March 27, 2019

Retrospective Review: Paranormal Adam (PA) - The Black Plague

Paranormal Adam (PA) - The Black Plague Review

Paranormal Adam (PA) - The Black Plague Review

I wish I knew about my new friend, Paranormal Adam's, latest album at the time when it came out! It seemed a shame to pass up writing something about this splendid work of art, therefore, I will be starting another series of articles from time to time which will focus on albums which might have released a bit before my review window, and which I feel deserve an extra push into the spotlight of public consciousness. It's a pleasure, then, to introduce the first album in my retrospective review series: Paranormal Adam's The Black Plague.

Released in the early half of 2016, this album is intercut with clips from the Spike Lee film "Malcolm X", but instead of the militaristic approach of Malcolm, Adam's album reflects on the need for people of the world to embrace, and opens it with the mantra "My black people, I love you..." personifying the togetherness he feels in this righteous debut LP. The tone is defined specifically and vividly, as a work of empowerment and values, partnering top level production with the thoughtful conscious verses of Paranormal Adam and his guest emcees.

"GODBODY" and "Black Brilliance" both are great entry points for converting new fans, as they introduce listeners to Paranormal Adam's diction and effortless flow. The beats are smooth and old school, and singles like "The Secret" showcases the power of humbleness and knowledge and rising up mentally and spiritually. Tracks like "Bulletproof" switch up the mood, and prove to be a chilling reminder of the violence that still plagues our world, as its intro is cut with a shooting scene from the film, and reminds us of the mass shootings in schools and mosques to this day. Paranormal's message is clear in these uncertain times: people might fall, but truth is bulletproof.

"Muthaluva" and "My People's" display again the importance of loving your woman, family roots, and coming together, with Adam's repeated lyric from his opening track, "Black power, raise your fists, raise these kids, we gotta find a better way to live. Black women, pick up your brother, support your man, black brothers, love your lady and lead your fam." Thoughts of race relations, struggle, and ultimately overcoming circumstances illustrate Paranormal Adam's strengths on this record. Tracks toward the end of the album venture into the instrumental breaks territory, with the DJ Shadow-inspired drum track, "Let Me People Go", giving listeners a solid groove to get lost in, and the album's haunting closer, "Revelations", hits with the determination of Adam's hardcore rhymes. It's a scary good way to bring his political message to the forefront, as Adam concludes that he's fighting for all people against the corruption of the "lunatics who run the government".

Overall, The Black Plague is a manifestation of protest and solidarity unified through song. It is an exceptionally strong debut album from the New Haven native, who I've had the pleasure of seeing perform live. It's the ultimate protest record, and breaks the mold of the mainstream drivel that's sold to the masses, which tend to promote lesser value and meaning to impressionable youth. This album is a reminder of a very important truth: love, unity, and understanding through art is the most important thing in the world we live in today. Paranormal Adam's The Black Plague takes control of the subject, and drives home this message with real hip-hop in its finest form.

The Black Plague - 9/10

Recommended Tracks: Black Brilliance, The Secret, Let My People Go

Paranormal Adam (PA) - The Black Plague Review