By Ahriel Nari
There have been a lot of music releases this summer. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the constant influx of new albums. One release that has stood out to me is Seeds of Matthew, an EP by Tha Massaquoi. Hailing from the DMV, Tha Massaquoi is made up of brothers Matthew and Abrahim Massaquoi. Their music can be described as a mesmerizing blend of hip-hop, punk rock, R&B, and pop. Their unique sound is a refreshing addition to the current landscape of music. Tha Massaquoi doesn’t exist in a vacuum. They are a part of the collective The Lyons Den, which is a group of artists, producers, and promoters in the DMV who are pushing the culture forward.
Seeds of Matthew is loosely based on Matt and Abe’s father, who is pictured on the cover of the EP along with their mom. Their father also provides narration on the album which creates a grounding force for the project. What I love about the project is that it flows sequentially. Each track builds upon each other, one song referencing the next and/or previous song. For example, midway through “ARE YOU OKAY!!!!”, their father can be heard talking about the wrestling that their watching on TV – asking if they’re still watching wrestling at their big age. Then the next track is entitled “Undertaka” in reference to the legendary wrestler The Undertaker. This song is especially clever because the hook is, “Why it always feel I’m in a chokeslam?” which is again, a reference to the infamous maneuver in wrestling. Their commitment to the theme is unmovable.
While the whole EP is stellar, a few tracks are particularly near and dear to me. My absolute favorite song from Seeds of Matthew is “ARE YOU OKAY!!!!”. It’s a very in-your-face song. It bursts into your orbit with its synchronous drum and guitar hits. This track flexes Tha Massaquoi’s ability to effortlessly float into punk rock. The other group of songs I’d like to highlight are “Platonic”, “Limbo”, and “F.M.P”. These three songs are a package deal. This is another case in which, as I mentioned earlier, each track builds upon each other. This trilogy tells a love story. “Platonic” is about having secret feelings for a friend and debating about whether or not to take the friendship to the next level. The next song “Limbo” discusses the internal struggle of being in the in between stage of not being just friends but not truly being together and eventually terminating the situationship. Lastly, in “F.M.P” we hear Tha Massaquoi lamenting the loss of love but being too prideful to admit that they miss them. The sequencing and storytelling of these three songs is immaculate – an excellent way to round out the EP.
Seeds of Matthew closes out with “On Movas (Outro)”. Tha Massaquoi has teased on social media that their next project will be entitled “Regina’s Kids”. Could this outro be an allusion to their next album? Possibly, or maybe I’m reaching. Regardless, Seeds of Matthew was a very enjoyable project to listen to. It’s astounding that this was Tha Massaquoi’s debut EP because it feels like they’ve been creating projects for years. I can’t wait to see what new music they put out in the future.