new music: tru starr expands his consciousness on psychedelic soul ‘hair like basquiat’ #soundcheck

October 5, 2015

Replete with lopsided synths and refried beats, Tru Starr’s latest EP Hair Like Basquiat exists on a continuum between Dilla, Outkast, and Gordon Voidwell. The record jumps between nihilistic “fuck em all” chants on “Shine” and the reaching for higher consciousness and social justice of “Dear Mama 2015.” Starting from a crisis of faith on “Dear Mama,” Tru Starr battles with his contradictory desires to change the world for the better and a desire to fuck it all and get wasted. “I’m just somewhere in between,” Tru Starr intones on the centerpiece “MLK.”

By Nathan Leigh, AFROPUNK Contributor

Alt-soul outfit The Suburban Plaza show up for the immaculately produced “Stranger Than Fiction,” with the killer hook “every saint has a past and every sinner got a future.” Though “Power.” is the track that’s getting the most love right now, it’s the Slim Chance produced “MLK” that shines brightest on the EP. Over a psychedelic sample, Tru Starr’s hazy flow finds it’s rhythm. When he interrupts his musings on the great men and villains of history to ask “hey babe, where my weed at?” the whole EP comes sleepily into focus. Ultimately (for better and for worse) Hair Like Basquiat is the sonic equivalent of getting lit and talking politics at 3 AM. It’s comfortably thought provoking, maybe not the internally consistent manifestos of Dead Prez and The Coup, but still a good time. And sometimes the only manifesto you need is a middle finger and “fuck em all.”