Hot Album Review: Ali Shaheed Muhammad- Souls of Mischief


I enjoyed the energy of this album infinitely more than I anticipated. I frantically grabbed this CD in hopes of gaining some volunteer hours. I actually, unknowingly, picked up one of the most profound and esoterically clever rap albums I have ever had the pleasure of hearing. Words are powerful in themselves;however, when those words are used to create an image and invoke a feeling for some, the message can be eye opening.This artists’ use of literary devices to create meaning within his artistic expressions, captivated my attention from the first verse. It is so refreshing to hear music that I resonate with on a level of spirit and intellect. I truly believe if music motivates or inspires a person, it is successful.

What stood out to me was the subtle references the artist made about Love and overcoming obstacles on the path to this self- realization. These are things I always enjoy working on, so that is why they may have stood out to me more than anything else. Another endearing aspect about this artists flow, is his ability to communicate his thoughts and feelings in a way that was understandable, positive and (in my opinion) wise. The ability to understand another persons perspective and also resonate with that perspective is truly beautiful and he achieves that with this album. It is clear that this artist deeply understands the process of conceptual diffusion, or the spreading of ideas, thereby creating lyrics with profound messages to reach many souls on a physical and metaphysical level. These messages are not only capable of changing opinions and paradigms, but also capable of reinforcing one’s current beliefs and values. In other words, to have hope and remain positive.

This album had only five tracks with lyrics and it left me wanting more beautiful beats. The other five tracks were instrumental. This was perfect for me, as that is the type of music I most frequently listen to. Picking up this album showed more and more synchronicity as I continued to listen to this music. As the album progressed the concept of an individual fear arose. This was especially interesting to me because these are not concepts that are usually explored in mainstream hip/hop and rap. One song that stood out to me, although they all did, was “All You Got Is Your Word”. I connected with this song on a level of spirituality rather than just enjoying the sound. This song truly had me ponder aspects of my life in a philosophical manner. The second song I enjoyed was “There Is Only Now”. This is the title of the album and is appropriate to call the last track with vocals. He delivers his most powerful messages at the end of this album, in my opinion. It was not only strategic, but inspirational how the Souls of Mischief express their perspectives. In summary, I unintentionally picked up one of the best albums I have listed to in quite some time. I strongly recommend exploring this artists’ perspective and allow it to increase your wisdom and awareness in your own life as it has done for me.


Veronica is a DJ with KSSU Sacramento states only student run radio station.

%d bloggers like this: