Braille Adds Color To The Shades of Grey (Shades of Grey Review)
Braille, Braille Brizzy whatever you want to call him, he has accomplished quite a bit over the last couple of years. He’s released four solo albums, his group Lightheaded (Ohmega Watts, Othello and Braille) has released two albums that will just blow your mind, plus the guy has his own record label “HipHopIsMusic” that contains many talented artists (Sharlok Poems, Theory Hazit to name a few). While I haven’t listened to Lifefirst (his first album) his sophomore album Shades of Grey is the album that I think put him on the map.
Shades of Grey comes with a unique sound that can never be duplicated, the album has everything you could possibly want in a high caliber album. Dope lyrics, superb production, and my favorite: guest appearances (Ohmega Watts, Sharlok Poems, ManChild to name a few). This album has no problems whatsoever, so why don’t I just end the review and give it a 5/5? Well I gotta do my song analysis first!
Braille comes out the gate strong with the track “It Won’t Last” which features Othello and Pigeon John (of LA Symphony). The acoustic guitar playing in the background with the hip hop beat, along with the world analyzing lyrics cause for a stellar song. As the record continues the song “Hip Hop Is Music” informs the listener of the stereotypes associated with Hip Hop and how a lot of them aren’t true for all artists. The production behind this track is solid also.
One of my favorite tracks on the album is “Statements Part 2” featuring Ohmega Watts. Throughout this entire track Braille and Ohmega basically promote their new group Lightheaded. Braille and Ohmega also reminisce about Return to Sender (their group before Lightheaded). Ohmega and Braille team up again later in the album with “The Find” except this time Ohmega is the one producing the beat and Braille handles the rhymes. Listening to this track makes me want to hear an album entirely produced by Ohmega with Braille handling all the rhymes (like Theory Hazit and Vintage’s Lord Fire).
“Keep On” is another strong motivational track on the album, I actually listened to this track just before I had basketball tryouts. You can’t help but feel like you can do anything after listening to this song, here’s some of the lyrics from this song.
“Sometimes I feel like giving up
Sometimes I feel like it’s not worth the fight
Sometimes I feel like nobody cares
Cried at night and realized God was right there
So regardless of what’s seen with physical eyes
I know there’s meaning to life
And even when I’m feel down, defiled, defeated and tried
I can still lift my hands to the sky”
Anytime you feel like you can’t get past a certain trial you’re in right now or feel like you just can’t take life anymore, pop in this song and it should give you the motivation you need to get past anything. The central message of this song is if you’re going through something serious that you don’t feel you can get past turn to God and he will get you through the situation no matter what.
My cousin introduced me to Christian Hip Hop and when I was sitting in his car he played “Let Go” and when he gave me the album to keep I played “Let Go” for about 2 months without listening to any other song on the album, that’s how good it was. The track actually features three other emcees, unfortunately I have no idea who they are, but whoever they are they bring another dimension to this song. The track is pretty self-explanatory letting go of the bad things that are in your life whether it be your pride, sin whatever just let go and let God handle everything.
After 14 tracks of greatness Braille finishes the album with the best song on the CD. “Shades of Grey” has that movie finale type beat along with the best lyrics on the album. In this song Braille takes a Sev Statik approach to the song, he puts the world under a microscope and analyzes it which makes the song that much better. Here’s some of the lyrics of this song.
“Correcting bad habits, laughing as I drown in mystical tears
Mind-consuming thoughts that my physical fears
I can’t listen with ears cause words will deceive
As I stand up against darker versions of me
Looking over my shoulder waiting for false moves
dancing around landmines and get lost in the groove
what happens when all the light slowly fades away
you try to see God inside a shade of grey
he’s ever present through my mistakes, faults and follies
He could’ve left me falling but instead he caught me
And I answer silent, unsure what to say
Just thanking him for life even with the shades of grey”
This is honestly one of the strongest tracks lyrically that I’ve ever heard from any song. If you aren’t able to pick up the entire album at least pick up this song.
Braille’s sophomore album is a prime example of what music should be like, it should teach you life lessons while still allowing the listener to be able to enjoy the art of the genre. Braille gives the listener an appreciation for Hip Hop that is missing in the mainstream Hip Hop world. There is no reason that you shouldn’t pick up this album this album is an instant classic that will be rotating on your CD Player/MP3 Player for years on end. With meaningful tracks like “Let Go”, “Keep On”, “Nobody”, “10 Years” and “Shades of Grey” plus the extraordinary production behind the album takes this album to a level that probably won’t be reached for a long time. Shades of Grey is easily on of the Top 3 albums I’ve listened to (#2 being Lord Fire by Theory Hazit and #1 being The Find by Ohmega Watts).
It’s easily the best album I’ve listened to lyrically of all time.
Many guest appearances (ManChild, Sharlok Poems, Othello, Pigeon John and others)
The only bad thing about this album is the fact that it’s overlooked.
1. Shades of Grey
2. Let Go
3. Statements Part 2 feat. Ohmega Watts
4. Soul Rock feat. Othello, Ohmega Watts and Sharlok Poems
5. 10 Years