Tag Archives: Orphans Of Cush

The Lowdown – Kyza

Kyza Smirnoff drops some brutal bars for New Sound Era’s “Lowdown” series.

Album Review – Cyrus Malachi

Cyrus Malachi

“Ancient Future”

(No Cure Records)

As a fan of Hip-Hop today it’s often too easy to become disillusioned with the state of the music, as so-called ‘artists’ peddle a non-stop diet of sub-par mixtapes and heard-it-all-before freestyles to an audience who seem all too happy to download this background music, knowing that tomorrow they’ll be consigning it to their deleted files folder as if it never existed at all.

But every now and then, an album comes along that reaffirms your faith in Hip-Hop’s ability to truly transport the listener to another place, both mentally and emotionally, as an emcee finds themselves in a creative zone which allows them to fully explore the potential of their lyrical talent over sonic backdrops that appear perfectly crafted for the occasion.

“Ancient Future”, the debut solo album from London-based wordsmith Cyrus Malachi, is one of those moments.

Having already garnered attention for his lyrical prowess via work with three-man crew Triple Darkness and the equally talented spin-off collective Orphans Of Cush, those who thought they’d already heard the best the Hackney-raised Malachi had to offer will be in for a shock to the system upon listening to “Ancient Future”.

Still drawing equal inspiration from his immediate inner-city surroundings and historical / spiritual teachings, Malachi takes full advantage of the opportunity to spread his creative wings, diving rhyme first into ambitious concept-driven tracks as well as moments of deep, heartfelt personal reflection. Whilst the subject matter throughout “Ancient Future” is often dark and unsettling, confronting the demons of crime, violence and psychological torment that pull down so many of today’s youth, there’s an eloquence to Malachi’s vivid verses that bring a poetic beauty to even the most ugly of images.

As an individual who has experienced first-hand the pain and loss that can come from chasing street dreams, Cyrus rhymes from an authentic place, willing those currently in the position he once was to rise above the matrix of urban temptation and seek a better life for themselves through education, self-empowerment and mental nourishment.

Over the hynotic harps of “Native Son” the gruff emcee weaves together theology, historical fact and social observations, as he laments seeing “collonialism’s children shot crack in inner-city buildings, five generations after picking cotton for the pilgrims” in an unforgiving world where “slugs fly like iron canaries”.

On the melancholy Beat Butcha-produced “Black Madonna” Cyrus and Melanin 9 tackle the issue of young Black women feeling pressured to conform to an ideal of Western beauty in order to feel accepted, whilst the stripped-down “Brave New World” puts a Hip-Hop twist on the harsh society depicted in the 2006 film “Children Of Men”, with Malachi painting a genuinely chilling  picture of a perhaps not-so-distant future controlled by a single global government, where “freethinkers are labelled terrorists” and population control and military policing are common place.

The pounding “Slang Blades” is an all-out lyrical assault, with the Triple Darkness general going back-to-back with the mighty Kyza in a relentless display of microphone mastery over Beat Butcha’s persistent pianos. The bass-heavy banger “The Crucible” offers more heavyweight lyricism as Cyrus collaborates with like-minded UK rhyme fiends Iron Braydz and Moorish Delta’s Cipher Jewels, who each fire off typically sharp verbal darts.

Arguably the album’s most hard-hitting moment (and believe me, there are many) is the hypnotic Anatomy-produced “Black Maria”. Recounting his time spent in prison, Malachi resists the temptation to glamorise the experience like so many ‘hardcore’ rappers, instead choosing to let his guard down completely to pen an extremely emotional and graphic telling of events, from the moment he was sentenced in court to his release. Describing the paranoia, depression and tension that comes with time behind bars, Cyrus tells how during his first night in a cell “tears trickled down my cheek” and speaks on the soul-destroying frustration of hearing “freedom whistle in the wind”, knowing loved ones are going on with their lives in the outside world.

Appearances throughout the project from respected Stateside artists such as Ruste Juxx, Bronze Nazareth and the late Killa Sha do little to take the focus away from Malachi as the main attraction here, which is a testament to the no-nonsense emcee’s status as a formidable wordsmith on every level.

Clocking in at nineteen full-length tracks, “Ancient Future” is an album of epic proportions that needs to be listened to in its entirety to be fully appreciated. This isn’t the work of a rapper satisfied with simply throwing together a collection of unrelated tracks for the sake of being able to put something out for public consumption, “Ancient Future” is the product of a truly skilled emcee who is clearly passionate about rhyming as both an artform and as a means to influence, enlighten and uplift.

Ryan Proctor

New Joint – Cyrus Malachi

Cyrus Malachi – “Native Son” (No Cure Records / 2011)

Taken from the Triple Darkness / Orphans Of Cush emcee’s brilliant forthcoming solo album “Ancient Future” – fans of intricate wordplay and heavy-mental concepts need to check the project out when it drops early April.

The Isis Papers Mixtape – Cyrus Malachi

Download London emcee Cyrus Malachi’s new mixtape here – lookout for the Triple Darkness member’s full-length album “Ancient Future” coming soon on No Cure Records.

Tracklisting:

1. Intro (prod Endemic)
2. Praying Mantis
3. Millennium ft Melanin 9 & Crown Nectar [Triple Darkness] (prod Beat Butcha)
4. Bloodhounds ft Melanin 9 & Crown Nectar [Triple Darkness] (prod 7th Dan)
5. The Hammered Bracelet ft Melanin 9
6. 1000 Daggers (prod Diplimat)
7. Robin Hood Theory Freestyle (prod Endemic)
8. Captivity’s Tear
9. Lion’s Den (prod Jon Phonics)
10. Feathers Of Tahuti ft Melanin 9
11. Redemption
12. 7 Plagues (prod Blastah beats)
13. Politikin Remix feat Crown Nectar & Melanin 9 [Triple Darkness] (prod 7th Dan)
14.  Hood Novelists ft Melanin 9 & Njeri Earth
15. Hell’s Gate ft Melanin 9 & Crown Nectar [Triple Darkness]