Friday, February 23, 2018

Music Review:
Linqua Franqa
"Model Minority"

Back in the 1990's when I was growing up I listened to a lot of hip-hop on cassette.   When I look back though, I notice there is a lot of women missing from the genre and in a lot of ways there still is.   Maybe the only mainstream woman in hip-hop worth noting is Nicki Minaj.   So what happens when Linqua Franqa comes out with music that not only easily distinguishes her from her peers by being the voice of the seemingly unheard but also because the music is like some of my favorite artists out there?  You're in for a real treat if you don't know about this one yet.

As much as you're going to get those stereotypical comparisons to other women in hip-hop: and I mean old school like Queen Latifah and Salt N Pepa (I literally love the episode of "Fresh Prince" with Queen Latifah on it) and they may seem valid, this has a lot other aspects to it as well, musically.   Right away I hear elements of Das Efx, Tribe and even Us3.  It's that hip-hop with soul, that bit of R&B/jazz fused into it.    It's not something you hear a lot of these days, unfortunately, and I really wish more rappers would go this route than whatever 99.9% of the radio is doing right now. 

Lyrically, I am impressed with the songs on "Model Minority" because they have a quality to them that not many other artists want to speak about.   They can talk about drugs in an illegal state but they also talk about drugs in a medicated way.   Much of the words can be fueled by mental health, such as lyrics about carving into her own wrist, thoughts of suicide, etc.   I think it's important to talk about these things because putting it out there just shows other people they're not alone and it sounds cheesy but we're all stronger together.

So you want to know what "Model Minority" means?  Is it because Linqua Franqa is a woman in a world dominated by mostly men?  Probably not because that seems to be an issue no matter what career path a woman chooses to take.  Is it because of her race?  Nah.  Is it because her music tends to be different from the stuff made by Drake and those who copy him?  I think that's part of it.   I think on the surface someone might think of Linqua Franqa as a minority because of her race or gender but really it's more about the style of music she flawlessly executes coupled with subject matter almost no one else wants to talk about these days.

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