Oh, hi, Shafiq Husayn!

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I had half-forgotten how much your album was just the perfect summertime-driving-around and also chilling and grilling record. Deep yet catchy, soulful, bouncy and meaningful, all rolled up into a collection that is unmistakably yours—all original, no filler, and with the kind of unique brilliance that makes someone want to track down everything else you’ve been involved in.

I have been tracking Shafiq and the Sa-Ra Creative Partners since I got Pharoahe Monch’s Agent Orange in the mail on a promo CD single; maybe the last, dying gasp of Rawkus Records. Their “beat” on that track baffled me and I immediately had them on my radar; the next thing I heard by them was “Glorious“—both literally and emotionally—and I was on board for life. Sa-Ra has yet to let me down, whether as a trio or its individual members’ efforts. (See also PPP; aka Platinum Pied Pipers.) Taz Arnold recently turned up with nice production on some To Pimp a Butterfly tracks, while Om’Mas Keith has worked with Frank Ocean and Mark Pritchard and dropped his own solo record a few years back, which is a sweet ride in itself.

But Shafiq is the guy I keep coming back to. His style is so unique; hip-hop based, but with so many diverse and almost-but-not-quite-familiar sounds in his palette. Twitchy but not glitchy, it’s got bass definition but is rich in high end subtleties. He’s got a new one on the way; can’t wait.

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