Gabriel Teodros lets his heart bleed on his solo album, Lovework. He delivers a number of powerful messages here, and out of all the albums I have reviewed thus far, I consider this the most important because of the level of social consciousness packed in.
East Africa. Gabriel Teodros lives in Seattle, Washington, but draws so much from his family’s homeland of Ethiopia. Teodros says on this album that his words are for East Africa’s peace. And with that said, how can one criticize this album? He even has a song called, “East Africa” where he cries for the plight of his people. His words are saddening when he raps about his cousin’s educational obstacles, the violence towards journalists, and the colonized minds of his people. And dude can flow, so it makes the album-listening a rewarding experience. Many emcees pretend to be socially conscious because it is “liberal-cool,” but lack the knowledge. Teodros spends an album discussing his hatred towards a society that first misunderstood and has now forgotten Africa. One of the most powerful songs on this album is “In This Together.” This is where he lets his people know of his commitment to their struggle and he does not hold back as he jabs at a manipulated history by saying in the refrain sarcastically, “They say Ethiopia is not colonized…” His words fit well with the guitar melody providing an inspirational sound that has whispers of Bob Marley’s music.
I refuse to highlight any more tracks because I believe that this album should be listened to in its entirety. That is the least someone can do when an artists is creating so others can be free.