If you are one of those people who think rap music doesn’t move with the times, then this is an album for you. It is so far out in front of the run-of-the-mill rap pack that we probably need a new name for what is happening here. Future-hop, electro-rap, urban soul…it doesn’t matter; names are unnecessary, it’s sonic action that counts. Not that you could tie Sh1vaz1 down to just one label anyway, as track after track offer different takes and new deliveries of urban music, both as tested, recognisable forms and new, unique creations. The perfect blend of the familiar and the fresh, comfort zones and creative leaps of faith.
The unifying factor of the album, as should be the way with any music made in this part of the musical spectrum, is the whip-smart, dexterously delivered lyrics that drive it. Sh1vaz1 always has something to say; he tells us that he has something to say in no uncertain terms, that we should stop, listen and take note of his words of wit and wisdom, his rhymes that unify the profound and the profane. No one will stop him from telling it like it is.
It is safe to say that From There to Here is an uncompromising album, certainly in its lyrical content. It speaks of the hassle and hustle, the edge and the energy of the streets, and of personal freedoms and outside opinions, and does so in no uncertain terms. It speaks of freedom of speech, the need to shout from the rooftops…or at least from the mic stand… and do so over a neat blend of glitchy trap beats and futuristic, electronica, pulsing bass hits and skittering grooves.
Some might see this album as sitting at the head of the current wave of urban music. But, more than that, it is laying the way for the next chapter. Less interested in where the genre is now and more interested in where it goes next.