thawilsonMAG Issue94

Read "Diamond In The Mud" MANCE MAKALL (album review by Jhantu Randall)

Stream "Diamond in the Mud" album by Mance Makall
When someone brings up southern hip-hop, what immediately comes to mind? Beyond name recognition, what subject matters flash in your mind? Is it cars, jewelry, colorful clothes and syrup induced bars that sound like run on sentences? Or is it a unique sound that finds a way to hit the very essence of your soul while the rappers lyrics paint a picture of life in this region?

I hope it’s the latter, because hard hitting lyrics and potent stories are just a few things that come to mind when describing Mance Makall. Born Mance McCall on December 22, 1984, in the small town of Hayneville, Alabama, which is roughly 30 minutes outside of Montgomery. Now when it comes to Alabama, hip-hop isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind but its due to this that allows artists that are from there, room to truly shine!

Away from the glitz and the glamour of the bigger markets in the region, Alabama has a more down trodden feel to it which in turn gives the artist the ability to truly connect with the feeling of needing to succeed. It’s this message that I feel resonates with people of every demographic as we’ve all known what its like to feel as if we had nothing left. It’s this concept which fuels Mance Makall to deliver his words with a clarity that cuts through even the biggest cynic. The bluesy sound that accompanies a heavy bass that gives the South its recognition is present here, but it’s Makall’s storytelling and honesty that keeps the listeners attention. A prime example of this would be Po Boy Sack (Beano Talk). With the sound of keys starting out the track, the music builds until Mance’s energy hits with force. Within his verses your hear the motivation thats drawn from a sense of desperation that this has to work! Explaining that regardless of loose lips and untrustworthy figures, he has to continue to get the bag so he can build his pathway to the next level of this journey.

Songs like “Envious State” Directed by @CheckTinoOut continue the feeling of pining to make it. This track is more introspective, turning the dealings of the people itself into the shadows that haunt him. Using this as fuel, he addresses every subject matter in a way that breaks down barriers and allows the listener to walk with him. This track plays out almost like a digital diary where we see the mainframe of Mance Makall, giving us all a better understanding of just how important this music is to him. While vocally not the same, I get hints of Scarface in his heyday in Mance’s verses. The man possesses the ability to write songs that play out like movie scenes in your mind that stick with you after the track is has faded out. This is the soundtrack to anyone who grinds everyday, wind, rain or snow. Those who we often overlook because they're really out here working for everything they have. If there is any justice in the industry we’ll be blessed to hear the name Mance Makall before we know it.

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