Everyone’s favorite battle-rapper-turned-thinking-man just dropped a song worth listening to a few times over. “Praying For A River” finds Soul Khan doing a lot at once: he offers solace to those struggling, comments on the faux-independent movement of the day, thumps his chest, references a pair of granite-hard ’90s gems, and drops poetic jewels about his life and life as a whole. “You want to see it simple and plain / The whole picture doesn’t ever really fit in a frame,” Khan tells us, weaving a deceptively thorough metaphor about just how much you need to shift and challenge your perspective to see the truth. Soul‘s own way of seeing the world has clearly undergone some changes, as indicated in the song’s beginning: “The same hand I used to try to reach for the sky with / Just found a black box with a piece of the pilot.” It takes a few listens to appreciate the density of that line. Nothing’s promised, Soul is conceding, and with reason–we learn, in part, why Soul is praying in the last lines “My mother’s got cancer in her bones / Don’t tell me watch a motherfucking throne / Soul done changed.” Using a Biggie line to both show vulnerability and take a swing at the titans and priorities of today, Khan crafts the song’s most dynamic and exciting moment. If the usually-solid J57‘s beat had been a bit more muscular, the song as a whole could have climbed even higher. Still, Khan is becoming someone who, soon, will shed the “battle-rapper-turned” that follows him everywhere he appears. Soul changed, now watch him go.
Watch Soul Khan‘s “Morning Alone”, which premiered right here on RESPECT.
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