Musically & Socially, Spillage Village are a Necessary Force of Enlightenment

 Evan Dale // June 11, 2020 

What a moment in history for Spillage Village to act on their return. The Atlanta collective which birthed the solo careers of EARTHGANG, JID, Mereba, 6LACK, Hollywood JB, Jurdan Bryant, and more, was – is – an undeniably brilliant amalgamation of hip-hop, soul, R&B, southern charm, and social statement never more applicable to a time and a place than America’s explosive fight for civil liberties that has sparked parallel movements globally.

 

End Of Daze is the kind of dualistic, bittersweet, insatiably clever title that breathes of its song’s deeper meaning. Both an end of the days as we knew them, and an end of the daze that systematic societal racism has too long spelled our minds with, the track rings anthemic as a call for the clarity being brought before us.

 

Musically, the track is an exhibition not only of the coalescence the squad has always been able to unearth even while all honing such unique deliveries, but a display of where that confluence exists now that each member of Spillage Village has been making waves on their own (or for EARTHGANG, as a duo). The result is reminiscent of the kind of star status that the DJ Khaled produced, 6-rappers-on-a-track-for-4-bars-each era gave us, merging with the legitimate artistry alive in hip-hop collaboration today, fueled by the fight for racial inequality that has directly affected every member of hip-hop’s longstanding super team turned famed all-star lineup. The result is unparalleled in its meeting of meaning, collaborative fluidity, and musical experimentation.

 

The music meets the moment and can’t be removed from it.

 

All consistently outspoken on the necessary issues in their solo canons, the entirety of Spillage Village are driven even deeper into their pocket of socio-politically charged bars for six verses, interlocked by a harmonic hook. Not a word is wasted; not a moment mistaken for ample space to take a breath to themselves. Each is precious, each is masterful.

 

At the beginning of End Of Daze, the long underrated and overlooked WowGr8 (Doctur Dot) hops in on a signature short-lined, hard-hitting cadence, introducing the track to the tune that this social movement is no surrender, but that it’s the chapter of a new beginning, and if someone isn’t strong enough for change, so be it.

 

Nonchalant on most occasions

Apocalypse no different

It take a lot to phase him

Take even more to kill ‘em

 

With the stage set for JID – unmistakably one of the most talented lyricists alive, cemented in the discussion for best rapper in the game since his innumerable additions to Revenge of the Dreamers lll – the young firestarter does exactly that. Another impossible verse made easy, not even breaking a sweat over a routine of poetic gymnastics that would tie almost any other rapper’s tongue in knots, JID uses his unparalleled penmanship and his ever-ascending pedestal to send a clear message.

 

Let the smoke rise

Take the bodies to the crypts

And when the poor people run out of food

They can eat the rich

Plead the 45th

 

With a brash change of pace towards he oft-acoustically underlined workings of rapper and soulstress, Mereba, End Of Daze enters what is perhaps its most powerful verse both thematically and musically. Mereba has long made the act of stylistic transcendentalism seem easy, but believe not the effortlessness with which she attacks her craft; seamlessly existing in the gray areas between hip-hop and soul; between the rapped and the sung, is a feat made possible only by those who hone a skillset akin to the likes of Badu. She expectedly murders it.

 

It’s been like an apocalypse since I was on the teat

Reagan worked for Satan how he preyed upon the meek

Ask too many questions, do you work for the police?

The took brother Nipsey, what a pity for the streets…

Fuck with any kinfolk, you gon’ have to get through We.

 

Entering the second half of End Of Daze, the first of two lesser-known emcees is out to make a statement with his craft amidst adjoining the message of his compatriots. Jurdan Bryant embarks on an absolute tear of lyrical endowment that proves exactly why he is such an instrumental piece of the overarching Spillage Village stronghold. Mellow in his delivery, sharp in his cunning poeticism, Bryant speaks from his experiences.

 

Lived life in cycles

Been here before

Watching the sunrise

Reading ‘Art of War’

 

With a verse cut of the same mark to make dualistic statements on his craft and his experiences, Hollywood JB dances across a pseudo-melodic meandering of genius wordplay and unpredictable, experimental changes of cadence. Able to fit any of his words into any space necessary, he chooses them wisely, diving into the mosaic of threats at humanity’s doorstep from Coronavirus to the life-and-death matter of Civil Rights.

 

Feeling like the Lord left the room

Dead bodies rising from the tomb

Damn Daniel is we finna meet our MF Doom?

Mask on mask off face the future like high noon

The news keep saying we’ll die soon

So sit back and roll up to my tunes

 

By the time the unmistakable Olu (Johnny Venus) takes the mic for a closing bout of unforeseen musical changes of pace, there is nowhere left to hide from the realities the world is facing. Through the experimentalist’s lens of musical futurism, Spillage Village have made you listen. And with their words and stories, they’ve made you think. Now it’s time for Olu to make you feel. Clutching a guitar and an AR in the track’s impeccable music video, Olu embarks down a melodic, bluesy path of downtrodden, honest poeticism, unachievable by any other hand in modern music.

 

The heavens in the sky

Start to cry as we look for love

Dying deep inside

Lonely kisses and empty hugs

Why do we live on the surface

When our hearts search for the deep?

Please forgive me babe, I’m nervous

Scared to go to sleep

Perfecton is the goal these days

But I want something pure

All that life throws our way

A love that will endure

 

With their humble return, Spillage Village have proven musically why they’re all succeeding as soloists; why we’re all waiting patiently for their forthcoming collaborative album. With the cut of their words; the meaning in their voices, Spillage Village have handed a sword to the world struggling with what at times seems like the End of Days, making us all aware that when willing to learn, when strong enough to push, and with open ears, anthems such as End Of Daze can grant the perspective needed to continue perseverance on multiple fronts.

 

Musically, socially, Spillage Village prove to be a necessary force of enlightening creative expressionism.