Every once and a while, I like to take the time out to listen to unsigned artists I feel have a talent that goes unseen by many, shedding maybe a little light on them and their music. Today, I present to you my JBTV brother, and a talented, passionate artist......Rishi P and his album "Take a Look Inside."
The intro explains it all. "This is all true." The stories, the pain, ups and downs, its all from real life experience. From the 1st track all the way to the last, you can feel Rishi P's angst, his distress. Rishi P's strength's is not only his story telling, but the feeling that bleeds through his words. Many unsigned artists feel the need to just show and prove with the technical side of rapping, usually making mixtapes full of freestyles attempting to showcase "I'm better than you." Rishi P may or may not be better than us, but that really takes a back seat on this tape, which actually sounds like an album. Rishi opens up his mental door for all of us to enter. The brutal honesty about himself really drives this project. The track "I'm Sorry" is not only reflective on his alcohol abuse and the poor choices he's made, but also has an eerie undertone of worse things to come. The beat and the hook really set the mood, and Rishi's lyrics really pull you in.
Other songs get even more personal and dark. Unique beat selection help form the backdrop of a dark, confusing road that Rishi P is asking us to tag along on. She Should Know is a vivid story, vivid in the sense that Rishi uses his words as a brush to paint a picture, often showing emotions of his own regret leaving the side of the woman he speaks of, and also a sudden rage at himself.
Bars of Pain further addresses the challenges he faced. Uncontrollable binge drinking, his recklessness and destruction of relationships between people he cared about, even the contemplation of suicide. Shit gets real here, but this also provides an ol school hip hop feel. This is pure straight spitting, no holds barred, no rules, not big elements on the beat, just Rishi goin in on his pain, attacking it head on. Tracks like Keep It Real (get a twitter bro), Free My Spirit and Tear It Up are of the same family, putting on lyrical clinics while also bringing back a classic hip hop feel. Do not forget that Rishi P is a lyricist, as he shows that in both tracks. But soon as Dreams comes in, you hear a warm but also dark and cold story about Rishi and his loss of his father. In my opinion, the most personal track on Take a Look Inside.
Pain killers, nightmares, visions of suicide, fear of failure all show their faces in this song. You almost feel like Rishi is on the brink of self destruction. Songs like this is what make artists like Rishi P so relatable and so easy to connect with. Not only can you feel his pain pour on the track, but you can also feel FOR him.
Things aren't always dark in Rishi's life. His ode to hip hop on Alone With You so how much devotion he has to hip hop as it proves to be somewhat of his salvation from the woes life brings. Its a bright spot in not only his life, but on this tape as well, as it really lifts your spirits to Rishi shed light on whats good in his life. Hip hop is not perfect though, as he acknowledges its only an idea, concept, MUSIC. Its not quite the substitution for an actual person. But still, he is able to tell hip hop about his personal demons and regrets, which eventually lands in our ears, and that speaks volumes.
Changes is probably the darkest song on this tape. Nah, it is, definitely is. Rishi sounds like he has finally reached that boiling point. Tracks like these usually get a bad rep, for being too honest about a person's inner demons. However I like it, because you can clearly hear the struggle of a man trying to find some way to live with......well, himself.
This tape is filled with heart wrenching songs, from the title track Take A Look Inside, to I'm Sorry, She Should Know, Bars of Pain, and Dreams. Very reflective dark material, yet the tape finishes on somewhat of a high note on Moving On, as Rishi explains to us that through all his problems, his tragedies, and his internal suffering, the darkness is clearing, and he is moving on to better things. His brutal honesty is what makes this whole tape/album. All the lyrics come from his heart. He prides himself on his lyrics, and although his flows can be better, the beats are sometime cheesy and damn near laughable in quality, and his hooks are pure struggle in some spots (the singing on Moving On was not up to par), they all serve a purpose. On other albums this would be a hindrance, but on Take A Look Inside, they so how unorthodox, dark and twisted Rishi P is a MAN. Don't leave this album thinking about Rishi P just as a rapper, but take into account the stories he told you, the pain he shared, the tears he shed. Rishi P takes you on an epic journey, also reminding us that we ourselves have our own journey, and if he can make it through everything he has and still see light through the grey skies, than we can as well.
I like this album. From a technical standpoint, its flawed in many areas. But the main question I ask myself when I listen to music is "Does it make me feel the way it WANTS me to feel?" My answer this time is yes, as Rishi P made me really sit down and take in everything he has gone through, building an emotional connect using his music. Thats a true gift, a true talent that a lot of rappers lack. There is a lane for rappers like Rishi P, and I hope he sticks to that lane and makes the most out of his talents. Be sure to download or stream the ENTIRE album on his site http://www.thefnspot.com/takealookinside and check out his soundcloud and youtube pages here : http://www.soundcloud.com/riship http://www.youtube.com/riship85.
Also, feel free to get to know the man himself on facebook http://www.facebook.com/riship85
Standout tracks: I'm Sorry, Changes, Dreams, She Should Know, Bars of Pain, Take A Look Inside.
Be sure to check out this album and let me know what you guys think. Also, if you are an artist and you would like me to listen/review your album right here on my blog, contact me on twitter @tokyo757 and send me some links. I am always willing to shed some light and help out anyway I can. Until then, hold Take A Look Inside for a while. But stay away from knives though.