After two lead singles (the excellent “Glory, Glory” and “Bumpin’ UGK”) he released Messiah Complex (on Bandcamp) on September 24, his sixth full-length project and the follow-up to 2017’s Indigo Child. On this new album, Jamal gets more vulnerable than ever... On album opener “Gridlock’d” (“Life is a traffic jam”), Jamal raps about heavy topics like losing a child when he was 23. On the title track, Jamal’s lyrics explore the journey that brought him to Portland over a bass-driven West Coast-style beat by King Corn Beatzz. Other highlights include the warm and blissful “Closer to Light”; “Come Over,” a sultry and romantic song geared toward the ladies that sees Rasheed Jamal talking to his girl on the phone while on his way to her place; and album closer “Up in Smoke.””

Jenni Moore