After nearly four years since their last project, rap collective Spillage Village, has released their newest album, “Spilligion.” Consisting of rappers JID, duo Earthgang, 6lack, Jurdan Bryant singer/rapper Mereba, and producers Hollywood JB and Benji, the group delivered a masterful album tackling a variety of issues from religion, police brutality and class inequality. Spillage Village has provided a soundtrack to the current political sphere we find ourselves in.
Their lead single “End of Daze,” sums up the unrest and disillusionment the younger generation finds themselves in.
“It’s been like apocalypse since I was on the teat,” raps Mereba. This lyric truly embodies the overwhelming turmoil that has occurred politically, socially and economically as the backdrop for Generation Z.
I was born in 1999 and my early youth was defined by the heightened national security state of 2001, the economic recession in 2008, consistent war crimes unto other countries initiated by US imperialism, and now, the descent into fascim determined on solidifying the military and prison industrial complex during a pandemic.
Mereba’s idea of there being an apocalypse since her birth is not one that seems too distant. Her simple phrasing somehow encapsulates the unsettling climate we are amidst.
Not only is this album well crafted from a lyrical standpoint, but it does a stellar job with its production and blend of soul (Psalmsing and Hapi), funk (Mecca), hip hop (Baptize and most of the tracks), and even some folk-esque elements (Jupiter).
This album seamlessly blends Mereba’s soulful vocals with expert verses often by JID Earthgang.
“If it’s the end of days, end of times, then here’s my last request, I pray for power, To strike these cowards down,” raps Johnny Venus of Earthgang. The theme of grappling with injustice and turmoil is emphasized in this verse that calls for power to the people, notably for power in Black Americans. “Spilligion,” concretizes many of the emotions behind and need for the BLM movement.
Many of the song titles are religious references such as “Baptize,” “Mecca,” or “Judas.” This was a way to allude to a new beginning or a welcomed revolution that needs to take place. Given the injustice that takes place on a daily basis, this album reminds us that there is always work to be done, and the systems in place need to be dismantled.
While this album refers to constant struggle, it also is laced with the idea that love must be at the forefront of our intentions.
“Spread the love all round the world,” is repeated in the chorus of Mecca. This lyric and song reminds me of a quote by Che Guevara, “At the risk of seeming ridiculous, that the true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love.”
This is not to insinuate that there is no need to organize, riot and revolt. There is. However what should be behind this force is love. Love must drive liberation, abolition and the need for justice. Love doesn’t have to be peaceful.
In a time when it’s hard to feel things deeply since we are constantly distracted, this album gives the listener much to think about and process. Rarely is there a moment to breathe; but the final track gives us this chance.
“Spilligion,” concludes with an unexpected track with jaunty guitar as the backdrop for a resounding chorus: “So hold my hands and dance with me tonight, You know, this day, we’re all about to die, And maybe it’s the love we all are tryna find.”
This lyric combines the disillusionment we feel with the recurring theme of love tied to impending doom. The final culmination of these elements connect the album together flawlessly.
Since society overwhelms us with never ending bad news, times can seem hopeless, especially for the younger generation who are tasked with solving the issues that were created by those before. However Spillage Village reminds us to love one another and use that love to fuel our battles.
Noteworthy Tracks: “Hapi,” “Jupiter,” “End of Daze,” “Mecca” and “Psalmsing”