The Truth Is No Secret, Just Seek It: “Shafiq En’ A-Free-Ka”


shafiq2Writing about music is an important exercise however it is difficult (if not impossible) to describe that which escapes language. With that said, here’s my humble attempt…Today, Tuesday October 6 marks the highly anticipated release of Shafiq Husayn’s debut album “Shafiq En’ A-Free-Ka” presented by the good folks over at Plug Research. We can all agree that Husayn escapes the narrow confines of easy classification. Indeed, our compulsion to assign artists to specific genres seems counter-intuitive when the music defies compartmentalization in it’s deliberate (and intuitive) cross-pollination of multiple genres, sounds and samples. Husayn is invested precisely in spiritual systems that know no boundaries. As quoted from Omar Burgess’ recent interview with Husayn (via HipHopDx), “while Fela Kuti was one of many inspirations for the sound, Husayn points out that being in “A-Free-Ka,” has a spiritual connotation which is still linked to the African continent—Ancient Egypt to be exact. “Ka means spirit in Kimetic,” Husayn says. “It’s a spiritual system, so there are no boundaries. That free ka is just free to move, so it’s a representation of man being on the planet manifest with no boundaries.” Whereas amateur artists haphazardly layer and collage sounds for the sake of creating something new and different, Husayn produces a complex yet cohesive aesthetic. That is, he has mastered the delicate art of focused range in which his references to everything from Kemetism to ancient Egyptian iconography enriches rather than undermines the album’s narrative. A true polyglot, the Master Teacher himself demonstrates fluency in a variety of musical dialects and languages that allow him to nuance each track with complimentary juxtaposed sounds. Shafiq invites the listener to immerse him or herself in the kaleidoscopic world of “Shafiq En’ A-Free-Ka”. Laced with features from the likes of Bilal, Count Bass D, Fatima and Noni Limar as well as remixes from Nottz and Mark de Clive-Lowe, this album will undoubtedly transport you to a higher place. Alas, I cannot transcend the insurmountable barriers of language so you, my trusted readers, are left with no other choice but to purchase the album and listen for yourselves! In the meantime, you might consider tuning into Plug Research’s Podcast for Shafiq Husayn exclusives and other hidden treasures. This is my plea to support good music, stay woke!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Cop “Shafiq En’ A-Free-Ka” HERE. Listen to Shafiq Podcast HERE. Follow Shafiq HERE.

2 Responses to “The Truth Is No Secret, Just Seek It: “Shafiq En’ A-Free-Ka””
  1. luke says:

    i got such faith in Blu

  2. C+ says:

    A humble linguistic attempt and a fantastic execution. VERY well penned 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: