This is the intro and the concept of the album wrapped up in one.
You Saved Me
This is possibly my favorite song on the album. Ali really affected me with his transparency on his struggles with identity, being hurt in relationships and depending on his addictions to numb the pain temporarily. Ali also describes a number of his struggles that he has fought with since he has found Christ. Struggles like self-condemnation, guilt, separating himself from his previous identity and trusting in the work of Christ for his salvation and the hope it brings.
“I’m still goin through the process of restoration. I got a lot of guilt inside and self-condemnation. At times my past haunts me when I’m by myself and tries to tempt me into bein who the father killed. Sometimes I fall and I feel the worse and I feel alone and my feelins hurt. But then He shows up and shows me what redemption is and how forgiveness isn’t limited to just the present tense.”
Beard ft. JGivens, ProCyse and Young Buddy
Beard is tied with the following track Paper Trail as my second favorite track on the album. Ali, JGivens and ProCyse all have excellent verses and Young Buddy lays down a fitting worshipful hook. The song focuses on the person and work of Christ, God’s sovereign control over all things including His death and His empowering of believers to spread the gospel.
“sovereign ruler, the people chooser, we are elected, so keep it moving, cause even Judas was expected/ correction destined in His intricate plan, like the Netflix He is watching in the palm of His hand/ since the fall of man, when time began, the Fathers Spirit ampersand, the Son shaped the land” – JGivens
“Our lifes limited, constrained to be minimal, His power is infinite, watch what He begins to do/ Limitless, never confined to be finished with, the missions He envisioned were painted in the images/ of a time when miracles simply seemed impossible, yet His presence among the world was unstoppable/ attempt to put an end to it, intended for the benefit, to feed their selfishness, yet we represent that heaven sent” – ProCyse
Paper Trail ft. Bridge B and Jeremiah Bligen
This whole track gets me hype. This is a turn-it-up-to-11 track. I can’t get enough of this song from the beat, to the concept, to the word play. I especially like how Bridge’s verse show off his talent; people are sleepin on Bridge HARD.
“My God’s eternal balling, I think He got you there, sorry to sink the 8ball for all you pocket players/ they let them watches glare, sorry my God is higher, He get that crazy air, Amar’e Stoudemire/ yaall men are gon start a fire, cause God’s enemies called a liar, there is one remedy called retire, from involving with these dollar divers…”
Come And Go
Come And Go is a real heartfelt track where Ali shares more of his life. He talks about the times spent with one of his closest friends, who he viewed as family. As the track progresses he explains how though he wanted to be a faithful friend, their lives drew them apart. This is my third favorite track on the album and one of my favorite tracks from Ali overall.
“a letter here, a call there, sorry I missed our calls fam, life is getting harder, I wish that I could call back/ but I was slipping deeper in depression, I was selfish, so I’m sorry I wasn’t always there to help ya/ bro I’m going through some things myself, I’m 19 no job, on the road to hell/ man I need some help, I just failed school and money’s heading to jail/ I feel like everything around me is caving in, man I’m through living life like this, that’s it.”
Used To Be Me ft. BMII
Used To Be Me features BMII (on the hook) who also produced the entirety of The Abolition EP. Used To Be Me nicely closes the album with an overview of what was talked about. Ali has a new identity and safety because of the work of Christ. He is growing in sanctification as God both reveals and heals issues in his life. He makes music not because it will provide him any fame, money or possessions. After all, those that have the greatest riches, still tend to be some of the most miserable. So, rather than seek the world, Ali seeks to follow and honor Christ both personally and in his music.
I give The Abolition EP 4 out 5. I feel the concept of the album was followed, the features were both quality and diverse, it was short enough to prevent any filler or throw away tracks, but not so short to seem lacking and the production, lyricism and mixing are all high quality. Although I would have liked to hear some sampling or scratching on the album, BMII’s diversity in production fit well with Ali’s sound. Every project Ali releases makes me more of a fan and shows his growth as an artist and a Christian.