CD SHAFIQ EN' A-FREE-KA [730003908224] (CD 6237242), Audio Other
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SHAFIQ EN' A-FREE-KA [730003908224]

  • 1. Intro/Electra
    2. Nirvana
    3. U.N. Plan, The
    4. Cheeba
    5. Lil' Girl
    6. Lost and Found
    7. Dust and Kisses
    8. No Moor
    9. All Dead
    10. Major Heavy
    11. Evil Man
    12. Changes
    13. Love Still Hurts
    14. Le'star
    15. Egypt
    16. Odd Is C, The
    17. Rebel Soldier
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): RR 0082CD

  • Credits
    ProducerShafiq Husayn
    EngineerShafiq Husayn

    Personnel: Shafiq Husayn (vocals, Fender Rhodes piano, Clavinet, synthesizer, programming, scratches); Sonny Coates (vocals, guitar); Tyler Griffin (vocals, synthesizer); Jimetta Rose, Noni Limar, Tony Powers, Rozzi Daime (vocals); John Taylor (guitar); Peter Jacobson (cello); Joey Dosik (saxophone, alto saxophone, Clavinet); Dusty McKinney (trumpet, piccolo trumpet, flugelhorn); Danielle Ondarza (French horn); Austin Peralta (piano); Om'Mas Keith (Fender Rhodes piano).
    Audio Mixer: Shafiq Husayn.
    Recording information: Cosmic Dust Recorders; Iron Works Studios; Part_Man; Part_Man.; PH615; The Washitaw.
    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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