Just finished my first thorough listen to the superb new album by my dear friend and Hand Solo Records labelmate Jesse Dangerously! It’s Jesse’s first full-length project since 2011’s remarkable Humble & Brilliant, and this time he’s part of a rapper/producer duo with another deeply gifted Nova Scotia motherfucker, the wonderful Ambition! They’ve called themselves The Library Steps, in tribute to their early rap stomping grounds. On first listen, this album contains at least three of Jesse’s best-ever songs – “Well Wishers” with his cousin illGil, the gorgeous and moving “Lush Karma”, and the stirring cri de coeur “GJHS (Genocide Junior High School)”, which excoriates the nightmarish historical villain Edward Cornwallis and the British colonial authorities for their campaigns of terrorism against the Mi’kmaq in K’jipuktuk. Jesse has always been a more stalwart leftist and more informed and committed intersectional feminist than I am, and here again he displays his razor-sharp anticolonial political acuity in a very intentionally discomfiting and challenging song.
And I would be remiss not to point out that I joined the Backburner boys – Jesse, Timbuktu, Chokeules, Wordburglar, More Or Les, and an on-fire Savilion, excellent as always – for a hoedown posse cut over a classic Boot Camp Clik/Mobb Deep-style downcast dark-skies beat, albeit enlivened by some beautiful saxophone playing from Emmanuel Kwame Aouad.Share