Today's review see's us take a look at the new Spillage Village album 'Spilligion'. Spillage Village is a musical collective made up of different rappers and R&B artists such as: JID, 6LACK, Hollywood JB, EARTHGANG, Mereba, Benji and Jurdan Brynat. A lot of these artists I'm familiar with and enjoy quite a lot (especially the Dreamville artists) - so this album had some high expectations it needed to reach especially with some solid singles released beforehand.
The production on this album is strong - if not always the most interesting the quality of it is still high. It's very groovy with heavenly instrumentals, guitar bass', atmospheric synth lines and slow paced drums, giving us a lot of relaxed and chilled out beats, such as on 'PsalmSing' which has these heavenly guitar strings and is about getting high with this girl - which may also be a metaphor for getting as high as God and becoming one of his followers due to the religious theme of the album. Merebra and the choir combine vocals and clash well over the whole naked feel of the beat as the track creates such an amazing and enjoyable vibe. The final track 'Jupiter' has this camp fire guitar, deep guitar bass and kind of maraca's or shakers as well and comes together well with everybody but 6LACK's vocals as they sing about the end being here and them not fearing their fate. It's a nice outro, you can just picture the credits of the album rolling down a screen while you listen to this.
There's a lot of religious imagery throughout this album, such as on the track 'Mecca' which is about spreading love throughout the world over this groovy bass and jazz influenced, heavenly beat. JID has nice storytelling with a bar or two while Johnny Venus has a solid verse and Doctur Dot's verse is full of wordplay, punchlines and witty one liners. That hook and pre-hook with the choir effect sounds so good and the song is again such a groovy vibe - it makes it better that the verses are great with unique and fun flows and confident deliveries from them all. The performances on here are great - the rappers always have slick verses with great punchlines or wordplay, such as on 'End of Daze' when Doctur Dot provides some great bars, wordplay and a decent verse despite not having an overly interesting flow, "I end the weak like domingo and sábado". JID has a good verse and some thoughtful lines, Merebra has great lines and a decent verse as Jurdan Bryant provides poetic lines and bars, Johnny Venus had a golden vocal performance which worked well as an outro while Hollywood JB provided some cool pop culture references but didn't stand out too much. The track talks on the end of the world and the rappers talk on how they’ll live their final moments over these heavy crashing drums and groovy bass on this OutKast-esque beat. It has a nice hook, decent instrumental break and it’s a good song but not one of the highlights on the tracklist. The R&B artists are also smooth throughout with great vocals and effortless cadences. 'Cupid' has some witty punchlines, solid bars and great vocals from Johnny Venus, "In that pussy, throwin' a tantrum", as Lucky Daye also features here giving us a great jazz-inspired hook. 6LACK had a very standard, generic love song with generic lines, "Swing it my way and I'ma take you to the moon // Girl, your eyes made of galaxies", but his soft vocals are good over this great synth line with twinkling piano's clashing with it as the track talks about the girls they love. It's a good love song but nothing more than that.
The features are carefully selected and help reflect the mood of the track they're on, such as Ant Clemons on 'Baptize' where he provides this incredible sounding outro as his vocals as they always are, are amazing over this booming beat with evil vocal samples and a menacing bass as they talk on the problem of evil - there's loads of evil in the world (black injustice is a key theme) so who's side is God really on? JID has a great verse with many religious references and metaphors, "Sacrificial Lamborghini, do the dash up on the road // Throw a stone like David, I got that Tom Brady arm // And a navy gun, case the joint // Case and point the pistol at yo' neighbour", while Johnny Venus has a powerful verse and Doctur Dot a great verse with great bars, "Everybody know Jesus hang with the hoes, killers, and the criminals // Gon 'head tilt your head back, hold your breath for the ritual". JID & Johnny Venus of EARTHGANG glide the beat so effortlessly, the beat is incredible and the outro transports you to another dimension - it's a great intro. The hooks are nice or verses when asked - and they all demonstrate chemistry with the Spillage Village members as well. Chance the Rapper hops on 'Judas' and gives us a solid verse with great punchlines, "I said I might be lightskin, bitch, but I'm matte black", but it doesn't include his strongest or most potent delivery. The track doesn't really have a theme but talks on black injustice over these unorthodox fast tempo'd claps and guitar strings that were alright. Buddy and Masego are features too and provide a really enjoyable, smooth hook while Ari Lennox has nice backing vocals and JID is decent as he talks on relationship problems and being too busy to deal with it because of his career. It's a decent song, no one was bad – but no one was at their best either like it was JID’s least appealing verse of the project and Chance has had better features lately – the hook and beat were nice and overall decent but I just expected more. Big Robe gives a nice spoken outro that's pretty moving and thoughtful on 'Hapi' as the track focuses on envisioning a better world with more peace and love over this heavenly atmosphere and guitar bass. Merebra's verse wasn't too interesting and was slow moving, Doctur Dot's verse had a few decent lines and a nice flow, Johnny Venus' verse had great vocals and was pretty powerful and Benji gives us a victorious final verse. The hook and post-chorus are amazing and so powerful but this track has inconsistent verses with some not up to scratch and others evidently better than the others - it's still a decent song but had potential to be so much more.
The subject matter see's a lot of religious themes - which you can even see from some of the titles such as: 'Baptize', 'Oshun' and 'PsalmSing', one also being 'Ea'alah (Family)' which is about who and what they're praying for over another relaxed, heavenly beat with slowed drums, clicks and an acoustic guitar. JID talks on a shooting at a local BBQ with decent storytelling and witty punchlines, Johnny Venus has a great verse making Covid-19 out to be an apocalyptic type situation as he acknowledges the mistakes he's done while alive while Hollywood JB states he'll ride for his girl and even go prison for her with a vivid verse with slick lyricism, bars and a nice flow. JID's melodic delivery sounds great, everyone has a solid verse and it's another atmospheric track which sounds good on the hook and creates such a vibe. A lot of content also revolves around love and relationships, such as 'Oshun' which is about an emotional attachment to a girl over these chilled guitar strings and deep drums. 6LACK has a smooth verse with nice vocals and a polished flow which is easy to just fall into while Johnny Venus has an amazing hook that's arguably my favourite of the album with crispy vocals and a catchy, perfect hook. Doctur Dot has a solid verse and Jurdan Bryant uses some nice metaphors, a great flow and great verse. The rap/R&B crossover is perfectly executed and it's possibly my favourite song here which is just so easy to get lost in its sound because it's all so heavenly and grand. 'Shiva' is an introspective track as the rappers talk on what's weighing on their minds at the minute over this chilled beat. Jurdan Bryant had a mean delivery and good flow with a few decent lines as JID had some slick bars and imagery with a great flow, "Sterilize cold water from a tap // Liquidation in my neighborhood, celebrate the current state // Of hate between the acres, separated by the paper". Johnny Venus' verse was slightly poetic, Doctur Dot's hook was great and verse decent and it's another smooth sounding song and great track. It's thematically strong and persistent with deep content.
To conclude, this album is great. It's got a very light, atmospheric project which is easy to just transcend in. The soulful hooks, jazz inspired beats and laid back rapping all come together for a great project. All the members of Spillage Village show off their strenghts when required - EARTHGANG and JID shining the most in my opinion. There's not much else to say on this album, it's just a very easy, casual listen - I do think there's a minor fall off in the second half of the album but it's still a good half to the album.
FAVOURITE TRACKS: Baptize, PsalmSing, Ea'alah (Family), Mecca, Oshun, Shiva
LEAST FAVOURITE TRACK: Judas
OVERALL RATING: Solid 8/10