Souleye – Follow Your Heart
It might be natural for some assume that Souleye, after eight studio albums and a handful of singles over the last fourteen years, might be settling into a comfortable rut and ready to simply consolidate all of the fine work he has committed to recording. This is not the case. Instead, Souleye’s newest single “Follow Your Heart” finds him continuing to push the envelope and exhibiting the same resolute commitment to delivering a vital and positive message with this release that has characterized his writing and musical output since the beginning. He isn’t backing off. This is a song that sounds like an artist who is just getting started, but one additional thing remains abundantly clear – Souleye understands that if we want to change the world around us, we must first learn how to challenge and change ourselves. “Follow Your Heart” does this in spectacular fashion and never takes any shortcuts getting the listeners there.
It opens up with a powerful synthesizer vamp that seems to fill the room before seamlessly transitioning into the main body of the song. The rhythm and tempo engage listeners immediately without ever overwhelming them and Souleye’s entrance into the song wraps perfectly around the beat. He’s a hip hop vocalist who effortlessly follows the song and locks into the groove without ever missing a step. He never comes off too strident or overly confident; instead, he asserts his authority as a performer through the strength of his lyrical content and it is powerful enough to capture and hold the attention of even the most jaded listeners.
He centers the vast majority of his songwriting around positive themes, particularly those that aim at exploring issues of self-realization and how to encourage that in the surrounding world. Souleye, likewise, is quite capable of spinning out content that never seems to be an uneasy fit for the music or else strikes the listener as overly optimistic. Instead, Souleye’s songwriting always acknowledges the work each of us has to do to maintain hope and positivity in a world that too often looks to flatten it beneath its wheels. His voice is wise, fluent, and the articulate phrasing that he brings in full force to the lyric leaves no word garbled or half-understood. He is an artist clearly passionate about communicating with each listener on their level.
Souleye’s discography is one of the most impressive resumes in modern hip hop and, when the histories of the genre are written, he deserves a place among the iconoclasts and renegades who have elevated the form. He is a brave, uncompromising performer who wants to share his experiences with others in the hopes that they derive something positive from their time with him – comfort, a sense of the possible, or simply just a good time. This is an artist capable of bringing all of those things to his target audience and “Follow Your Heart” continues in that tradition without missing a single beat.