Malcolm London is a quadruple threat poet/activist/educator/musician from Chicago. Many people pad their resume with titles, but very few come with an endorsement from fellow multi-slash philosopher, author, and professor Cornel West as “the Gil Scott Heron of his generation.” He also has bona fides in Chicago’s fight against gun violence and hosts the Open Mike in Chi-Town with Chance The Rapper.
So it’s no wonder that for his upcoming album Opia he has a slew of notable guest features and contributors including Jamila Woods, Vic Mensa, Donnie Trumpet, Cam O’bi, How To Dress Well, and others. London expounds on the tile of the album on the title track saying opia is the “the ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eyes, which can feel both invasive and vulnerable.” He also adds, “I just want people to feel like they’re staring me in my eyes when they listen.”
London glides in and out of arrhythmic and locked-in cadences effortlessly and floats into a raspy singing voice over aesthetics varying from trap to neo-soul and gospel reminiscent of fellow Chicagoan NoName for a supreme immersion in self-care, healing and empathy. Listen below via Pitchfork.
Opia is out now.