(Ed. Note: I appear on two songs on this album. I was, however, still asked by True to provide my thoughts. As he’s family, I had to type out what the album gave me).
Above, we have the latest album from my brother True God, The Liberty Heights Diary. This one, in a few words, is Baltimore AF. While he doesn’t bust out the dummy flow or make music like some of what comes from our city, the music is firmly placed over west. From the intro down to the conclusion, the project digs deep into who True was before he started off his albums “they saying ‘True, what’s good?'” The introductory track sets us up for what to expect in the rest of the project as its melodic strings give the album a bit of a movie feel. The lyrics take listeners through True’s life circa 1997-1999, tying in most of his albums into one succinct intro.
The rest of the album doesn’t sit back on its laurels, either. Instead, True and his cohorts attack each and every beat presented, giving listeners something in the middle of a Rhoda’s Son album and a sequel to his highly-streamed Life is a Movie project from earlier this year. A standout track for me was “Annette,” a track dedicated to his great-aunt. He vocalizes his love for his family while seemingly holding back tears throughout the song. It’s one of those tracks that helps push this one beyond just a letter to the old days. In fact, the album feels like it’s equal parts therapy for True and reminiscent tendencies on who he was before he became True (both the good and the bad parts of his world).
For me, what makes True one of the premier underground rhymesayers is his ability to connect with his audience. He’s not just rapping to show how well he can rap. Anyone can rap well, if we’re being real. Instead, he gives listeners minimovies each song, asking them to listen to him as he vents but also take something from him, a piece of him if you will.
That demeanor has helped craft some of the more-classic DAR projects over the last few years, from True and other members of the team. However, there’s something about when True does it that you shut up, you listen, and you feel the urge to call your loved ones and let them know how much they mean to you. Check out the project above and remember to support dope music in all its forms–especially if it’s part of that Elite Gang.