Amidst the monsoon-like flood of rap music drops in springtime, a truly vast sum of releases are dropped, resulting from the solidarity of Winnipeg’s bitter cold.
Malcolm-Jay’s EP Restless is that conscious, self-contemplative style and namely his modesty in practice. The prevailing topic of Restless is sincere reflection and illustration of some trauma he went through recently, and the ensuing existential crisis he experienced.
The range of emotions and self-critical thoughts are outlined in the first track, titled “Who Am I?” With lyrics like “still workin’ hard, never feelin’ satisfied … so I run from myself, tryin’ get some help. Therapist tellin’ me there’s some shit I haven’t dealt with.”
This album is a triumph over his existential crisis, and a realization of how damaging it is having one’s trauma – and presumably all kinds of invisible pain or mental health problems – downplayed.
Track 2, “Whippin,” refers to his realization that many people tend naturally to minimize mental health problems as perhaps a lack of virtue or being weak-willed. Malcolm is prepared to take the proverbial whippin'.
Restless tells a story about mental health problems. Though not original, what is unique is his story of how damaging downplay is by the observer or by one’s own self.
Production quality needs be mentioned here. He produced and composed this EP, and it’s a stark improvement from already peer-esteemed production and personal style form in his previous releases.
by Jesse Meush
Published in Volume 73, Number 24 of The Uniter (April 4, 2019)