Written By Malcolm “Laidback Mack” Morrow I was honored last week with the opportunity to attend an exclusive listening session for Silas&...
Malcolm “Laidback Mack” Morrow
I was honored last week with the opportunity to attend an exclusive listening session for Silas’ new album “The Day I Died”. A select crowd of artists, music buffs, tastemakers and journalists were seated in Russel C. Davis Planetarium awaiting #TheBestIndieAlbumOf2016. From the first track I knew that Silas had created something special for the world; and he definitely delivered on those expectations.
#TDID connected with me on a very personal level; I found myself being able to relate to every track. The album is filled with references to childhood innonence, Saturday morning cartoon blocks, anime references and classic video game samples.
Plus there’s a trio of tracks (I’m dubbing them the #TDIDTrilogy) that tell a cohesive tale. The way the lyrics and production converge throughout the project is imaginative, introspective, upbeat and innovative. The producers gave Silas a sonic playground to utilize in creating his own personal universe.
“The Day I Died” makes connect the listener connect with Silas in an entirely new way, I feel like I sat down and had an in-depth conversation with him about his life, doubts, fears, dreams and triumphs. I know that Silas is destined for greatness and this album is evidence that he has something to say. This is an audio mural that perfectly paints the picture of who SilaS is, who he was and who he’s grinding to be in the future.
Link To The Past (Produced By Antwone Perkins)
Lately I been thinkin/ That maybe this ain’t what I want/ Or maybe this aint what I need/ I just wanna go high/ I can’t find a plane for me/ I just wanna learn to fly
This is my third favorite track on the album. The Legend Of Zelda: Link To The Past sample is dope. This game stayed in my SNES nonstop throughout my entire life. I still sit down and play it to this day. This is definitely a nice treat for the Nintendo nerds of the 90’s. Antwone Perkins really put a magic touch on the boards when he was cooking that one up. It’s a nice dreamy intro to the nostalgic wonderland of the album.
Good Customer Service ( Produced By Durdy Costello)
This track touches on something that many Black people working in the service industry have to deal with at some point in their job. Racist customers come in and purposely abuse workers because they are at work.
The first half of the track is a call center conversation between Silas and an ignorant customer spewing hate. The hip hop trumpeter tries his best to remain “professional” throughout the tirade but it eventually becomes too much to just let it ride.
The second half sees Silas going on a lyrical onslaught against the customer in graphic detail. The tempo changes throughout the track are great.
Many times it feels devastating to endure such treatment simply because of the color of your skin. Silas feels its too much and wishes for the care-free days of childhood.
One Saturday Morning (Produced By Silas)
I’ve been longing, for this feeling that I’m feeling right now/ Yeah/ Every morning, bowl of cereal then hop on the couch/ And it’s gotta be/ Cinnamon Toast Crunch Yea/ That’s the only thing that’s soothing my soul/ Turn on the TV to/ Power Rangers Yea/ Now its morphing time, I’m ready to go
This is a daydream of pure nostalgia for me. I used to get up every Saturday morning and watch One Saturday Morning, Fox Kids and CBS Kids. Shows like Recess, Pepper Ann, Power Rangers and much more were the foundation of my childhood experience. This song is the perfect ode to the Saturday loving kid in all of us.
Nicki (Produced by Antwone Perkins and Silas)
Nicki tells the story of Silas’ Summer crush. It is a sweet song about childhood innocence and pure love. The days when you genuinely enjoyed someone for their friendship and companionship. I think everyone has a Nicki that they reminisce on from time to time.
Gullah Gullah Island (Produced By Donchedidit)
This track has been on fire ever since being featured in a meme that went viral. The song tells the story of a Black utopia similar to the idyllic lifestyle portrayed in the hit children’s show that is the songs namesake. The official has been released and features some powerful images in a prologue that is defined by the current times. I’m glad that the message didn’t lost in the high energy production and trapped out chorus.
The Day I Died Trilogy
Tracks 6, 7, 8, 9 on #TDID Tell an interconnected story about Silas changing everything about himself to become more popular at school in time for his cousin’s arrival as a new student. Listening to this is like experiencing an audio film. The sonic imagery is vibrant and the lyrics tell the tale while expressing a wide range of emotions, vibes and content. This is an exceptional concept that is very well executed. I decided to do a detailed breakdown of this trio tracks.
