A decade ago today, True released his first official album, Soul Revival. The album featured production from myself and other producers he worked with during his recording infancy, showing a more militant True that what we tend to get now. The militancy is still there, but there’s more of a wholeness from True. For me personally, it was one of those experiences that stuck with me–mainly because it was the first time anyone trusted me enough to produce a chunk of their album. Whether or not it’s my favorite experience working with True isn’t the point. Either way, it was one of the first times, so it’s special (and stopped me from using so many drum rolls in my beats).
Over the past ten years, we’ve had a front row view into True’s life. His wins, losses, gains and pains were laid out there for the world to see. From the birth of his child to the death of his mother, True invited listeners in to hear how life has shaped him into a better man.
Today, we get the finale of his (solo) story with Soul Revival 5.
Since he recorded this one during a time I took a respite from recording, I get the chance to write about it as a journalist first, a brother second. I think that this is the best way to enjoy the album: as a listener, not as a fellow artist. Over the course of twenty tracks, True takes listeners on a ride through some of his highest highs and lowest lows, all while providing a bit more background into what made him who he is today. From the Pimp C homage “Interstate 200” to the de facto “Beautiful Souls” sequel “Sent from Heaven,” we see everything from the last decade take a final form. That’s the beautiful part of SR5: its finality.
From the first track to the last, kind of like Dilla’s Donuts, we see a circle form and close. The album begins with True and his daughter and closes with True and his daughter. We see a man who was once unable to see his child bond with her and grow as a man with her by his side. We see a son who wants to live up to the lofty dreams his mother had of and for him, as most children want to. We see a brother and friend do what he loves (and sometimes hates) by making incredibly personal songs which can still be applied to a variety of situations. All in all, it’s an amazing album, one that–like its predecessor ten years ago–can possibly withstand the test of time.
One has to wonder what’s next for the Baltimore-born DAR Elite captain. I mean, he’s never stayed retired, nor has he ever walked away from music completely. However, I feel that, with SR5, he can walk away from his own solo career with a feeling of “not only am I good at this, I’m able to leave on my own terms.” Not many artists can do that, be it because of an untimely passing or putting out albums past their career’s expiration date.
Whatever comes next, we see the man who once said he was “destined to be great” live up to that promise. Check out Soul Revival 5 above and remember to support dope music in all its forms.