Sudanese artist, G-SALIH, is best known for cutting bars and a sharp voice that slices through any beat he attacks. However, any close follower of G-SALIH’s career can see the artist’s persona shifting from a rapper with something to prove, to a human struggling to pull his mind apart.
In his latest track, ‘Essential Oils’, G-SALIH does just that. On a steady lo-fi beat reminiscent of lavender and the scent of meditation, G-SALIH takes listeners on a journey of introspection.
With bars like, “Damn it we grew up spoiled/Ain’t get it out the mud but we grew it out of the soil/My self-care lately has been less careful,” he reflects on his past and mental state, demonstrating a developed pensiveness and maturity in his subject matter.
With an insightful anecdote, he explains his experience of growing up black, Muslim and Sudanese in America: “I grew up in white neighborhoods and tried to fit in with all the white kids/…/My mom had the block smelling like six different spices/I tried to act like them so that they wasn’t aware of it/I even put a cross around my neck started wearing it.”
A softer vocal tone than G-SALIH’s usual complements the thoughtful bars - until around the 1.40 mark. As his thoughts get more frantic, so does his delivery, demonstrating a newfound skill of control and intentionality, ensuring every element of the track bears the intended impact.
The track ultimately ends with the hook, “This beat feels like essential oils,” and an outro akin to the song’s introduction. Though it can’t be said that the track has a commercial addictive quality to it, it certainly engages listeners into a similar state of meditation.
Make sure to visit G-SALIH’s page where you can purchase his own blend of essential oil entitled ‘Breathe’.