After three years of writing, developing, and preparing new music, Sareem Poems and Ess Be are back with Mind Over Matter. Releasing via Illect Recordings, Mind is the second full length project from the Lansing, Michigan-based MC and producer duo. Their first album on Illect, 2015’s Beautiful Noise, was a highly motivational record based around positivity and perseverance. Mind Over Matter is definitely in the same vein as Noise, but it’s clear that as they worked on the new project, Poems and Ess Be weren’t afraid to dive deeper into who they’ve become as artists.
Beautiful is defined as pleasing the senses or mind aesthetically. It is alsoconsideredof a very high standard, of excellent. Noise is a sound, especially one that is loud or unpleasant or that causes disturbance. Sareem Poems (founding member of LA Symphony) and Lansing, Michigan producer Ess Be formed as a hip-hop duo to create the high-volume and unrestrained handicraft Beautiful Noise(an album title whose two words contradict) as they make known publicly responsible adult contemporary hip-hop music fashioned to uplift, inform, educate, soul search, and see the beauty in the ugly realities of the world.
The album commences with the spatters in lyrical armamentssingle “We”. Sareem’s stanzas, comealive as he describes the reversals of humanity as, “two generations of non-thinkers, non-believers.”Poems analytics project what society will embody, what the masses stand for, and what will and will not be tolerated, “We brush shit off/ We stand tall/ We live to see another day…We touch/ We love…We been bamboozled and tricked.” The heartbeat in middle of song gives Sareem’s poetics a kick with militant emphasis.
The duo, an often reminder of The Lox and of Reflection Eternal, makes the masses climb to the highest in heights to the heavens of rap haven in “Higher” as the duo, “build from the ground up/ Check for the foundation/ Never trust a big butt or simile…Raise it up high/ Take it up high.” Ess Be, regarded as producer Hi-Tek of sorts for his electronic and futuristic production that pushes the envelope of bombarded trap music heard through Clear Channel airwaves, produces an ill design of Golden Era tribute in hip-hop assembly.
The West Coast sound reminiscent of DJ Quik fuels Sareem Poems to pour his entire existence in the autobiographical “Push It Along”. Sareem tears up, “No brother/ No sister/ Learned to be a man without the presence of a father…Can’t let them stop that forward motion…If you feel you are not going to make it/ Slow down and pray.” This single compliments the poet/rapper’s “Worthy” of life and existence embodying everything that makes him the man he is today, “I’m a sinner/ I’m a winner/ I’m a fighter/ I’m a lover/ I’m a loser.” What is respected about Sareem is his ability to show the human side of him without blame or being shamed labeling the good and bad side of him as supposed to being superficial like many in society.
The exquisite jazzy single “Show N Tell” is highlighted as the best throughout the album. The emcee embraces the GOD in him shining his light on the world, “The Godly parts of my life are so gorgeous/ I want to develop them and blow ‘em up enormous…by the grace of GOD I’m just a fly human being.” Profound!
Beautiful Noise serves fundamental to hip-hop blueprint of educating the masses as it challenges many to find self in a world consumed and obscurely separated by hatred, envy, and jealousy. While hip-hop artists are fixated on clamored materialism and the baddest chicks they bag, Sareem Poems and Ess Be are only concerned with connecting with Mother Earth and with salvaging lives through music. These two individuals are not the average hip-hop school teachers that talk the talk only to be disappointed that they do not live righteous. It is proof in their music the manner which the lyricism and passion spilled in rhymes indicate they are working on self and practicing a healthy lifestyle as they reflect on their inner. While conscious artists come off a bit preachy at listeners, Sareem Poems and Ess Be talk and fellowship with fanatics penning hip-hop compositions of diplomacy- of high regard.
-Hector De La Rosa