Who is G.I.B.R.A.A.N?"Jah Father, Dem goin dance to this. Bodies demma preserved for righteousness. Kingdom suffering violence, and the violent take it by force, Jah."
His name is an acronym: General Infinite Beyond Rhymes And Any Nonsense. And he bills himself as the 'Voice of Nureaumerica"
Already out of breath? This emcee will definitely make you ask yourself who he is.
Cue the self-defining track, “Who is Gibraan?” The song explains that he’s “nobody homie. Know God and save your own life”.
Off the bat, Gibraan tells everyone knows that he’s just a vessel being used by God. Although a few songs might put one in the mind set of a Jay-Z or an E-40, this album and this emcee is like no other. His abstract style of flow will have heads hitting repeat to soak up his lyrics and catch what he is saying.
With the entire album produced by the “new millennium funkmaster” himself, T-boy, you know that this album is going to be progressive musically, crammed with thought-provoking lyrics, and jammed with bangin’ beats.
The album starts off with a bang with the stereo-pumping “Hydrogen”. Gibraan encourages sinners and believers alike to get a taste of the living Water on the previously released, “Firewater”. This track boasts beats that can rival anything from Swizz Beats or the Neptunes camp.
Then there are the praise-themed and synth-driven “Shabach Pt I and II” that will have you hollering ‘shabach’ from "the bus stop to the whole block".
Interview with Gibraan
"I’ve experienced seasons of rhyming and doing it in the local church, but it was a hard thing because people don’t understand hip hop, the culture and rap music. I’ve been told that it’s not of God. So I wanted to do that song to show that you can praise and worship through hip hop. It’s an anointing on that song. When T-boy made the track, we worshiped for over an hour....|
See Full Interview with Gibraan.
Gibraan also gives us the praise party, 80’s-funk oriented "Mr. Black San Diego" featuring Tonéx at the vocal helm. It's a b-boy-themed joint with a veritable feast of West Coast slang, so get your finger poised over the repeat button.
Gibraan successfully gives the ode to his “royal priesthoodlums” on “Strictly For My “N.I.N.J.AZ.” T-boy is on synths, sampling the theme from Dynasty, layered over a nice hip-hop beat.
Ministry is ever-present on Mockinbyrd Slang, with such songs as the rapture-themed, “Lonely Christmas”. Over a nice slow "boom bip", Gibraan tells a vivid story of what it would be like if he were to be left behind. Tonéx lends his voice to the track and gives us his best impression of some Clark Sisters runs. “Beautiful Angels” brings in Zsa Zsa.
The titles of the songs are innovative and certainly different, like the bangin "Afghan Borders and Bloodstained Banners".
Then there's the title track. What is he saying in the chorus of "Mockinbyrd Slang"?
The most innovative and also the most worshipful song on the album is "Beyond Rhymes". Call it Mozart meets T-boy, with a nod to Gibraan to interpret the music and lyrics. This is a straight up vertical worship, with Tonéx singing:
We love You
We love You
We love You
Seek your Face beyond the veil
from "Beyond Rhymes"
This song is a non-stop encouragement to step into the God's presence. Right when you think the song’s over, Tonéx's multi-layered vocals re-enter with some Take 6-esque bass vocals, with track finally winding down at over 7 minutes.
With its combination of hip hop and funk, Gibraan delivers a must-have album on his first Syntax Records release. His coalition with T-boy is one that should never cease.
Thankfully, Mockingbyrd Slang is being billed as the first of a series of Mockinbyrd projects that Gibraan will drop in the future.
Producers: Gibraan, T-Boy
album release date: 2000
reviewed by Dwayne Lacy —
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