As a music fan with diverse tastes, I don’t often base my judgment of a song or artist on genre or style. One element that I find throughout my favorite music is lyrical content with empowering messages, introspection and social conscience. For these reasons, I was both intrigued by Souleye’s unique blend of pop sounds and hip-hop style vocals, and inspired by his message of compassion and unity in his song, “Labeled.”
Over a steady old-school hip-hop beat and tantalizing keyboard melodies, Souleye raps about various issues that plague our society, including angry and violent youth, unhealthy diets, and a chemically dependent population, problems which seem to spring from a divisive culture that prejudges people based on appearance. Souleye’s lyrics are both clever and highly observant. Although he acknowledges the darkness of our culture, Souleye also speaks of a day when we can set aside conflict and live in a loving, understanding community. He warns against dwelling on past mistakes and advocates a different perspective on life.
I both appreciate Souleye’s lyrical wit and admire his ideal world vision, and I think he hints at how we can start to achieve that vision when he raps, “Contracts that I write I keep them all win-win/that’s the benefit of giving, there’s love at the end.”