Marking his seventh full project release, Raff Alpha aka the ‘Young Buddha’ of Baltimore, Maryland places a stamp to 2020 with a phenomenal new album titled SEDULOUS. The LP from the Project FILO and Omega Academy artist includes twelve tracks reflecting the sheer consistency and work ethic that Alpha has demonstrated throughout his entire career. With lone features from Massachusetts native Jon Bartley and ‘The Northside Poet’ HSHM, there is a beautiful backstory in the sense that Alpha has known and worked with both artists since the very beginning of his music journey. Not to mention, the stunning artwork was hand painted by Japanese artist Shuto Okayasu, whom Raff Alpha befriended and eventually shared the respective titles of Project FILO members. Sonically the record implements Raff Alpha’s signature hip-hop soul, while sprinkling elements of modern production on tracks like “Rollin’ Through The City.” A majority of the album is told through a first-person lens as Alpha outpours a number of raw emotions that can be felt through his brutally honest storytelling. Sometimes somber, sometimes insightful, sometimes aggressive, sometimes tranquil, an attentive listener will appreciate the transparency expressed to depict Raff’s arduous, yet worthwhile artist and life trajectory. If there isn’t a prior body of work that accurately depicted both the struggle and charm of being an independent artist, SEDULOUS is the first. Combined with dichotomy of conflicting real-world experiences, such as joy versus grief, or confidence versus doubt, the larger lesson paints a humble picture that life is not consistently rosy nor universally grim. Instead, there lies a fine balance that Raff Alpha has discovered over time, which naturally is more prevalent in latter stages of his discography. My favorite songs are “Lost Their Minds,” “Doin’ it,” and “Without You;” all of which are more optimistic and spirited in nature. However, reflective songs such as “Can’t Stop Spittin’ The Real,” “Deep Thought,” and “I Can’t Give Up Now” are undoubtedly the most memorable because they offer a glimpse into the humane soul of Raff Alpha. Stream SEDULOUS below and support the album (with merchandise included) on Bandcamp as well!