Mama Earth – [Wakai] x [Elinore]

Baton Rouge-based rapper Wakai dropped one of the most sonically compelling projects of the past year with his Sophomore album, Some People Scream, Some People Talk, and people aren’t talking about it enough. Overflowing with beautiful texture, Wakai’s jaw-dropping flow switches, and upper-echelon production spanning the album’s entirety — thanks to Kirti Pandey, it’s an entrancing listen from front to back, and has been a project I’ve held close to my chest since its July release. Throughout its 16 tracks, there are a handful of standouts that are deserving of all the love in the world, but wow, Mama Earth has continued to blow me away on each listen, and to this day, I can’t stop talking about it.

The Louisiana native has built an impressive body of work with a string of consistently boundary-pushing projects painted with his one-of-a-kind groove and impeccable cadences that see him toe the line of neo-soul, RnB, and Rap. It’s this forceful sound of his that helped him garner a great deal of traction, especially following the release of his debut album, To a Dark Boy, which was deservedly celebrated by outlets like Pitchfork, The FADER, and – of course, Lyrical Lemonade. Beyond his undeniable musical appeal, Wakai has the ability to build, curate, and sculpt a cohesive full body of work in ways that his peers are nowhere near competing with. His adept storytelling goes beyond just his skillfully woven lyrics of candid introspection. The transition from one song to another throughout the project makes sense sonically, offering, not only a smooth listen but also an unspoken sonic narrative framed by Wakai’s artistic intentionality. 

This point is apparent more than ever in Mama Earth in the context of the album, where Wakai doesn’t pronounce a single syllable, and he doesn’t need to, thanks to Elinore’s remarkable performance – who’s deserving of a write-up in her own right. This track sequels the pair’s last link-up on their last offering, Elinore’s Interlude, one of the tracks alongside Starter Jacket that endeared me to Wakai and the art he’s pushing. I vividly remember listening to Mama Earth for the first time and immediately becoming speechless, utterly encapsulated within Elinore’s measured flow and comforting delivery that glides atop the swooning production, dressing its spiraling guitar lead melody with a blanket of warmth, in its brief minute of runtime. At its core, it’s a refreshing cut that needs to receive its flowers. Oh, and Elinore, I know I’m not alone in saying this, but we need music from you, as this two-track run alongside Wakai has truly been so incredible to witness.

Tap in with Wakai & Elinore’s track, Mama Earth, using the links below!


A genuine perspective