Black Isco just released his second studio album No More Excuses. This follows his debut album Lingua Franca which was released in 2018. Being given the opportunity to listen to this album, I thought to write a review. These are all my thoughts of the album after a third listen.
During the first listen of the album, one thing was clear, it was not Lingua Franca. Lingua Franca was what drew me to his artistry. The body of work carried the best lyricism, fast raps and even catchy beats. The first listen of No More Excuses makes you realise that he did not want to stick to one style. Although he gives hints of fast raps on some songs, a tease at best. His raps in this new album were more relaxed, a little more calculated.
One thing stayed clear though, he maintained the conscious lyricism. Unlike Lingua Franca that looked at different social injustices, this album was more centered on one thing. FINANCIAL LITERACY.
Listen to the Album now:
1. Set It Up
This is the intro which perfectly sets the tone of the whole album. But more importantly, it talks about growing together as a team.
Without a doubt, I'm the next to win If you're a G, I got your back like the next of kin I can show you the game like ESPN
My favorite song in the album so far. It gives a glimpse of the topic of the whole album. Better yet, if you needed a reminder why you and your whole team need to grow together, this is the song for you.
Fav lyrics: The way I know winning, you’d think that I do the lottery It’s gotta be, cause I follow Numbers like Deuteronomy
Whoever pissed him off needs to apologise asap. The lyrics are a warning to those that dare to cross him. It is also laced with a few petty jabs that would easily come off as comedic.
You talk shit before you think That's why your breath stinks
3. All Summer ft D.O.Dub
The lead single of the album. D.O.Dub is the only featured artist and he did not disappoint. His flow was a refresher. However, I have reservations on this being the lead single. And you’ll understand below.
Fav Lines: When poverty stricken, these things that we don't acknowledge Dysfunctional families, functioning alcoholics
4. Boss Moves
This song is just about celebrating every hustle that everyone does. Each stride you take to level yourself up.
We break bread Then breakthrough That's boss moves
But it also reminds one of the huddles we meet on the way.
Work too hard for a trash living Ask why I'm so task driven Cause when you're black, you get taxed different
5. Block is Hot
Regime changes, put pretenders under pressure Bastards are getting cause taxes are getting bled Anti-corruption officers often are getting paid If you get in the way of cadets getting the bread They'll write you a suicide note and throw you off a ledge
This song reminds me of Police State. Probably written during the Democratic Progressive Party leadership. It is the perfect reminder of what Malawians went through during the DPP government. And just like that, he gave us a taste of Lingua Franca.
Read my poetry collection Bare Soul.
More of No More Excuses by Black Isco
6. Rubber Band
Well, this would have been one of the best songs on the album. If only the adlibs were not as much. It has the Migos and trap touch to it, which throws one of considering the flow that the first songs gave. It feels like a filler of the album, a breather.
7. No Hook
He went in! A classic beat with some nice bars laid. If indeed he did this in one take, then he ate it.
I can never fold no matter the hand I'm dealt I'm here to be a leader to lead our people to wealth
He then addressed an issue that I raised earlier…….
I gave them Lingua Franca, they said it's too woke I'm just tryna tell you what these niggas want
Was Lingua Franca woke? I don’t think so, but I get why most would think that it was. Comes from not being used to such art in the country.
8. No Ice
I love the lyricism in this song. It gives the “No f$#& given” vibes. But, I would like to know who the subtle shots were for.
Talkin bout me, all I'm seeing is jealousy Outside of that, you don't have an identity
This should have been the lead single of the album. It has the amazing vibe to it. The flow is chilled, the lyrics make you feel yourself. At least I feel myself each time it plays.
I'm flexin', finessin' As soon as I step in, the ladies be checking The Gs respecting, the haters be stressing
10. Squad Only
Did I say that the album mostly promotes leveling up with your team? Yes I did. But the best thing about this song, THE FAST RAP IS BACK.
This song was the perfect ending to a perfect album. It ends with the same hype as it started.
No More Excuses might not be Lingua Franca, but it definitely stands on its own pebble stone. This album solidifies Black Isco’s artistry, and makes one appreciate his lyrical skills more.