Savage: Mayhem and Miracles (Dawn Raid)

 |   |  1 min read

Savage: Because of You
Savage: Mayhem and Miracles (Dawn Raid)

Anyone looking for evidence of the seeming split personalities at work within hip hop culture -- gangbangers who love their kids etc -- need go no futher than this enjoyable if sometimes puzzling mix of strutting braggadocio, sensitivity, faith and family referencing . . . and a fair bit overt but low range sexism in the hilariously addictive Twerk ("Get your ass on the floor . . . can you bounce a little more?")

From the album's two-way title and the excellent dramatic cover art (by Elliot Francis Stewart, the inner sleeve is even more evocative) there are a few personae adopted here.

Savage offers confident assertion (the opener My Time with Shaxe and L-Dubs where "failure is not an option") and All In ("no sacrifice, no victory") where he outlines a grim autobiography he has risen above and says "I'll be damned if I let my kids see the shit that I did" and how he's "gonna raise the bar". And again on I'm a Polynesian (with Mareko and others) there are claims to gangsta culture, which seem directed at an international audience. 

Equally however he nods to faith and hard times on Because of You (with a sentimental hook and offered in tribute to family and people of South Auckland), nails in the tough message of making money while gloating over those who nod off on the job (the highly effective Get Paid featuring Monsta and Jah Free, and which is grounded in Tupac's sense of drama) and Everywhere I Go -- like Twerk -- which is aimed at booty-movin' on dancefloor.

And after more swagger, this closes with I Promise featuring the powerful voice of Ria as a Seventies-sounding soul diva while Savage tells his partner/friends that no matter what, he's gonna be there.

After the massive success of Swing, there was doubtless some internal pressure on Savage to deliver something as big (which is where the memorable Twerk comes in perhaps?) but also to stay true to the audience and place which gave him his foothold.

If some of this comes up a little short (the lesser moments like Block Exchange, Everywhere I Go and especially Come Out which tells us nothing that he hasn't said elsewhere), then he can at least say Mayhem and Miracles keeps his end of the bargain.

Savage answers the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire here.

Like the sound of this? Then check out this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Jesse Harris: Watching the Sky (Inertia)

Jesse Harris: Watching the Sky (Inertia)

The news that Norah Jones has co-written a song with with Ryan Adams for her forthcoming album The Fall (due in November) is interesting: will he move in her direction or she to him? And which her,... > Read more

James Reid: Saint (Broken Records)

James Reid: Saint (Broken Records)

It's a measure of the enmity some have towards the Feelers that when it was announced their singer-songwriter James Reid (no relation) had this solo album coming out that some took to Facebook to... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . ROSEMARY BROWN: Music from the great beyond

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . ROSEMARY BROWN: Music from the great beyond

When the English composer and pianist Rosemary Brown died in 2001 at age 85 she took with her an intimate knowledge of the works by some of the greatest classical composers. This is not... > Read more

The Garifuna Women's Project: Umalali (Elite)

The Garifuna Women's Project: Umalali (Elite)

The sudden death in January of singer-songwriter Andy Palacio from Belize robbed the Garifuna movement of an important figurehead. His album Watina took the distinctive music of the coastal... > Read more