“Foundation” member Siah has dropped the “yung” from his name to deliver his solo album “Graffiti,” which despite a few outside faults, delivers a range of talent and creativity.
Unlike many student artists, 20-year-old Archie “Siah” Morgan II does not succumb to the usual display of gunplay and sexual innuendo in “Graffiti.” Though he does have a few references to “murking” his adversaries and his appetite for women, these instances can be overlooked by the lyrical talent he displays.Siah opens his album with his version of Robert Frost’s “The Road Less Traveled.” The track displays Morgan’s maturity to examine his collegiate life.
“I’m in college but I ain’t feeling gratified/ the only reason I’m here is to keep my family satisfied.”
He goes on to touch on contemplating suicide and the pressures of staying in college or selling drugs, but ultimately he decides to focus on his music.
Later on in the album Siah continues his social consciousness with the track “Purple” featuring the poetic words of the lesser-known artist Ebony. The poem-slash-rap song is parallel to Ludacris’ “Runaway Love,” where he discusses two lives, one of himself trapped on the corner selling drugs, “killing 20 lives to raise my one.”
The other life is that of a girl who knows her body only by its “monetary worth,” creating a curse from God’s gift. Ebony repeats “It’s hard to find a diamond in a coal mine/ especially when the truth falls on deaf ears and cold minds/ designer shades got him in the game blind.”
But the entire album is not all serious talk. Siah’s b-boy track “Sing Along” is upbeat and jazzy with a beat listeners could probably imagine Diddy would use on his CD. Siah calls it his “Gap commercial track.” And despite the complexity of the beat, Siah pops wheelies on it, as he said call him stone cold because he stay stunning cats. And the creativity of the track does just that: stuns.
Based on personal preference, some listeners may not appreciate that one-fifth of the album is love songs: “Can’t Get Enough” featuring Dell B, “Let me Love You” featuring Cherlise and “Love at First Sight.” The love songs each have their own feel, which after a number of times will have listeners unconsciously singing the rap ballads.
But some of the love songs throw listeners for a loop after off-the-wall sexual references and eventual corny lines.
“Graffiti” features a remix to Foundation’s “On the Ladder” song from the 2006 album “F-L-Y.”
The album as a whole is a good effort for Siah’s solo debut. His only mistake is the outside rappers he uses on his album. Their constant phallic gunplay brings down the substance of the album. They add nothing to the album but filler.
With subtraction of a few tracks like “Holla Atcha Boy” featuring Young Capp and “Work it Out,” a Tampa Tony type track, the album would be a solid effort. Siah need only work on hooks like in “Maintainin’ my G” and his “262 Anthem.”
Despite these flaws Siah vividly broadcasts the talent he possesses; Siah’s got flow.
For samples of Siah’s music please click here.