L-Fresh The Lion – One

 

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By Andrew

Its not often a debut album catches so much attention worldwide and even less often when its an independent artist such as L-Fresh The Lion and his inaugural record ‘One’. Coming from pretty much nothing to a worldwide playlisting in just a few short months is a testament to the strength and diversity of the album. Australian hip-hop is at its best in this record and highlights what I’ve always said about the genre; its at its best when its both political and socially conscious. But politics alone is not enough for an album to shine internationally, so what is it about ‘One’ which makes the grade?

L-Fresh represents the new wave of artists in Australian coming from backgrounds more solid and diverse than the previous white-bred middle/lower class ones. Being of Sikh religion and living in Australia brings with it struggles only understood by those subjected to the racism, skewed ideologies and misconceptions held about those of different origins than the First Fleet boatpeople. But instead of being angry and misguided, L-Fresh leads by example raising the consciousness of peace, love and unity not just in the scene but in all of us as people of one country. This mantra, ‘Powerful to the Peaceful’, pervades the movement all culminating in his musical pursuits; and I think the industry is better for it. This attitude attracted the attention of one of the world’s most famous agitators in hip-hop and the potential grandfather of the socially conscious hip hop movement; KRS-One. The intro to the album is delivered by the man going so far as to say the world needs more MC’s like L-Fresh. This pretty much sums up the album from start to end. ‘One’ really is the secret hip-hop album of the year so far and I would like to cast my vote now; that’s how much I think this album will resonate. And the industry is listening.

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The album’s lead single, also titled One, received solid rotation on triple j and was one of the most added songs to radio nationally. Second single, Faithful is set to appear on tv in the US on MTV World. It also received play on triple j and on community radio nationally. And third single, Survive, was recently added to rotation on triple j. All of the singles have been played internationally in the US, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia. These are not small feats for someone really just starting out in the industry. But sure, commercial success isn’t a measure of a good album, right? But ‘One’ is a triumph for fighters of both sides. Its excellently produced, exquisitely written and powerfully delivered. From the outset, ‘one’ is as much answer as a question. What do we do to settle the pundits? How do we lead by example? What do we need to find to create a sense oneness? Can one album show any sort of wisdom with so little time?

‘One’ is as much a debut as it is a culmination of many years of struggle. The Power To the Peaceful movement is epitomised by the intelligence and forethought one man has to redefine his own culture and community to accept what they cannot change as well as challenge what they can. L-Fresh is uniting communities across southwestern Sydney so frequently divided by the dog eat dog attitude created in a country so critically divided on lines of race, religion and difference. But what makes L-Fresh more than that image as an artist is the experience that only comes from struggle. There’s such melancholy and sadness in each song but with this overriding sense of uplifting hope. Its such as hard thing to describe even after listening to this album many times. Check the video below. So much in such a short time.

But I would expect this from one or two tracks on an album but with ‘One’, its an overarching theme for every song. Bringing in other artists such as Mirrah, Kimberley Aviso and MK-1 are strong choices for a debut artist to make but shows his support of the underground of which he has yet to really raise himself from; nor does he seem to want to. In terms of delivery, its hard not to compare him to several other higher profile artists such as Ozi-Batla and Jeremedy but with a flavour all his own. Almost familiar and simultaneously exotic at the same time which is a very hard thing to achieve. With beats so solid that threaten to crack the walls and dislodge light fittings alongside such sweet sample play; every track on ‘One’ resonates.

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‘One’ is both powerful and intelligent. Delivered so effortlessly it hurts to be anything less than awed. I’m proud our country creates such artists. I’m proud the hip-hop industry in Australia accepts and supports this type of artist. After all, albums like ‘One’ raise a mirror to us all and show us not only who we are, but what we can be if we just try.

***ONE WITH HEART***

9.5/10 Hip-hop Headwraps {Abrasive Andy}

 

L-Fresh The Lion’s Bandcamp Page

1 thought on “L-Fresh The Lion – One

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