VALUES VOL.1 – FAJA THE POET
Updated: Oct 19, 2020
It’s truly remarkable to me that someone so young made this album.
It’s an honest expression of an I.E. life. Faja tackles topics like family, love, the struggle in the I.E., growing up and the lack thereof. He does it with increasing precision. He was already dope on his prior projects both solo and with Beezy but he had clearly been doing the writing and rehearsal work to get to higher planes as an MC. It’s in every aspect of every song: his flows are on point, his flows on his choruses are sharp, his internal and end-rhymes, his content is evocative and vivid.
Most people that make records this introspective about their humble lives are in their late 20s or beyond. His friends that helped with this record- features like OE’s Nicklaus Gray (who also illustrated the cover) and Jay Kasai, his counterpart Beezy, super-producer Shy Glover – all went above and beyond to make sure this project would be presented in the dopest way possible and they succeeded wildly.
Glover’s productions are sleek, banging, layered, melodic enough to listen to and analyze but subtle enough to be the perfect backdrop for MCs. Big Ear Ronnie’s contributions are also damned noteworthy, especially that “Values” closer.
Given Faja’s tragic passing just about a year ago I thought I was going to be crying throughout listening to the whole record but it’s almost as if the album is meant to shepherd you through the emotional experience and plateau in that way with release upon arrival at that final beautiful song, particularly the moment where he explains what this project is (I won't ruin it for you). Salute to everyone involved; RIP & Faja Forever.
Tristan "Tanjint Wiggy" Acker is a staff writer for Zus Entertainment, a Jooseboxx and Untapped Hip-Hop contributor, and member of the Inland Empire, California based nerdculture hip-hop group the West Coast Avengers