Koncept, of Brown Bag AllStars, is a thought-provoking, confident, class act. Upon hearing some of his material, it becomes evident that, like most underground acts, he receives far too little recognition for his talent.
Throughout his contemplative new album, Awaken, Koncept ventures through a variety of concepts, giving us a sense of his poise, while at the same time, a more sensitive side. Production is handled by J57, The Audible Doctor, and Marco Polo, among others. And featuring names like Royce Da 5’9″, Sene, and Soul Khan, the guest appearance department is equally impressive.
Following the title track is “Watch the Sky Fall,” which, with a soulful vibe, gives us an introduction to Koncept and his background. You can’t help but be reverent, as he further gives a vivid breakdown of his experiences on “Save Me,” telling of his father, who chose heroine over him. “Too Late,” sports a number of voice samples, including one of Eminem in “Lose Yourself,” which is appropriate, seeing as the theme of the song is based on missed time and opportunities. The single, “Aspirations,” is an uplifting song about living the hip hop lifestyle, and features an incredibly well-chopped sample, in addition to Soul Khan, who offers an extremely catchy chorus. Although, his more avid fans know he could have just as easily killed a verse. Another ten points for the far from cliche music video. Sene doesn’t fall short on the next track, “Getting Home,” on which Koncept reflectively informs youth about the dangers of street life and drugs. “Narcotics ain’t happiness, you can’t clone a smile,” he says. The feel of “Understanding” can get fairly repetitive, and is the one track I didn’t enjoy as much as the others.
“Driving in these circles ’til my gas run dry, and who the fuck told you that a man can’t cry?”
In conclusion, if you’re in search of aplomb, originality, and quality hip hop, Awaken may interest you. Take an interpretive role and give the album a listen. My favorite tracks on the album were Aspirations, Getting Home, and Save Me.