spiritrials

by Dahlak

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about

spiritrials is what happens when too many Saturday nights are blended seamlessly into Sunday morning. It’s for that time of the night when sobriety sets back in but the promise of salvation is still so far. This 12-song concept album is a brainchild of Sacramento emcee/producer dahLak who has been carefully crafting this second solo LP to succeed his impressive debut Dual Consciousness. dahLak calls the album “a dark gospel blue”. As the lead producer of this project, dahLak contained himself to sampling only “spirituals”; jazz spirituals, blues spirituals, and of course classic Black American gospel. The wide variety within the genre allows for a diverse range of feels while still capturing a coherent sound and vibrancy.

Lyrically, dahLak is at his best. His gift for constructing strong conceptual songs shines throughout the project leaving no room for filler. Every track is a vital element for this visceral journey and still, commercially appealing standouts such as “Good Gawd”, “Work” (featuring George Watsky), and “Saved” (featuring Section.80 vocalist Javonte Pollard) dwell amongst them.

Beginning at the onset of “the high”, the climax, dahLak descends into the dark backlash of hip-hop’s monotonic grand narrative: greed and lust, hedonism and materialism. Through the mess, through the muck and the mire, profound glory and residues of hope find their way back into the heart of the poet.

Are we still talking about a hip-hop album? Yes. But think “hip-hop album” in the sense of art rather than a collection of disposable mp3’s. The hip-hop industry is too fast. So is the music. So is the life in the music. But as life teaches us, as Spirit x Trials teaches us, “live fast and die young”. spiritrials is for sustainability. In music and in life.

credits

released December 12, 2012

Patient (In Vocation)
Produced by Authentik Beats
Additional Production by dahLak (Black Genius)
Written by D. Brathwaite
Percussion by Otis Jackson
Performed by D. Brathwaite, J. James, P. Wynn, N. LittleJohn and the All Nations Gospel Choir

Let it Be (feat. Lauren Whitehead)
Produced by dahLak (Black Genius)
Co-produced by Teak of Hallway Productionz
Keys by Anthony Coleman
Written by D. Brathwaite
Performed by D. Brathwaite and L. Whitehead

Good Gawd!
Produced by Mark Knoxx and dahLak (Black Genius)
Written by D. Brathwaite
Performed by D. Brathwaite
Additional Vocals by Paul Wynn

Implant Fantasies (feat. N.I.C. and Ashley 5K)
Produced by dahLak (Black Genius)
Written by D. Brathwaite and N. Cary
Performed by D. Brathwaite, N. Cary, and A. Johns

Saved (feat. Sean Lamarr of DLRN and JaVonte)
Produced by dahLak (Black Genius)
Additional Drum Programming by Jason Williams of The Legion of Doom
Written by D. Brathwaite, S. Lamarr, and J. Pollard
Performed by D. Brathwaite, S. Lamarr, and J. Pollard

Trying (feat. Siaira Shawn)
Produced by dahLak (Black Genius)
Bass by Billy Lane
Written by D, Brathwaite
Performed by D. Brathwaite and S. Harris

Work (feat. Watsky)
Produced by dahLak (Black Genius)
Written by D. Brathwaite and G. Watsky
Performed by D. Brathwaite and G. Watsky

Pleasure & Pain
Produced by dahLak (Black Genius)
Guitar by A.V. (Samuel Stevenson)
Written by D. Brathwaite
Performed by D. Brathwaite and J. Pollard

2008 (feat. Siaira Shawn)
Produced by Jon Reyes
Co-Produced by dahLak (Black Genius)
Written by D. Brathwaite
Performed by D. Brathwaite and S. Harris

Showed You Love
Produced by Gold Fingaz
Additional Production by dahLak (Black Genius)
Horns by Dejon Underdue of Hallway Productionz
Written by D. Brathwaite
Performed by D. Brathwaite

(Our Only Hope)
Performed by D. Scott

A Dying World
Produced by dahLak (Black Genius)
Written by D. Brathwaite
Performed by D. Brathwaite

Patient (Break.Threw.)
Produced by Authentik Beats
Additional Production by dahLak (Black Genius)
Additonal Keys by Kevin Archie
Written by D. Brathwaite
Performed by D. Brathwaite, J. James, P. Wynn, N. LittleJohn and the All Nations Gospel Choir

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