In this latest review, we take a deep dive into Huey's recent addition to his catalogue, “Summr: Grace” . The Magicman is a Pretoria-based artist who proved his pen and delivery in his previous LP “Chasing Magic” in 2020. Another elite display of the talent we have in our underground Hip Hop community here in 012. The project was within the top 20 of South African Apple Hip-Hop charts, indicative of the support we have for his sound in Pretoria and across the country.
In 2021, he had one sole guest feature before this release, with Miles on “Money Buying Money”. Once again, he comes through with some convincing cadences, floating with ease. Before that, he made an appearance on Roho’s “Levitate”. That illustrated his ability to complement the artists that he works with, whether it’s R&B (his work with plenty of vocalists shows this) or Hip Hop. And above everything, he still manages to give you a wholesome outlook plus his uplifting energy in every verse. He’s undeniably one of the best artists in South Africa.
In this new project, Huey takes a different direction from his previous album and takes us on a rollercoaster ride: showcasing the emotions that come with trying to balance romantic love, his fears, insecurities and the difficulties he faces in the entertainment industry.
In the first track, “Love 1; At First Sight”, he introduces us to how he meets “Grace” and what stands out is his polished storytelling ability. Grace is an accumulative spirit that represents all the past relationships he has been in that didn’t work out. On this song, he specifically lets us in on how he felt emotionally and what he was thinking during the whole interaction. The song ends off with him successfully getting her number and the start of their relationship.
The next track “The Dilemma” starts of with a lot of positivity, with mentions of things that he’s grateful for. He also adds some manifestations which transitions the story beautifully from the intro. His hook rhymes,
“Whole lotta smoke in my section,
Cash, money, how’s in my section,
We should make a toast in my section”
The hook is simple but it works. It shows the celebratory energy and where he is at mentally at this stage. At the same time, it's a glimpse of his rapper lifestyle is causing relationship issues. Already two songs in, the instrumental picks have been great. In fact, throughout the album, the song choices are phenomenal. Soul hitting, bridging Hip-Hop & R&B sounds. Johnny Basz and Luni prove to be a ice cold duo whenever they come together.
“Love 2: Attraction” gives us a more intimate feeling. Speaking on romantic settings and moments with his girl, he also questions the differences and similarities within love and lust. A mental health advocate, Huey rhymes,
“Focused on my life, it’s crazy, I can see the changes.
Learning to accept them helps to cope with stress.,.”
Mental health is something Huey speaks on often and something we need to do often to avoid stigma and reduce everything negative that comes with not taking caring about our emotional states.
“Say Me A Prayer” follows. It comes in with some hard hitting 808s and it's personally one of my favourite songs off this project. His ability is a flex on its own, he just glides on a beautifully produced beat by Luni and Johnny Basz.
“Top 2 flow of the new school”
He really is in his own lane as far delivery goes and anyone who appreciates quality music would agree. He gives off a sense of calmness, finesse and composure in his raps. And I know that sounds like I'm referring to a soccer player but that's the feeling he gives off. Just too smooth. In this song, he gives us insight of what he deals as South African artists and how he copes with all of these challenges.
“We are not judged off talent, tell me how that’s not madness.
Fuck it though, Huey gonn’ manage, savage.”
Huey reminds us how common it is for artists to make it off hype and not necessarily for their music or skill. I think that phase is slowly changing and more people are being aware of the talent we have. In fact, our consumers are beginning to become tapped into the high quality of music, rather than big names.
Half way into the project, the fifth song, "A Peaceful Interlude" plays. The instrumental is anything but peaceful. The song's opening is loud with almost-Chinese melodies with strong use of minor chords. Almost like a bell in a martial arts dojo, very Wu-Tang Clan-like. Luni really outdoes himself on this beat. Even RZA would be proud of this one. The production is smooth but at the same time, it's pretty deadly. The 808s and hi-hats could keep you in a trance. And Huey comes in like an assassin slicing through every pocket with finesse.
“I radiate a light from deep inside me it generates from my chi”
The lyrics complement Luni's production and style. And with martial arts in mind, Huey speaks about chi - the circulating life energy used in Chinese philosophy, thought to be inherent in all things. Great wordplay and cold flow, perfectly placed on the interlude.
“Love 3: The Disconnect” begins the downhill of the rollercoaster ride, going in depth of the ups and downs of his relationship with Grace and how it reaches its ending.
“Through the highs and the lows I found it so exciting”
“Now I gotta say goodbye ‘cause we made it to our end”
An emotion filled track, creatively showing dedication to putting everything into his music including his lows.
Transitioning in with a different perspective is “Time of My Life” which was released on the 7th July 2021 with a a flawlessly filmed music video. In this song, he shows the growth he's undergone; acknowledging how his role in the negativity caused the relationship's ending.
"The words that came from you are what my karma had to say, I caught a stray.”
“I don’t blame you, I guess it was my mistake.”
Reminiscing on the times he had with them but at the same time, welcoming change and embracing the fact that he even had a chance to love. This track was exquisitely produced by Johnny Basz .
Closing out the story is “Love 4: Acceptance” which is about him accepting the situation him and showing what he's learnt from it all, using that to fuel his ambition.
“Fell off got back up and I bossed up”
“Tripped fell in love now I move carefully”
The beat giving you the feeling of the end of a journey but start of a new and beautiful one at the same time. Luni, once again, proves his ability and range.
All of the songs titled "Love" before the titles are the different stages you go through in love. In his own words, “From its inception when you meet someone, to when it ends, and you have to come into acceptance about it.”
Mwanji the Wndrkd came through on this feature, whipping out an astounding verse that had me questioning why I don’t have all their music. If you haven’t already, please go search them on your streaming platform and give them some of your time - they’re amazing.
The last song on the project is “A Thank You Song”. A Bonus track that is a direct conversation with all the people that have supported him in his journey to this point and onwards, featuring the talented Francis Jay (who never seems to miss AT ALL). A great feature choice as when they combine, they succeeds in portraying the sincerity of the love and appreciation sent through this song.
“I don’t know you but I’m feeling all your prayers of protection”
“Give you all this music as a token of affection”
In conclusion, Summr;Grace is certainly a very brave and pristinely crafted work of art. A creative expression of emotion and still enlightening to the soul. Compared to Chasing Magic, he has definitely looked to push his boundaries and put more of himself into the music. His lyrical ability and story telling has been the highlight for me, he's raised the bar immensely.
I can’t wait to see how far his talent goes. He really illuminates the balancing he goes through as Isaac and the persona he has created as “Huey”. In his words, he's “Walking the line between reality and the delusions of grandeur created by my ego”. And I couldn’t agree more. Luni and Johnny Basz contributions throughout the project immerse you in the story, helping you feel every emotion and stimulating the setting accurately. Both are quickly becoming some of my best producers in South Africa.
Listen to the project here.
Written by: Tlhogi Molopyane (@theboyjordan)
Edited by: Dithekgo Mogadime (@DithekgoM)