By Kenya Evans
Life is a Heist tells the spiraling stories of the hood rich just trying to get by and delivers a verbal vengeance signed and sealed by Ms. Everest personally.
The first and only lady of local hip hop group Black Elephant – 2006 WAMI runners-up for best unsigned artist – Element Everest (yes, her real name) is debuting her first solo album. She’s no stranger to MCing, writing rhymes and shutting down naysayers who criticize or question her authority as a female rap artist.
Element upholds what Black Elephant does best – telling tales of the city, from grinding streets to head-bobbing beats – but brings a bit more soul to her own songs. Element sings a cappella on “The Wire,” reminiscent of an old Negro spiritual, channeling the stark realities of modern-day urban strife and the continuous struggle of black life: that there’s no difference between slaving in the fields to becoming slaves of the mind and products of an impoverished environment. “Katrina,” a duet with local guitarist/singer/songwriter Evan Christian, speaks for the dismal and discriminated New Orleans natives who were victims of a natural disaster and their own government.
Overall, it’s rich and hard-hitting, both lyrically and musically: Element doesn’t play nice. Get ready to take a bite out of some ghetto melodies that bite back.