Cheena Black Monrow – Black 2 The Future Promo – Singles Reviewed
When you look at the STAGGERING amount of respect & attention that Cheena Black Monrow & her music receive, it changes the perspective almost. Considering the fact that just about ANY of her singles have a higher hit-count than just about anything we’ve put together over the course of our history – it’s actually a pretty humbling encounter to have her talents grace our pages. When last we experienced her music, she was prepping her first singles for her Black 2 The Future mixtape; and now in the later-stages of its development we’ve got our hands around three more of the tracks…plus a bonus track I discovered that I thought I’d mention while we’re busy talking all-things Cheena Black here in review.
The first single I checked out had our hero CBM reuniting her talents with the talented June Marx with “No Matter” remixed to the nines with a smooth vibe and vibrant beat. Excellent mix on this first beat…just enough crackle to sound like it’s really coming from a turntable direct; it sounds real and the overall effect ties this remix together extremely well. Cheena Black Monrow and June Marx trade off places on the mic both leading and backing each other up on-point & on time. These two are professional in every sense of the word and it shows through their stunning combination of talent; it has before in the past, and it is again here now on “No Matter.” I’m a fan of the tone & confidence of Marx, and with the sweet sounds of CBM harmonizing and switching between the lead & background…this first cut has come out sounding immaculate. Great energy throughout the entire track and it ends absolutely brilliantly, descending into a spoken word sample…and like all good mixtapes, you get some great social commentary as this cut switches up for a completely unique feel as it finds a new life in the final thirty-seconds.
“Playing Me” took a couple bars to grow on me…I wasn’t quite sure about Cheena’s opening tones in the verse, but by a minute-and-a-half in, she’s stunning. Gorgeously letting the R&B sounds flow out, and then ducking into a quick rhyme to let the people know she’s got a full arsenal of skills she could bring out at any moment. She chooses and uses these skills wisely, finding the right places to fit in each of her talents from production to performance. In “Playing Me” she really sings with a classic sound & tone to match the atmosphere…whether or not she had an iffy start on this one, by the end of it she’s pure audio-gold and exudes confidence, perfect tone and beautiful melody.
Though it’s only got a mere 30k+ hits so far (lol! JEEZ Cheena!), I think that “So Blue” might have been my favourite of the three new tracks I’ve gotten a hold of today. Again recalling some real classic diva sounds through her vocals…Cheena brings out an Etta James-esque performance combined with a more modern performance…whatever the recipe is, this is CBM at her absolute finest. These vocal melodies are beyond fantastic and they’re in multiple layers to really keep it all thick, strong and clear…I can’t say enough about this final-cut – “So Blue” absolutely works on every level. The way she sings this one is truly as beautiful as it gets…it has a real magic to it. The combination of old-school-meets-new in “So Blue” is nothing short of stunning, but the vocals are the real star of this song – Cheena has put in a flawless performance here that shows her range, talent and ability to find the melody in a song. There’s not a ton to work with when you listen to it; “So Blue” is minimal in the music-department – the melody you’re hearing is completely brought in and supplied by the vocals of Cheena Black Monrow…and she couldn’t have possibly done a better job here.
After that performance, I decided I had to peek at the list and listen to one more. Putting together a tribute song for the hip-hop inclined, “Wu Goddess” has the artist paying her respects to the Wu Tang Clan. Using a set of authentic Wu Tang beats and putting her own wild, exotic flavour to them – not only did it catch my attention for its Wu-relation, but man does Cheena put in an awesome performance on this cut! I mean…she REALLY gets wild here and lets her vocals loose in all kinds of incredible ways, and as the beat switches and flips between vibes she remains the center of attention and complete star of the show. If this is how paying your respects goes down…she should be expecting a call from GZA & RZA any moment now to say thank you for an incredible homage and display of love for their music. With nearly eighty-thousand hits on the song and climbing – you gotta assume that quite a few people out there are jamming along to this Wu-infused beat that highlights some of the most dynamic vocals from Cheena Black that I’ve heard so far.
In my most humble opinion, this artist is going nowhere but up, up, UP. A true supporter of all-things music, her love of many different styles and confidence to approach them all shines through beautifully on these latest cuts from Black 2 The Future…Cheena Black Monrow is killin it right now.
Join the thousands of bands & artists reviewed at sleepingbagstudios by clicking here!