Invent the Future
New Orleans Hip Hop mainstay Truth Universal comes back with his newest record, Invent the Future, released on October 8. A thirteen track foray into positive mind states, Truth doesn’t deviate at all from his ongoing mission to inspire social change; both in his hometown of New Orleans and beyond. Track 1 opens up with an intro which includes snippets from an NPR interview and sets the pace for his eponymous song featuring New Orleans R&B artist Suave and singer Evelyn Champagne. The track is a bit haunting, but more like a mantra that sets the mood for the scope of the album. I especially like the quality of sound and am pleased to hear Truth still at it. “Motivated” is a refreshing romp which shows Truth isn’t losing much of his fire after over ten years in the underground. He is well aware of his situation and, with the help of Sybil Shanell, embraces it. “Praise the Lord” features fellow rapper Lyrikill and North Carolina producer extraordinaire Khrysis, whose style is heavy on the beat, but is enjoyable with crisp scratch work. “Letter to the Youth” is Truth’s message as a sage to the younger generations and serves a plea to stop the violence that plagues our city. The track, “Path of Least Resistance,” is by far one of my favorites on the disc with the tagline, “Take picture, Brother… ‘cuz we the revolutionaries…” Track 11, “Mics, Checks, and Balances,” which also features Evelyn Champagne, is a smooth joint on which Truth uses new rhymes and lyric schemes that may have people wondering if it’s still him as the song progresses. Whether or not it works should be left up to you. “Domestic Disturbance” serves as a cautionary tale and a domestic violence narrative. It takes the point of view of multiple family members fleshing out the situation masterfully. The final track, “Food Fight,” challenges the very real problem in New Orleans and around the world of food scarcity. With so many issues tackled on a twelve track release, one may think to wonder if a few songs didn’t make it on to Invent the Future. But as it stands, the disc serves as yet another jewel in the crown of the Progressive Underground King of the Crescent City. Some people may battle with the politics and viewpoints, but as his namesake reveals through ten years of practice, Truth Universal is only calling it as he sees it.