The first time we met Philly rapper Sudan, here at The Key, was back in 2013 when he released his first track “Away”, produced by New York’s Chuma Osse. At the age of 18 years old, he was following in the footsteps of his mother Ursula Rucker, a poet and activist as well as a longtime collaborator of The Roots, King Britt and more.
After a few scattered single releases, the Philly MC is back five years later with his debut album titled Pay Me In Love. The whole album is filled with mesmerizing melodies that grab your attention, making you more aware of the words relaying from Sudan’s mouth. The opening track, “Pay Me In Love” felt like a love letter to a specific person, like someone special in the Philly artist’s life. What really got me hooked was the sweet sounds of the acoustic guitar strumming to beat of Sudan’s highly personal and sensual lyrics.
There are songs that are strictly spoken word such as “King Britt Interlude,” produced with one of his oldest friends and mentows, which touches more broadly on the subject of love: “Love is the feeling of the wonderful world / the feeling of divine happiness / with the thought of them / the feel of being connected.” Later on, “Lullaby” sends you into a delicate trance and conveys a feeling of weightlessness, as though the listener is floating on a cloud. Sudan concludes the album with “Outro” which includes a 30-second spoken word segment from his mother Ursula Rucker.
Overall, Pay Me In Love focuses on underlying themes of love, family, and life experiences, and sets it to cool, contemporary production that hooks you in from the get-go. Listen to the MC’s exploration of devotion below.
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