The legendary Hieroglyphics sub-group Souls of Mischief recently released their sixth studio album, There Is Only Now. The concept album is a collaborative effort with acclaimed producer and multi-instrumentalist Adrian Younge. It features the Souls at their finest, showcasing a level of dedication, discipline, and skill rarely seen in hip-hop today. Following the release of their recent Noisey premiered single “Finally Back,” from which the outlet confidently claimed, “The legendary hip hop crew from East Oakland are here to fuck your shit up,” the group has constructed a harrowing narrative throughout the album, detailing a near-fatal incident involving Souls of Mischief early in their careers. “We were hanging outside of a club, at a party, and a guy walked up to us pulling a ski mask down, telling everybody to get down, and as he said that, a shot went off,” recalls Souls of Mischief rapper Tajai to The Wall Street Journal.
There Is Only Now was recorded much like a blaxploitation film and details a storyline full of love, loss, and revenge. Ali Shaheed Muhammad narrates the unfolding tale as the DJ for a fictional local Oakland radio station. Busta Rhymes makes an appearance as the story’s villain, Womack, on the track “Womack’s Lament.” William Hart from The Delfonics lends his falsetto, Snoop Dogg adds his perspective on young love on the title track, and Scarub from Living Legends plays the role of Stoney. Along with the Okayplayer debut of their lyric video for the track “Ghetto Superhero,” the jazz-tinged single “Panic Struck,” which premiered via The Wall Street Journal, and the Billboard premiere of Snoop Dogg featuring lead single/video, “There Is Only Now,” the album has everything in it needs to become a hip-hop classic.
The entire album was recorded solely on 2-inch tape together as a group in Adrian’s LA-based studio and will serve as the inaugural release for Adrian’s newly launched label, Linear Labs. Stream the entire album via Linear Labs’ YouTube here.