In a city full of sprinters the competition to be the first rapper to blow out of Tulsa is thick. One young rapper named Hakeem Elijuwon is proving that he is destined to carry the torch. With his latest 17 track project "#MogulMinded", Hakeem is clearly making a statement and stepping up to the runners block in a race filled with already local legends.
The albums intro track "Chimney" is sort of a dream-like trance and a subtle introduction to Hakeem's cool delivery and ability to ride the beat. Then Hakeem awakes almost immediately rapping "This glass house, need a chimney off this dodie and this henny on my way to find some bitches". This is the perfect warm up track for Hakeem to unleash his lyrical furry and break into a nice stride leading up to track 2 "Irvin". Track 2 is the undeniable radio hit of the album named after the famous Dallas Cowboy wide-receiver "MichaeI Irvin" (known for his off-the-field party slash playboy-like lifestyle in the 90s). The track takes full advantage of hard-hitting bass, a catchy hook, and has the energy to be the club hit to push Hakeem to the front of the pack.
One sound that clearly stands out is from the track "Time To Waste" which samples from Celly Cels's "It's Goin Down" which originally sampled from Keith Sweat's "How Deep Is Your Love". Here Hakeem shows his versatility while rapping reminiscent to a young Houston playa in the 90s but with a very very unpredictable flow. His bars are follow a Quatrain in a sort of AAAB like rhyme scheme similar to Didactic poetry, intended to put listener up on the game he is spittin'. From the very first verse its clear that Hakeem is a player on a mission "Baby break your back, to make sho she come out with scratch, she a little hustler, Ima hustler of the same kind. Trap and rap the same time, I told em once I keep a line, I keep a shorty super fine, I'm young and thuggin' all the time. "
But its not all playa music for Hakeem Elijuwon as seen on tracks "When She Strut FT. OverDue" and "Pressure Baby", which stick out as tracks tailored toward his female audience. The latter track "Pressure Baby" he speaks almost as if having a conversation with his female companion about the pressures of life having become a burden, but for the night wanting to escape if only momentarily from the chaos and pressures of life. This song is a light yet long enough for the listener to catch on and connect to the track, but then ends almost suddenly leaving the listener awaken from a zoned out dream-like trance and having lost track of time. Similar to how Drake uses short Interludes in his projects.
Hakeem Elijuwon makes it clear that he has a lot of pull in the local rap scene, getting features from some big time names in the Tulsa rap, all-in-all there are 14 features credited on this project. One notable and equally young and up-and-coming artist making his mark on the project is St. Domonick (who is featured twice on the album) on "Rockin' Pennys", an ode to the Penny Hardaway shoes and the young baller life style that comes with owning a pair. St, Dominick raps "T-U-L-S-A we at your face like some binoculars, i'm plottin on the gwuap while gettin topped up in the Optima.......", which then he begins to unleash a lyrical dash similar to a sprinter building up to his top speed before hitting the finish line and resting on the chorus. Another track "Dope Boyz" Hakeem elects help from rappers Dash That Hippie and David Puffin. David Puffin adds to the cool vibe of the track rapping "12 hundred see a niggaz speech. They gonna pay for these asimiles. I use to trap outta dollar tree. now I got more bands than a symphony." Also Dash That Hippie adds his own touch to the track by providing the opening verse as well as singing the chant like hook "Dope Boyz", Dope Boyz", "Dope Boyz", "Dope Boyz".
The final track "100k" is the perfect outro to a project that both musically competes for the best Tulsa project of the year, as well as helping to make Hakeem Elijuwon a name destined for the winner's circle. With the feature and local legend Young DV, this is almost reminiscent of passing the baton to the next generation of rappers and a major co-sign to Hakeem's already growing track record. The song itself has a very old school hip-hop feel combined with Hakeem's new school flow its a perfect track for Hakeem to stride to the finish line.
Just like a sprinter #MogulMinded is definitely Hakeem Elijuwon's best time so far, and it's evident that this puts Hakeem at the front of the pack. The features as well as the overall flow of the album fits perfectly into what can be expressed most simply as a complete project. #MogulMinded proves that the next generation is hungry and ready to carry the torch for Tulsa, and Hakeem is an artist with the potential to run with it further than ever before. This is definetly an instant download.
Check out Hakeem Elijuwon's project #MogulMinded here: SoundCloud - #MogulMinded