Album in Focus: Broken Keyz By BlvckSmyth

BlvckSmyth's latest project Broken Keyz comes as one markedly different from his previous work 3-peat. Whereas 3-peat was more celebratory in nature, Broken Keyz is strongly introspective, socially conscious and offers a lot in the way of social commentary. It's also a longer project as it contains 6 tracks and through all 6, BlvckSmyth is giving us his reflections on one subject or the other. Added to the music is the narration of stories from in and around BlvckSmyth's life.

Broken Keyz is still an offering of rich lyricism, the melodies are not perfected but something is appealing about its slightly raw nature. The project has no features and it is executive produced by Vacy & BlvckSmyth himself. It's quite a great pairing in how the music turns out.

The project opens up with The Little Things, MJ Wemoto takes the role of narrator as he talks about how he left Zimbabwe in 2005 and thought that a few years later he would be back. The song talks about the struggle of being a Zimbabwean moving abroad and social ills like corruption among other things stagnating Zimbabwe's growth. BlvckSmyth drops lines like, "Shit just wouldn't balance I was weighing on my options, looking for a life Zimbabwe couldn't offer unless you take from the coffers..." The lyricism is relatable on a wide level and he's not only speaking for himself but a million others with the same experience.

Jonah's Grace is the story of the Zimbabwean experience from home. It's an asking of grace as it talks about how hard things are at home. The lyrics talk about how the situation shapes relations with loved ones, from constantly asking for help from those abroad to having complications in romantic relationships because of finances. BlvckSmyth has a way of making the simplest of lines sound deep with meaning.

No Hook Please features more social commentary from the artist and it's always an understandable perspective. Tell Me That is a profoundly reflective love song. There's a particular melancholy to it but it's still beautiful. 

I often utter your name on my knees with eyes closed
Asking God to fulfill all your dreams and life goals
Few and far between to me beautiful queens and kind souls
Grateful to you for being patient with me and my faults
I hope I get to travel places with you, I hope you win all the battles you choose 

Tanaka's interlude is a deeply personal track from BlvckSmyth. He's reflecting on pain and loss, centered around his friend Tanaka but he also reflects on the loss of his aunt to cancer. The track also talks about mental health and it is extremely emotional. Grave Full of Dreams wraps up the project and it's the perfect ending in its articulate nature. The track's tempo is easy nature and BlvckSmyth is not only storytelling but reflecting on emotions.

Broken Keyz is a greatly balanced EP, in not only its lyricism but conical nature. The production by Vacy is so good and the pair give us great music to listen to.

Greedysouth rating: 6.7/10

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