Isaac Kilibwa – Yitzhak Gate
I grew up in Dandora, a Nairobi Ghetto estate where all we ever heard was Hip Hop and Roots. G – Unit, The Game, Eminem, Ja Rule, Richie Spice, Queen Ifrika, Culture, Burning Spear. Closer home we had, Kalamashaka, Ukoo Flani, Mau Mau, Dynamics. Shameful to say that the only Dezarie songs I have ever known are, Poverty, which I really never liked as much as everyone else did, and my all-time favourite, Eaze The Pain. I am more of a Hip Hop head but I will not make J Cole my excuse for not knowing much about Dezarie’s five albums. It is only the other day that I stumbled upon this album which I listened to in the hope that I would stumble upon Eaze the Pain not even aware that the two are generations apart.
One thing that endears me to Dezarie is her voice. It sounds like her vocal cords have been ruptured or she has been crying. You would be forgiven to wrongfully presume that she is a lazy singer, or maybe a tired one. It is raw and soulful, and effortless, to my perception. Her sound reminds me of our mothers singing us to sleep at the end of a demanding day, voice heavy with sleep and sensual, like the calling of comfort in a moonless night. Love in Your Meditation is an album for people of colour. Here are some of my favourites. Some of the lyrics may be way off, of course.
Love in Your Meditation
A love song, the first in the collection. It is not about the giddiness of romance or the fiery emotions that inspire mushy verses; neither is it about heartbreak and the angst of it, though Dezarie has that voice that sounds so broken it would help bind a heart that is shattered – it is a sober urging to love.
Love in your meditation,
Love is a medication,
Give we education…
A celebration of love actually, and how it should be given fully, freely to and by all humanity.
Worthy Was She
Well, worthy was she to be called empress! We all have been pricked by the bug to sing praises to the strong (and not so strong) women in our lives, for every one of them is worth to be an empress in their own right. Especially the ones striving to stand upright in love and support. They are our weakness, clothed in the splendour of our adoring.
African Heart Lion Heart
Preceded by Not Who We Are, the message is quite obvious. We Africans are in dire need of liberation in a multitude of fronts, most importantly, mentally.
Don’t lose your African heart, lion heart,
Seek and you shall find…!
We are not what they say we are; we are much more. We only need to keep our hearts with us. It is therefore quite predictable and obvious that the next song should be Return To Sender. I give it a rating of 9.5 just because I hesitate to have two tens, but what the heck! It’s a 10 really.
Things Won’t Be The Same
Before this one, let me confess that I love the instrumental to Keep Praising Jah. There’s a way some black women just hum. It stirs the heart when they soulfully moan, and the next three songs have exactly that sound of humming that calms stormy hearts before stirring fervent awe in them. How Great Thou Art, Constructing Destruction and my fondest, Things Won’t Be The Same. This has me doing jigs in the house, wait is that a flute I hear?
Things are changing, things are changing…
Wo-o, o-oh, o-o-oh!
The album itself is an 8/10 for me. I’m listening to it over and over again. I would easily give the rest of the verses in this artistic collection an above-average rating (from 6 – 8.)
Some of the songs are nothing short of spiritual chants that speak to one’s consciousness in an entirely different dimension. Her worship is nothing short of true. She croons Stronger to plain piano keys somewhere in the middle of the book. Are there guitar strings in Living Ones? Or am I confusing my heartstrings with them?
Love in Your Meditation is a novel of soothing roots, didactic and refreshing. I will not forget to commend the producer of the album’s beats who in all the free – versing of the lyrics managed to understand her sound and make a perfect accompaniment. I respect and adore a good pianist.