The 30th of October 2020, Honolulu-based rapper TAUREAN MEACHAM is exploding back onto the conscious hip-hop scene with ‘BLAKK RADIKAL’, his third project this year and his best work to date. This album is raw, real, full of rage — and it deserves to be heard. He’s talking ancestors and martyrs (‘Saviour’), slavery and shootings (‘Hands In The Sky’), anxiety and insomnia (‘PTSD’). It’s a lot to tackle in one record — and yet Meacham nails it with inimitable finesse. This, above all else, is an album of substance.
“The album is my most complete work to date. There are no wasted bars.” — TAUREAN MEACHAM From an epic intro with soaring Bond-esque orchestral textures (‘The Gift and The Curse’), to a playful Latin inspired/speakeasy jazz crossover (‘Camp Lo’), to the bassy, bossy trap track ‘Thrones’, Meacham proves over and again that he’s not only an artist who understands melody and rhythm, but a self-managed, self-published hip-hop veteran whose level of storytelling, rap flow, production value and attention to detail is impressively, consistently masterful. “The sound is the album spans all sounds of hip hop.
It goes from boom bap, to west coast funk, southern trap, and even classical music. I wanted to challenge myself with the production on the album by having various soundscapes that all flowed cohesively.” Released in July, lead single ‘CHECKS over STRIPES’ — with its addictive, think-twice hook — hammers home the necessity of self-ownership over Black creativity, wealth and life. With scathing metaphors soothed by empowering bars (‘hands on the wheel/create your own lane’) Meacham shows that he’s not here just to sound good on the beat: he’s here to teach us something.
Striving for excellence is explored in ‘The Life’, where Meacham paints his ideal vision of an empowered Black family, placing emphasis on acquiring generational wealth and property. He later spits venom in ‘Juneteenth’, a takedown of the constitution in the wake of Black Lives Matter. Recorded in Hawaii at Primaphonix Studios and engineered by Jerry “SubZero” Wilkins, this album is pain. It’s anger. It’s radical Blackness. And it’s Taurean Meacham at his finest. ‘BLAKK RADIKAL’ is available on all streaming platforms.
Listen Now: ‘BLAKK RADIKAL’ – Taurean Meacham
ABOUT TAUREAN MEACHAM
Taurean Meacham is a hip-hop and R&B artist based in Honolulu, Hawaii. Known for his conscious rap style and experimental samples, Meacham’s driving force is, in his own words, storytelling: “Music is the number one form of communication across all civilisations. It tells the story of the people. I’m just looking to tell mine.” Influenced by music legends from Prince and Nas to Jimmie Hendrix and David Bowie, Meacham’s creative process is “coordinated chaos” – the one constant is that the words always come first.
He has released a number of independent albums, including November (’06), Untitled (’07), Oahu Noir (’20), JG (’20) and BLAKK RADIKAL (’20).