Rising Hollywood rapper Cornelius Wright began heating up the streets with his distinctive bars and hooks since his inception into the market in 2011. The artist has been active in the lane of Hip Hop for over ten years and has recently approached his music with a renewed, fresh verve.
Originally hailing from Chattanooga in Tennessee, Wright’s gritty and innovative signature sound has garnered him an insatiable growing fan base and the independent artist over the years has proven to be a standout of his calibre with both his talent and work ethics collectively. Now in 2022, the manifestation of Cornelius Wright’s craft comes full circle with the album release ‘Songs About Life’, comprised of 11 hypnotic tracks that diligently showcase his own unique breed of Hip Hop with several crucial musicianship factors and cohesive elements as a songwriter.
After the success of his first two singles earlier this year, Wright knew that he’d have to come out swinging with his follow-up release after already setting the bar high for himself. True to that notion, he did exactly that with ‘Songs About Life’, which is also a milestone for him considering it’s his debut studio album. There are many highlights on this record, and one of those highlights is opening track “Grand Sheme”, an excellent piano driven introduction of what’s to come that sets the tone for the rest of the album with Cornelius Wright’s roaring deep vocals and witty flow that gives him his distinctive stylization. This heavy-bass melodic piano riff is very ambient and really gives Wright room to deliver an effective and dangerously catchy chorus alongside visceral verses that parallel each other brilliantly. This track opens the record powerfully and really serves up many crucial flavor throughout the song’s duration.
Now while this album has very innovative ideas and formulas, it also touches on originality and familiarity within the underground spectrum with the track “Do What You Want”, boasting a flavorful 90s sensibility that showcased Wright on a whole different angle. And one thing he maintains in this track is his ability to be consistent while exploring other directions. His artistic merit is just as effective even when the formula changes, something not heard often in today’s market for Hip Hop. The beat on this track has an anthemic and subtle overtone that allows Wright to have plenty of breathing room to deliver his distinctive style of lyrical outbursts, giving us more of what we’ve come to know on this album while implementing new approaches as the cohesive measures play out. Though the first two tracks are engaging, the album picks up steam at track number 3, the song entitled, “35” where Cornelius opens the song with “I don’t care what you think…” and at that point in the project, he vocally settles into his sound and rides the wave of that energy through the duration of the album. “35” highlights the degrees in which he went through inner and outer turmoil, but still remained courageous, and resilient in advocating for the vision he held for his dream. He unapologetically shares his experience and owns the ebbs and flows of his life.
The track to watch and keep in heavy rotation is “Want It All”, The song is uptempo, brighter in tone than the previous and preceding songs and has a larger commercial appeal. As a notable recurring theme in Songs About Life, Cornelius expounds on the betrayal of friends as presented in track 6, “Some Friends”. However, he isn’t always the victim and he acknowledges this in “To Catch A Mockingbird”, a haunting track drenched in violins and strings. He apologizes to the object of his affections for the unrequited love and lost time he could not provide to them. He takes the time to express that he has succumbed to the pressures of time, and his aspirations over being in a committed relationship would require more energy than he was willing to invest. He reminds us that humans are selfish, and isn’t afraid to admit that he, himself, has at times, been selfish. In spite of his assertion of self, Cornelius manages to slip in a word of advice to his fans and listeners, “don’t be like me…” advising them to find a better way of being then he has on his journey and to those that were there for him when he couldn’t be there for himself.
The last notable track on this record is “It’s OK”, a hauntingly ominous song with EMO components that diligently enhance the multi-layered textures already present in the song. The guitar vibes on this track really add a multitude of flavors. Wright brings out a more low-toned vocal delivery that builds up to a climactic resolution, keeping the listener on the edge of their seat. Once again, this track is another example of the different effective angles that take place throughout the album, almost like chapters. But they are coherently structured and put together in a way similar to how puzzle pieces form the entirety of an overall picture. And that’s what we get with ‘Songs About Life, many chapters and milestones with each song being the contributing factor to a collection that forms one big picture and payoff. And once it comes together, you look at it in awe and come back to it time and time again to admire its presence and influence.
This album will easily satisfy any Hip Hop fan whether it’s old school or new school – it has a bit of everything and never leaves a stone unturned.