Ain’t nothin’ given, gotta get it on your own, B…
It’s been my mission to put Queens Village on the map since I could tie my shoes. I thought that if I followed in Oprah’s footsteps, I’d make it a reality. It’s the dream I wake up every morning to fulfill, and get closer to each day. Well, I just got some help in my mission. Queens MC Gist the Essence just released his album, A Dream Deferred. A nod to the Langston Hughes poem, the album starts with the legendary poet’s prolific question: “What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?” In this manner, Gist’s influences are revered throughout A Dream Deferred, from Langston to Biggie Smalls, to the neighborhood and the family who raised him.
From the first riffs of the electric guitar on “Slow Wave,” an excitement and urgency hits. Once the clock strikes 12:01, we’re taken through a candid personal reflection of the world the way Gist sees it. He’s ready to pursue his dreams on the anthem “On My Own,” and is joined by up and coming R&B singer Cocoa Sarai on the Rocky-style track, “To The Top.” But he also turns the lens outward. He talks about the girls lost to sexual abuse and drug addiction on “Preaching To The Choir.”
The album highlight “R.E.M.” has a dreamlike Kanye 808s and Heartbreak dreamlike feel. Influences from hip hop. rock and electronica are heard thoughout the album. It’s easy to hear Jay-Z spitting a verse on a track, where Trey Songz could fit on a chorus, and where Lil Wayne’s wordplay might fit perfectly.
What would you do if you had the opportunity to do anything at this very moment? What would you do if you could not fail? On a Dream Deferred, Gist sets out to remind us of those dreams that may have collected dust over the years. It’s time to dust them off and fly.
The sky’s the limit for Gist the Essence. It’s a privilege to introduce him here, before he’s a world renowned rapper and I’m on network television, and he brings me back to where it all began in an exclusive interview. But he won’t have to show me around Queens Village. I know it well.
Check out A Dream Deferred on www.gistmusic.com.