First Thoughts: Moak – This Is Us

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At a time where mumble rap seems to be at the overwhelming forefront of mainstream music, its always refreshing to hear spoken word and poetry projects. MOAK was someone who grabbed my attention at a ‘Love & Music’ event last year, where he performed a few memorable spoken word pieces along with a number of very talented poets and singers. An extremely inclusive event which highly recommend keeping a tab on! However, MOAK’s confident performance struck a chord with me and he stood out with everything; from his execution, to his flow, and the backing group, who beautifully provided a befitting accompaniment of classic instruments which easily drifted in the backdrop, for MOAK’s voice to take center stage.

So, from immediately listening to MOAK’s debut release EP titled; ‘This is Us’, a lot of those amazing memories began to flood back. Moak touches on a few interesting topics from empowerment and betterment for black lives without the downplay of other lives, to a more humorous, and relatable experience of a black Barbershop. The attention to detail and ability to cleverly mold the meaning of words at his mercy is poetically amazing. The stand out single – ‘This Is Us’ culminates and rounds off MOAK’s overarching message of what it means to be black, and being proud of ones’ black heritage, in spite the stigma placed by the media, which then forms a part of our psyches. ‘Black Queens’ speaks of a truth which is close to home, discussing a lack of appreciation for black women by black men, a topic which has grown in debates across black radio shows and podcasts. MOAK’s ability to speak so candidly on sensitive topics shines through and makes the EP a definite listen.