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

Roger Waters: Is This Really the Life We Want? (Sony)

Roger Waters: Is This Really the Life We Want? (Sony)

Elsewhere is of the unwavering opinion that most of Roger Waters' recorded output and ideas – most notably Pink Floyd's The Wall, a demandingly bleak and pretentious concept album –... > Read more

Elton John: The Captain and the Kid (Mercury)

Elton John: The Captain and the Kid (Mercury)

By an odd coincidence I recently bought a battered vinyl copy of Elton John’s autobiographical 75 album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy. For some reason it had gone right past me... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST MUSICIAN PHIL WALSH writes about making the music of the movie in his head

GUEST MUSICIAN PHIL WALSH writes about making the music of the movie in his head

In the Eighties and Nineties there were two main camps of musicians in the Waikato. The “Originals” who wanted to only play their own material and who were happy to finance that... > Read more

HOW BIZARRE by SIMON GRIGG (Awa Press)

HOW BIZARRE by SIMON GRIGG (Awa Press)

The first time I heard OMC's massive hit How Bizarre outside of New Zealand was in Tokyo, the second time I caught the clip on MTV Europe while I was in an Amsterdam hotel gearing up to go and... > Read more