Essa (Yungun) – The Essance

First Word

UK - Original
Hip Hop / Rap
taku, ta ku, mr thing, eric lau
Essa (Yungun) - The Essance
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First Word Records is proud to bring you 'The Essance' - the classic debut album by Essa (formerly known as Yungun), originally released in 2004, now released on vinyl & digital for the first time, 20 years on!

A lyricist, lawyer and a Londoner, legendary MC Essa has earned praise over the years from artists such as Nas and Mark Ronson, as well as performing and recording with legends like De La Soul, Wu-Tang Clan, Guru, Slum Village and Pharoahe Monch.

This 15-track album is considered one of the greats to emerge during UK Hip Hop's "golden era"; a vibrant time for the genre when artists such as Ty, Jehst, Roots Manuva, Klashnekoff, Skinnyman, Task Force, Doc Brown and Foreign Beggars were garnering huge fanbases, and an eco-system of shops like Deal Real, club nights like Kung Fu, labels like Lowlife, and stations like Itch FM were prevalent, while BBC 1Xtra was a mere infant.

'The Essance' includes production and features from luminaries such as Harry Love, Mr Thing, Lewis Parker, Kyza, Devise & Ben Grymm, to name a few.

Esteemed author Musa Okwonga says on the reissue liner notes "the most startling thing about 'The Essance' was its range. Yungun (Essa) was one of the few MCs who could perfectly walk the paths of hope and melancholy with equal ease, whose artist name belied the wisdom of his lyrics. Beyond that, his delivery was supremely self-assured, filled with a swagger he could always justify.

Yungun's gifts also extended to the stage, where he was one of the best young actors that many of his contemporaries had seen, and to languages, which saw him writing and rhyming in Spanish with a notable flourish. He was also someone who constantly walked between two worlds, excelling in one of the country's most competitive academic environments during the day and then delivering a soaring radio set by night. Raised in a vibrant vein of North London, endlessly curious about the world around him, Yungun's fine ear for music and passion for the variety of life made him someone who could reach all audiences.

'The Essance' is a beautifully-woven meditation on the human condition, one which takes you from the dancefloor to the summer afternoon barbecue to the bathroom mirror; yet it is also the opening statement of a unique career."

In the words of Essa himself "my key goal for this album was to span so many moods and styles that I couldn't be categorised, leaving me free to then go in whatever direction I chose. I was almost too successful with this – I would later struggle to pin down my own identity, both on and off the mic, as a rapper slash lawyer, of mixed-heritage, blessed to be able to enter many circles but feeling truly at home in none. As I write this, twenty years (plus a marriage and several children) on, I finally feel more at peace with being undefinable, and am getting better at bringing my full, authentic self into as many aspects of life as I can. I am grateful to be able to look both back and forward, with equal passion."

'The Essance' was followed with a collaborative album with DJ Mr Thing ('Grown Man Business'), then some years later on First Word with 'The Misadventures of a Middle Man' in 2014. There's also a forthcoming project in the works, due for release Summer 2024 with all-new material produced by Pitch 92. Both these releases also coincide with the 20th anniversary of the First Word label (named "label of the year" at the 2019 Worldwide Awards).

A timeless piece of work, 'The Essance' is true-skool boom bap through and through that stands up two full decades later, from the ethereal anthem 'Liquid Love', to the uptempo bounce of 'Dancing Shoes', to the grit of 'The Big Idea', to the thought provoking 'What Eye See Pt.2', to bangers like 'Push' or 'Spit Fire', this is an essential addition to the collection of any discerning hip hop head. 

Vinyl LP Only Vinyl
27,95 €*
Noch nicht lieferbar, vorbestellbar. Vorauss. lieferbar ab: 26.04.2024
Vinyl LP + Digital Vinyl + Digital Vinyl + Digital
30,95 €*
Noch nicht lieferbar, vorbestellbar. Vorauss. lieferbar ab: 26.04.2024
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