Have you ever heard an artist who you can tell needs to make music just as bad as you need to listen to it, if not more? For many artists their music is their outlet. In my time dealing with musicians one-on-one I can tell you some of them can be very reserved. That can be suprising being that music, at it’s essence, is a person putting themselves in the forefront.
For some artists it’s like a switch is hit as soon as they enter the studio or stage. Their music acts as therapy, allowing them to get their inner thoughts that may or may not have been otherwise expressed. When it’s done correctly it makes the music highly relatable and replay worthy to people with similar experiences.
Florida MC and old 1DF friend Quincy Jamal took this approach with his upcoming project “Growing Pains”. In regards to the inspiration Quincy says the following: “Over the past year I’ve gone through a lot of ups and downs, and those experiences forced me to grow. However through the growth I’ve had to deal with a lot of pain in the process. But in the end, pain is what makes us stronger. My hope is that this project will inspire others to keep going on their journey and to push through those growing pains.”
“Growing Pains” begins with the lead single from the project, “Black Privilege”. The track is very timely with all that has transpired in the way of social injustice in 2020. On it Quincy Jamal delves into his own feelings about the world around him as a black man. For me personally I could highly relate to the frustration that we deal with on a daily basis. Pandemic aside, the instances of police brutality and such are still very prominent and have to be addressed. Kevin Antoniyo features and delivers a soulful hook to round out the record.
“Free Your Mind” spreads a message of simply blocking out the bullshit from your mind. Worrying about a situation typically cannot fix it, and according to the lyrics here Quincy knows this all too well. On a project that can definitely be classified as emotional this song balances the line of introspective content and turnt up energy. That’s not an easy line to tow but he is able to do it well.
Next up is “Worst Day”. This one takes a bit of a break from the general direction of the album as he takes the time to, well, stunt on his opposition. Rap has and will always be a braggadocios avenue of expression and Quincy Jamal fits the bill here. The hook is very catchy and I could see this one catching a hold of listeners.
“DFMN” is better catered to the ladies out there. On it Quincy Jamal takes hold of some of the best production on the album, courtesy of Shod Beats. Lyrically he delves into a situation where he is highly attracted to the song’s muse, but must also question if she is truly down. Needless to say the rap game isn’t always one a partner may want to deal with, trying to find out about this particular woman is Quincy’s aim here.
Sonically “Can’t Trip” caught my ear at an instant. The soul sample that leads it is an attention grabber and Quincy’s flow falls into the pocket of the beat with ease. He is hopeful on the track while letting his circle know the ones who have his back currently will reap the benefits when the “blow up” happens. I grew up big fans of Kanye, Dipset and others who used similar production styles. It works well for the artist in this instance and I wouldn’t mind a project filled with similar styles of music in the future.
On “Lies” we see Quincy Jamal take a look at the people who don’t wish him well. The ones who make up situations in their heads as to why they shouldn’t simply support their peer. We all know a hater or two in our lives, this track is for them.
Quincy’s partner-in-music Lester Sanchez makes an appearance on “Mama Ain’t Working”. Only one word can describe this one and it’s heartfelt. The track is a direct dedication to Quincy’s mother as he talks about the struggles they’ve had to go through in the past and how he wants to attain success to make her proud. “‘Mama Ain’t Working’ goes through the pain of trying to reach the point of success, and the race against time as she’s facing a terminal illness and ultimately passes away”. It’s a very poignant record but it’s one that I commend him for sharing.
The album closes out with the title track “Growing Pains”. The track features some very good songwriting as offers duel perspective. On it Quincy Jamal looks back on his upbringing as a child and how it affects him today. To an extent the record acts as a time stamp, encapsulating the space in which he is in currently on a mental level. It’s one again a case of Quincy wearing his heart and emotions on his sleeve for the listeners to hear.
“Growing Pains” as a project shows immense growth from Quincy as an artist. He has always been strong lyrically but things are taken up a level here given the range of the content behind it. Even on songs with a lighter mood, it still all draws back to Quincy Jamal’s journey as not only an artist but as a man. 2020 has been a hard year for many to cope with. Not everyone has an outlet like creating music to relieve their stress, but music like that found on “Growing Pains” can help you through it as a listener.