A mature, intelligent, meditative album built on a foundation of classic 90s hip-hop. Like the best artists currently working in a similar style (Ka or AG for example), the object here is neither to simply replicate the music of the 90s, nor to directly and explicitly homage it. The traditionalist tropes are used more as a springboard for personal reflection and nostalgia, as a conduit for S.Habib to examine his past and his place in the modern world as a person and an artist. He does so with quiet dignity, in a subtle way that requires close attention and repeated listens to fully penetrate. This conceptual density is quite pleasant – once in a while it’s nice to actually have to have to think about what the rapper is trying to say.
Something about S.Habib’s music reminds me of a jazz album, even though the production here is not exclusively jazz-based. Maybe the effect is purposeful, or maybe I’m just using that genre as a specious signifier for a certain intangible sonic sophistication that permeates Aftanoons. But either way, the fact that the comparison even occurred to me feels like a good thing.
STREAM AND DOWNLOAD: S. Habib – Aftanoons (Free Album)