Es : Aspire To Inspire


This latest release from Essenchill records is exactly as uplifting as it sounds; Canadian rhymer Es seeks balance and personal growth on his second solo release, rhyming with skill on thirteen smooth blends from some seriously gifted producers. The sounds don’t stray too far from the traditional kick-snare combos throughout, but the lyricism is anything but standard as Es redefines himself on every new verse, constantly pushing for self-elevation through humble content that warrants respect.

After a spoken word intro clarifies the album’s positive intentions, Grown Man builds over a calm piano loop from ICUE. Wish Your Looking For layers Mathematik’s dope guest verse over a beautiful sample flip from Swarthy Soul, and Es continues to demonstrate his inner equilibrium on another grounded sixteen. New Day strives for success, For The Loot dismisses the paper chase backed by Wu samples, and Arkeologist’s boom-bap soul chops make The Good Fight a highlight. As the album passes it’s halfway point Euphonic kicks off the first in two solid production features, backing righteous rhymes on Keep It Moving, then getting busy with a classic sample selection on Love, as Es dedicates his prose to the joys of parenthood.

Moment Of Weakness keeps the sounds smooth as John John’s neo-soul harmonies lift 1998’s mellow instrumental; while I Kahn’s string loops reverberate over a hard break, underscoring Unispired‘s bravado-crushing lyrical assault. The title track closes the LP with another message straight from the heart, reinforcing the positivity Es has built his musical foundations on, while negating self-doubt and promoting independence. With so many artists glorifying negativity and insecurity in music today, Es’s vision is important, as he writes the kind of emotionally honest lines Common was penning on Like Water For Chocolate.

Buy it here.