The trilogy is complete. CunninLynguists put out the final part of their Rose Azura Njano series. Like many, I thought after The Rose EP and The Azura EP we would hear a Njano EP, but it turns out Deacon the Villain, Kno, and Natti surprised us by releasing their first full album in six years.
The album includes the three tracks from both of the EPs plus six completely new songs for a total of twelve tracks, all of which were produced by Kno and Deacon. Kno has stated that the album is about the title character’s journey to discover herself. The character Rose Azura Njano (representing the three primary colors) has chromesthesia and through her ability to hear colors we learn about the history of black music in the USA, such as Jimi Hendrix and Muddy Waters. This celebration of black music is combined with social and political justice issues that are discussed in the lyrics. Given the Trump presidency and the current political climate in the US, the Kentucky trio really needed to be very outspoken on this record.
The cover art is done by Geneva B again who already illustrated the two EPs in red and blue respectively. This time we see the title character, Rose Azura Njano, with a yellow bird, a yellow flower, and some bees and honeycomb.
The lavish production and emotional lyrics are part of why this Southern group is one of my favorite Hip Hop groups.
The album is utterly wonderful. My only “issue” with it is that The Rose EP was the strongest release I’ve heard this year, and the album didn’t offer anything that exceeded the quality of The Rose EP. My personal favorite remains “Red Bird” – an amazing production by Kno with distressingly beautiful lyrics (“Sometimes not even a bird’s eye can see the devil’s details”).
1. Red, White & Blues
3. Red Bird
4. Violet (The Upper Room)
5. Gone [featuring Trizz]
6. Any Way the Wind Blows
7. Mr. Morganfield & Ms. Waters
8. Jimi & Andre
10. Oh Honey [featuring Farah Elle]
11. No Universe Without Harmony
12. Earth To Venus (Tiny Orange Star)
Have you listened to Rose Azura Njano yet? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments.