CD Shafiq En' A-Free-Ka [612651009525] (CD 6235034),
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Shafiq En' A-Free-Ka [612651009525]

  • 1. Intro/Electra
    2. Nirvana
    3. U.N. Plan, The
    4. Cheeba
    5. Lil Girl
    6. Lost & Found - (featuring Bilal)
    7. Dust & Kisses
    8. No Moor
    9. All Dead
    10. Major Heavy - (featuring Sonny Coates)
    11. Evil Man
    12. Changes - (featuring Om'Mas Keith)
    13. Love Still Hurts
    14. Le'Star - (featuring Rozzi Daime/Nia Andrews)
    15. Egypt - (featuring Kahil Sadiq)
    16. Odd Is C, The
    17. Rebel Soldier
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): PLG95

  • Credits
    ProducerShafiq Husayn

    Audio Mixers: Ken Bts.; Benjamin Tierney; Shafiq Husayn.
    Recording information: Cosmic Dust Recorders; Iron Works Studios; Part_Man; PH615; The Washitaw.
    Illustrators: S. Serrato; J. Van Severen.
    Photographer: Eric Coleman.
    Arranger: Shafiq Husayn.
    Connected in the '80s and '90s to Afrika Bambaataa's Zulu Nation and Ice-T's Rhyme Syndicate, and in the 2000s one-third of Sa-Ra, Shafiq Husayn releases his first solo album following an excellent vinyl-only beat suite EP for Poo-Bah. Issued just a little over three months after Sa-Ra's Nuclear Evolution, Shafiq En' A-Free-Ka is a sonically sprawling album in which the balance between spirituality/ancient Egyptian roots and Hollywood perversions -- the Sa-Ra lyrical dichotomy, more or less -- swings all the way to the former. (The album cover's resemblance to that of Eddie Kendricks' People...Hold On, with Husayn sitting proudly with a spear directed skyward, doesn't seem like mere coincidence.) Although this is largely the work of the multi-instrumentalist, producer, vocalist, and occasional MC, a dozen featured collaborations give the album the feel of an informal and relaxed studio session, not unlike a Sa-Ra album. And there is plenty of the expected: advanced mutations of hip-hop, soul, and jazz, with synthesizers emitting funked-up chunks as often as space vapor and grimace-inducing beats that resemble early-'70s Sly & the Family Stone in some kind of star-bound spin cycle. During the album's back half, however, Husayn throws in quite a bit of the unexpected. He touches upon droning Krautrock, harmony-rich dream pop, tropical quiet storm, and dubby psychedelia, and the finale is gorgeous and defiant, with thrumming bass frequencies and singing strings dancing together as a chorus repeats "Devil man's tryin' to hold ya/Break away, rebel soldier." A stimulating, complex, yet loose extension of his stellar contributions to Erykah Badu's New Amerykah, Pt. 1, Shafiq En' A-Free-Ka eclipses Nuclear Evolution, if only slightly, and that's saying a whole lot. ~ Andy Kellman

  • Critic Reviews
    Spin (p.75) - "[Husayn] turns to the past for inspiration -- the Afro-soul and proto-disco of Roy Ayers and Eddie Kendrics with intriguing results."
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