ is an intellectual, witty, and soul-driven musical journey that will hold a dear black in the heart of black urban society.
From the days of his childhood, Chicago-based Neak was bound to capture the same soulful essence of his father; Robert Kelly of the 60s R&B soul group, The Kelly Brothers. With soul and gospel music playing constantly throughout his household growing up, Neak soaked in stories from his father and uncles on their glory days of touring alongside legacy artists such as James Brown, Sam Cooke, Patti LaBelle, etc. It was only a matter of time before those stories became the backdrop for his inspiration to create music that reaches the inner-workings of humanity from the context of the black American cultural experience.
As time went on, Neak began building a foundation for himself as an MC, producer, event curator, and artist consultant. By collaborating with the likes of GLC, Add-2, Rashid Hadee, Rita J., Slot-A, etc., he developed an extensive discography that aesthetically reflected his soulful upbringing and love for golden era-esque style hip-hop–influences by hip-hop greats such as Nas, 2Pac, Common, MF Doom, Jay-Z, Lupe Fiasco, and Kanye West. This led him to begin touring the U.S. and Canada; performing in major cities such as New York, Vancouver (BC), Detroit, Seattle, Atlanta, Philadelphia, London (ON), Portland, St. Paul, Washington D.C., etc. He also was invited to and performed in major festivals such as A3C, Silver Room Block Party, and North Coast Music Festival. Sharing stages with music notables such as Pete Rock, Chance The Rapper, and Vic Mensa, his creativity continues to evolve and adapts to reflect the signs of the times.
Neak’s musical releases combined currently stand at over 450K streams, but his hunger to create beautiful music for the masses has just begun. Fresh off producing Rita J’s new album ‘The High Priestess,’ and joint effort with fellow crew members of NRFS (consisting of Neak himself, Rashid Hadee, F.A.B.L.E., and Since9ine6ix), as well as gearing up to release a collaborative album with singer/producer/director Cam Be entitled “a film called black”, his next solo effort ‘Die Wurzel’ is now available on all major streaming services. Check it out below plus the blog’s song recommendations…
Must Listens: Home, Famous, Black on Black Black on Blue, Memoirs of a Lost Nigga