What a discovery! And it was hand delivered into my inbox. I am very confident in saying Chrisjaan LeMann’s new project Maniacal is very similar to Illmatic mixed with a little Kush & OJ. Before my readers freak out and call this comparison blasphemous, listen to the album. Similar, not the same. All comparisons aside, this is an excellent work with inspirations from 90’s style hip hop. While most artists imitating this boom bap style stay stuck in the past, Maniacal is incredibly fresh and relevant.
Opening track Circa ’94 starts off with an incredible jazzy vocal sample that is just gorgeous. It switches into a sparkling male vocal and then to classical piano sounds. The intro is an amazing listen by itself. Thesis is a psychological journey into a family death that rocks Chrisjaan’s world, and especially his mom. It is a honest portrayal of a man trying to not show too much emotion and keep it together for his family.
Kama Sutra samples Nas’ The World Is Yours, giving props to his idol. It is just as complex and lyrical. No Hooks on Hillside features Chrisjaan’s distorted vocals giving more flavor to the subject matter he raps on.
Throughout the album we get deep into his psyche; emotions are relayed on his anger of not being recognized as the powerful artist he is, struggles of family and violence and relationships romantic and otherwise. Maniacal is SEVENTEEN tracks deep; I can’t even imagine how much work went into this. I only touched on a few of the standout cuts, but the whole project has incredible replay value. Give it a spin above and give the man a follow on SoundCloud.