By Isaiah Gatlin
Cullah is a genre-bending master. Bouncing from folk, rap, and western; the visionary within Cullah is not bound by the typical frame of an independent artist. In fact, ½ (Half), Cullah’s newest album released on April 27, 2021, makes this his 15th album over 15 years to be released royalty-free. Cullah prioritizes his music’s accessibility rather than profit. His music is created from a place of genuine passion, and that sincerity is present throughout his newest addition.
Cullah’s spoken word in the opener of “Two Halves Behold” prepares the listener for the dynamic venture they are in store for. Beginning with a typical jazz melody that transforms into an electronic dance beat is a mere example of Cullah’s greatness. He constantly leaves listeners in anticipation of what direction the next track will follow.
This trend follows consistently throughout the album. Cullah created an entire experience when listeners hear ½ (Half) from beginning to end. However, there are definite stand out tracks on the album.
“Magical Animal” is an especially diverse track as Cullah mixes an EDM beat with a futuristic, almost hyper pop territory. This in addition to the spoken ad libs creates a free reign for Cullah to express his emotions and create a cathartic outlet for both his personal experiences and reflection of his past. This same cathartic escape through music is repeated throughout the entire album, especially with “Una Sanctam.”
“Una Sanctam” is a track that lingers hauntingly after listening to it for the first time. Cullah’s anger is directed at the public judicial system and more so his position as respecting black people’s rights as human rights in America. All of these ideals are magnified by real audio snippets from previous Black Lives Matters protests Cullah attended himself.
Then just as quickly, Cullah can switch to synth-pop-punk on the next track “Let’s Do It.” In this track, Cullah discusses his thoughts on the philosophical and economic principles in America. It’s a satirical piece. However, the satire is blatant and riveting. For instance when Cullah claims “yelling at each other in fear, praise to the money from war for peace; we don’t even need chains to have slave.”
Cullah’s overall appeal as a songwriter and musician is his ability to be completely vulnerable with his lyrics. He does this while refusing to submit to any box that the entertainment industry attempts to put him in. He instills quite the opposite, his unfiltered mouth allows listeners to connect with him and his music on a much deeper level.
Though I appreciate the album overall, the stand out tracks for me would have to be “Una Sanctam,” “Magical Animal,” “Let’s Do It.” Producing music himself at the age of 15, left much room for improvement. Luckily, Cullah has perfected his art. Whatever Cullah decides to release next will surely be just as meticulous or even better.
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