The Origin Story
The Decision (Interlude)
10th grade, new year, had to make a change/ the perfect time in my life for a rearrange/ to make a better name, for myself/ cause my cousin coming to my school/ couldn’t let him see me lame
Too bad that I would learn later on/ that trivial things, like high school dreams, don’t matter later on/ but for now they do matter/ populartity, girls and getting all the laughter/ that’s all that I’m after/ should be ashamed of myself/ cause at this point I’m just an actor
Silas talks about entering tenth grade and finding out that his swagged out cousin was going to be attending school with him for the upcoming school year. A young Silas feels pressured to impress his cousin and leave his days as a lame behind. He contemplates whether or not he should transform himself into something he’s not. This is a nice segway into the trilogy and lays the foundation for the story. This song is relatable to anyone who dealt with the peer pressure to fit in that often times accompanies adolescence. The track ends with a skit from the film “The Wiz”.
The Wiz (Produced By Durdy Costello)
So you tellin me?/ if I go see Wizzy/ he gone do magic/ then abra cadabra put swag on me/ then all of them niggas gone stop with the jokes/ and them chickens will no longer laugh at me/ you mean to tell me they gone brag on me/ treat me just like I’m an athlete/ won’t stop til they call me Your Majesty
Silas has chosen to change everything about himself in an attempt to fit in with the popular crowd and impress his cousin. He’s planning and plotting to create an entirely new persona that he feels will be more accepted by his peers. He begins his journey to transformation and thinks about all of the benefits he will receive by becoming an all new Silas.
All of my life/ waited for people to acknowledge and do me right/ All of my, all of my life/ put me up in the spotlight/ take me to the wizard
YCS (Produced By Hersheyy Black)
Ooo I feel so different/ Oh my what a feeling/ Wizard got me drippin/ Sauce is what I’m spillin
The transformation is complete and Silas is riding high from his newfound popularity. He’s turning down women, whipping through the city and rocking all of the latest fashions. This is an excellent flex track and it still packs lyrical punch. The bouncy beat by Hersheyy Black is sure to get the crowds hype and gives Silas a track that shows how versatile he is. He can grace a beat style that he usually wouldn’t be on and organically make a home.
Trunks ( Produced By Stacey Wade)
Hey, don’t be startled, I did not come to attack ya/ You could see me as a figment of your imagi- nay/ No I’m too real/ But thats not a big deal/ I just came to let you know, just stay focused on what’s real
Before playing this track at the listening party Silas gave the concept behind this song. He said it was inspired by Trunks coming back in time to warn the rest of the Z Fighters about the desolated future that awaited them if they did not make necessary adjustments to the present.
Silas puts a twist on it by having his present day self go back in time to tell his younger self that he never had to change himself to impress other people. He tells himself to be confident and always be the person he truly is. Then proceeds to reassure him that in due time people will recognize his talent and he won’t need to hide behind a facade.
Divorce Procrastination (Produced By Ken Cruze)
Boy you f**kin up/ Sitting down/ Don’t you need to be recording something/ Boy you f**kin up/ Want all of the fame, but you say your life boring/ Need to get up you should be slaving/ Don’t you know, Life could be so amazing/ Nigga long as you been at it/ You should be blazin/ The more time that you waste, the more the game change/Yea blame it on the procrastination
This is a great inspirational track for anyone out here chasing goals and working on making a dream into reality. The beat is smooth and evolves throughout the song. Silas pulls no punches on this one. He berates himself for being lazy and putting enough effort into his craft and getting the work done. You can’t help but be motivated to get off your ass and go to work by the time this one ends.
Big Dreams (Produced By Claws Beats)
Silas has been performing this one as apart of his show for a while now. It’s another great inspirational track. Gives his an opportunity to put the trumpet to really good use. Excellent solo.
Keep Goin (Produced By Claws Beats)
This one is all abour preserverance and jumping any hurdles that may pop up on your path to greatness. Silas has been performing this one for a while too and it is a crowd favorite. Has a feel similar to Talib Kweli, Common, or Cole. Soul music.
Link To The Future (Produced By Antwone Perkins)
This is the final track on the album. Silas thanks God for helping him to stay motivated to push forward towards success. He talks about how his future is looking brighter and how he is thankful for all of the opportunities that he has been blessed with so far. Perfect ending to an excellent project. Leaves you anticipating his next release but also leaves you with a sense of soul satisfaction.
After several mixtapes and albums I feel like Silas has created his Magnum Opus with “The Day I Died”. The concepts come together in such beautiful ways and the the track order is perfect. This album gives you a glimpse at the artist’s entire life, from his childhood to present day. This is definitely not an album to sleep on.
To Stream, Download or Purchase “The Day I Died” Visit Dear-Silas.com
Follow him via @dearsilas on all Social Media.