“I ride the beat, this is iron over the devil’s feet, I’m a lion with a pride of rhymers ready to conquer streets.”
If Newtons Third Law of Motion dictates that ‘for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction’; then for every new hoodwinked ‘rap star’ that is indoctrinated into the collective consciousness of the population; there will always be a righteous man like London’s Silas Zephania to counteract that negativity. On his latest EP the deep MC has crafted five tracks specifically designed to open minds and edutain heads; providing lightning-quick wordplay that glimmers like a blade capable of slashing fake rappers in an instant, and that shines with a light brighter than the comforting glow of a near death experience. His words take influence from the politically aware MC’s that have dropped knowledge before him; and the leaders and activists that have influenced his thinking. His own search for wisdom and truth contribute heavily towards Temple Of Peace being a balanced, mature listen from a proponent of true Hip Hop culture that will leave you scrambling for a pen, book, or documentary.
Opener Rhyme Lion Assassin is as strong in it’s intent as the name would suggest. The hook is well written, and as catchy as it needs to be, early on demonstrating his ability to form concise sentences replete with meaning. Zephania cuts straight to the crux of his message; ‘Listen to the symphony, Zephania’s epiphany, Nubians on elephant-back invade the lands of Sicily, as Hannibal a black general, see my modern day swagger, more than a rap, I put Africa on a pedestal’. Then proceeds to define himself and his purpose within the culture using biblical phrase; “Part human being, part Elohim; Silas, I embark on the task to advance the true art of emceeing, I inhabit the many spirits of my ancestors, these lines are magnets, tablets of rap lectures.’ Hearing this much insight and depth of knowledge from a man of his age with such vision and historical overstanding is a blessing.
Troy K’s production reaches new peaks with his jazzy loops that play against each other, jostling for position as they back the words Silas scribes to comprise Beyond The Horizon. The beat allows for another solid chorus, and as with the first track, this ferocious MC barely breathes between his lines, coming coiled tight like a boa and containing jewels in every line. ‘ Portraits in palaces, divine establishments, golden rolls clothed in roman robes, galactic inhabitants, the earthly body offered me pleasure and pain, my spiritual’s an indivisible visual to your brain.’ He flows natural like water, but like water; sometimes his momentum carries him too quickly, and his words crash into the memory banks, forcing his flow to recover and regain direction. For lyrics this well written, with this much to say, it would serve Silas well if he adapted his flow to be slightly slower in places, so that the listener doesn’t miss his rich content.
Lady is a beautifully respectful tribute to womanhood, as the production responsibilities switch hands to allow Germany’s Politiks to take the reigns on this soulful, polished track. The melody the producer uses to make up the main refrain is pure gold, and once again the lyricism on display is exemplary; ‘A daughter is the earth, joy from birth, you have to realise, girl to womanhood you are the source of the human tribe.’ These kind of songs are what we need within our communities more than ever at this time, when women are being assaulted daily by unrealistic standards of what is perceived as beauty; losing self confidence and gaining insecurity as a result. The chorus lines encapsulate the eloquent message totally; ‘Every word is a love song, to every single female you are love strong, you are the star from another planet, the reason a man will place the object of his heart on.’ It wouldn’t surprise me at all if in a few years this guy pen’s his own ‘Brown Skin Lady’ or ‘The Light’ and makes an anthem dedicated to the fairer sex.
The EP steps up it’s levels once more as Troy K retakes the boards and Silas switches up his flow without losing any of his righteous fire on the serene inflections of Word Seeds. The song is the shortest the pair have created, but is one of the most enjoyable, the straight-ahead nature of the beats and rhymes find you reaching for that skip track button as soon as the track is over, rushing to take in those relaxing tones once again. Conceptually Zephania keeps it conscious and lyrically hittin, touching on past revolutionary figures that fought for equality and justice, and writing one of the best choruses on the EP.
Closing track Hip Hop Poeticism is a precise parting shot that leaves you waiting with anticipation for the next EP to drop. Troy K gets smooth and funky with some nice soul samples that end things on a nice positive vibe; and once again Silas Zephania fires line after impressive line, paraphrasing Nas, speaking on the Hip Hop scene and bringing more rhymes per line than DOOM drops rhymes like dimes. Temple Of Peace does suffer slightly from the vocals sitting slightly high in the mix, but that doesn’t detract from it’s overall enjoyability; and as far as independent EP’s from unsigned artists go, you won’t find strikingly insightful lyricism like this in many other places. The fact that this young MC is putting out releases of this calibre for free shows confidence in his abilities, and with songs like these he has every reason to feel certain about his success. His content is lightyears ahead of many of his contemporaries, and as long as he continues to hone his craft, expand his own knowledge, and relay that insight onto us; then no doubt Silas Zephania will be a name you’ll be hearing many more good things about over the coming years. Much respect to the man for representing real Hip Hop with a passion.
Get the EP for free over at his bandcamp now.