Bite-sized Album Review #19: Masego’s ‘Lady Lady’

I have been a fan of Masego’s for a pretty long time. Going off of Spotify, the first time I started really listening to him heavily was around December 2016. I don’t know exactly remember how I found out about him, but I want to say I found out about Masego the same way that I found out about Xavier Omar. I was on my off day from my summer job between my first and second year in college, and I spent part of that day in Little Five Points with one of my older cousins. We didn’t really hang out that much before then – family’s not that close – so it was the first time that we were really spending one on one time together. Something that we bonded over when we have talked is music. So we spent a pretty good chunk of that time going to a couple of record stores in the area. One of them was playing this mix of like jazz, hip hop, and funk records that I fell very obviously in love with. One of the folks that worked there pointed the mixtape out to me, and I bought a copy. “Trapscat” by Masego and Medasin was one of the tracks on it. From there, I ended up picking up Masego’s music more after hearing Loose Thoughts (2016) not too long after. I’m actually gonna try to find a way to upload that mixtape here – there’s some really good songs on there.

I have since maintained that Masego is one of the most talented people I have ever listened to in my life. He can sing, he can rap, and no one can deny that he is an amazingly talented saxophone player. And the way that he has been able to craft his own sound in such a short amount of time (mainstream-wise) has been a pretty remarkable thing to witness, though I’m sure it’s a sound he’s been crafting for years prior. I don’t know why it took me so long to listen to Lady Lady (2018). While listening to it, it felt lkind of familiar – and I’m not sure if that’s because I’d heard five of the album’s 14 songs before actually listening to the project as a whole – but something about it just felt like it wasn’t my first time visiting it. All in all, after jamming to it heavily in the shower, whilst washing my hair, I’ve decided to make it my life’s mission to find a copy of this project to add to my record collection.

Thematic Cohesion

Lady Lady is very much love-centric, which was great to hear as we enter into the season of cozy feelings. Masego does a good job of picking out pieces of the components of love to focus on for different tracks of the project, instead of just talking about Love. He spends some time with SiR on “Old Age” talking about how generation gaps won’t stop him from finding his wife, sets some musical space aside towards the backend of the project (intentionally, though it pretty much spans the whole album) to talk about “Black Love,” and offers a little bit of conversation around how the internet affects how we build our relationships with people on “Shawty Fishin’ (Blame the Net).” And I like the way that he puts those things together; we get both a micro and macro-level view of what Masego looks for in a partner and in love.

Sonic Cohesion

I think people who have had interactions with Masego’s music before listening to Lady Lady will feel pretty at home while listening to the project. It very much reminds me of Loose Thoughts and follows the sound space that Masego has built his music around generally. A sound that’s very much a conglomeration of hip hop and jazz elements with a little bit of funk and a LOT of saxophone. It’s actually kind of nice to have that continuation of sound from a previous project, where things don’t sound exactly the same as Loose Thoughts, but they don’t feel like a completely different world. So he’s bringing us into different sounds and experimenting with the different ways of putting music together without completely isolating the listener. I think that the brightest sonic moment on this project comes from “Tadow,” with FKJ. I remember watching the video of them performing this song before the album came out, and I was completely blown away. It’s really just… the TALENT for me. I also enjoyed the other features on this project. SiR, DE’WAYNE, and Tiffany Gouché sound amazing on their respective features.

Vibe Check

This is one of those projects that very much make me want to have a significant other in my life to listen to this album with. Not that you need a lil boo to enjoy this project, but I’m sure that adds another level of weight and beauty to what Masego puts together on Lady Lady. So you can bet your sweet face that if I have a wedding someday, Masego will be played lol.

Replay Value

Prior to listening to the album, I already had “Prone,” “Queen Tings,” “Lady Lady,” and “Tadow” saved. I have since gone back and saved every other track on the project except the ones that are just instrumentals. So I will be listening to at least a majority of this project a lot more in the future. And if I can get my hands on this record, I will be listening to it a lot in full.

3 songs i dig…

“Lady Lady” “Queen Tings” and “Tadow”

Featured Image Credit:

Overall Album Rating

(listen to Lady Lady on spotify, by clicking on the image below)

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