THE INDUSTRY IS BLEAK AND AGONIZING: A REVIEW OF LEMUELKNIGHT’S “FVUCKING ISSUE.”
I’d missed several releases from Beehive in the past and probably wouldn’t have heard anything about “Fvcking issue”, save for an accidental WhatsApp message I got last night.
LemuelKnight has many talents –Hip- pop star, avant-garde poet, lyrical gymnast, storyteller. But here he explores what we traditionally know as a “voice of reason” more than on any of his songs to date. His flow remains exquisite without having fall back on the dramatic filigree he brought to his earlier works. Now he stares down almost everything with the same voice and a singular focus to point out the wrongs.
In the track’s introduction, LemuelKnight introduces a woman searching for someone to listen to something she has to say, and she turns out heartbroken. Her lamentations about the industry, whether it’s based on experience or observation matters not, it is simply damning and shameful.
This is a track that requires much of faithful listeners. It suggests even more about his moral convictions, and the ways in which he envisions himself as a voice of the street more than just a rapper. Like many fans, I’ve found myself meditating over Fvcking issue’ verses like scripture, dissecting the text forward and backward in search of holy discernment.
Interpreting an artist’s intentions is always a tricky thing. But I don’t think LemuelKnight hung himself out to dry for his sake alone. He’s dying for us to grapple with Fvcking issue, a bleak reality in today’s industry in the same gut-wrenching way he has.
It’s part of what makes listening to Fvcking Issue a somewhat agonizing, if enlightening, experience: Are female talents damned by their existence as being just female? Is it the inherent wickedness of Beehive’s emerging entertainment industry or our weakness as a people that we must overcome?
Fvcking Issue is two people’s Lamentations, bleak in tone and temperament, long on suffering and short on hope. It is a commentary of reality we either don’t know or wilfully choose to ignore. In either case, it’s a shame.
I’ve developed a love-hate relationship with Fvcking Issue chiefly due to its explicit nature. In some ways I suspect this is the response LemuelKnight set out to provoke. I imagine I’m not alone.
Yet, for all the explicit overtones in which the Beehive MC shrouds his latest song, the real revelation of Fvcking Issue is that talent no longer feels enough to sustain one in the industry. And when an industry tosses its moral compass aside, all hell tends to break loose.
This track will stay open for debate and outright backlash, mostly from people who are guilty of his message, but one thing is indisputable: LemuelKnight sees himself as someone here to help people find the things they have lost –quite often, it seems, a sense of humanity itself. And that’s a huge job for one man, especially since his peers in the industry cannot point to doing the same. Too many of LemuelKnight’s rap peers have allowed their famous-people problems to consume their music, but he never loses his grip on reality as he ponders on this subject of female-voice subjugation.
Your talents should set you apart and merit should get you up and running more than anything else, it should not matter if you male or female. Period.