New Jersey rapper, Iamaura was interviewed by writer, Paul Barnes back in September 2018 and they discussed his goal of tapping into who he is as an artist. At the time, I.AM.AURA Vol. I was released and Vol. II was in the works. The album was officially released on November 29, 2018 and this blog post comes four months later. It’s never too late to embrace music.
In the interview with Paul, Iamaura states:
“I’m telling a lot of truth in the album, I’m expressing my connections to the spiritual side as well as exposing the physical downfalls that I have. Vol 2. is gonna double the realness, the depth of life and what I’ve been thinking. Truly expressing “my aura” or identity in a sense. My mission with my music is to let the people know me and help others grow through learning my mind. Let them take from me what they want and use it for whatever purpose.”
I.AM.AURA Vol. II consists of 19 tracks and while listening, I’ll be focusing on the following: lyricism, rhythm, content and enjoyability.
The first six tracks set the tone for the project. I’m introduced to his nostalgic 90s Hip-Hop style and I can sense the emotion, grit and art in his lyrics. Of the six tracks, Another Chapter stood out due to the smooth production and rhythm. Daniel Caeser’s Get You was sampled well here. In terms of content, pain and love are common themes. Track six, Love & Commitment is upbeat and shies away from the 90s style instrumentals in tracks one through five. It’s pivotal in the sense of the overall sound and feel. The familiar 808’s and hi-hats reflect a southern style that continues throughout the middle of the album. Tracks like, Where Is Your Heart and Where To Go add to the enjoyability factor. The end of the album shifts into an aggressive mood where he faces adversity, hence tracks like Switch Sides and Heart Full Of Hate. People who were once close to him have shown their true colors, which results in him questioning and analyzing himself and others. Brandy’s Outro is a great way to end the album. The angelic vocals and calming instrumental are an exit from Iamaura’s frustrations, letting it be known that there is a way forward in this life which includes growth, acceptance, peace and serenity.
There’s no doubt that Iamaura is comfortable with expressing himself through his lyrics. He does a great job of representing himself in each track, which goes back to the emotion and grit that I spoke of previously. The content of the album fit what he intended:
“I’m expressing my connections to the spiritual side as well as exposing the physical downfalls that I have.”
Each track is different and he experiments with his flow. I felt a disconnect at times with his rhythm and delivery due to some tracks sounding “wordy”. However, there are a few that I felt he executed. My favorites: Another Chapter, Love And Commitment, Where Is Your Heart and Where To Go. In terms of enjoyability, the album isn’t a quick listen, especially if you want to get the full scope of what he dishes out. It’s on the longer end, very lyrical with a few upbeat tracks. I think it would have been interesting had he divided the album into three parts to follow the different moods. I appreciate Iamaura’s openness and poetic capabilities. He has a positive energy about him that goes unnoticed.