One word in particular comes to mind when listening to this wonderfully crafted body of work: “eclectic.” Moka Only & Ayatollah’s Bridges is a welcome addition to the steadily-growing collection of soundtracks that embody the summer. The entire album makes heavy use of both obscure and not-so-obscure soul samples. Ayatollah, who is known for his collaborations with heavy-hitters Talib Kewli and Yasiin Bey (FKA Mos Def), contributed a few unique sets of ear-candy for this collaborative offering. The fact that Ayatollah’s beats are consistent throughout this project is both a gift and a curse. There is little variety to be found by the way of instrumentals on this album, but if you are a of fan soul-laced samples, then you’re in the right place.
Canadian rapper Moka Only rides Ayatollah’s beats nicely, even though they were not crafted with him in mind. These beats can be heard on one of Ayatollah’s previously released instrumental album. While Moka’s flow definitely fits the mood of the instrumentals, the content is usually very random and uninhibited. If you have not heard him before, Common or Yasiin may come to mind. For what it’s worth, he stays in his lane, which happens to be all over the road. Organized chaos seems to work well for him, because the songs do not give off the sense that a lack of care was given as they were created.
Bridges is a nice album. It could even qualify as a good album depending on your taste. It definitely sounds like the product of two individuals that think outside of the box. Ayatollah does a great job on production and Moka utilizes elaborate and sometimes comedic wordplay to make the songs on this collaborative disc worth a listen. These two creative souls crafted Bridges very well. If Moka nails down his flow a little better and Ayatollah creates some beats that better suits Moka’s style, this duo could very well create some other projects that would warrant some listens.
- M. Antonio Silas