Libretto’s story is one of redemption and revitalization. From being one of the next big things to a four-and-a-half year stint in prison, he’s been around the world in more ways than one. On the heels of his Gangsta Jazz Vol. 2 project, we’re blessed with his second official album. A TL;DR way to describe it is that it’s like a mix between Curren$y and Pusha with a bit of Lost Boyz and Slum Village to boot.
Equal parts funky, retrospective, and gangsta, Libretto floats over each instrumental and gives us a slice-of-life from the story of Captain Crook. There’s a very distinct old-school feel to the Portland (by way of Watts) artist, allowing for an energy that gives off blaxploitation vibes while still giving listeners a boom-bap friendly discussion on street life and all which that may entail. Guest spots from the likes of Guilty Simpson only heighten these energies and no guest spot overpowers the song, instead complimenting Libretto’s lyricism and flow. One of the highlights on the project, for me, is the song “Black Boy” as it affirms that Black is Gold (sorry Wale, I had to).
Check it out below and, if you’re feeling it, be sure to support the album on iTunes and/or CDBaby