"Life's not worth fighting for if your heart's not in it. We win more than we'll ever lose if we put every bit of who, and what we are into what challenges... God Body." - Hezekiah, Dreams Don't Chase Themselves
As we are seeing our social fabric stretched so thin in this country and this world, I have longed for the days when music was not only able to help us escape, but to help us connect. These two things never existed in a vacuum, and Hezekiah is back to remind us of those facts with his aptly named new album, Dreams Don't Chase Themselves, due for release today, February 10th.
For those of you that have followed Philly music and have seen the landscape evolve from about the mid 00's into now, you know who Hezekiah is. He has released some of the most prolific hip hop music of our generation; the most lauded being his sophomore album, I Predict a Riot (Rawkus, 2007). Hez makes the kind of music that is never fully appreciated until time passes, hearts break and mend; eyes collapse shut from weariness and then spring open again brand new and revived with the pure kinetic force that is joy... until life is lived fully. Hezekiah is feet stomping in praise; he is heads nodding in hypnotic agreement... Hezekiah is Philly hip hop. Having produced for some of the most respected heads in hip hop and soul music including Bahamadia, Bilal, Jaguar Wright and Musiq Soulchild, Hezekiah is a treasure here in Philly. Our close-knit musical family knows him well, and we love him.
I was immediately excited about this latest project from Hez, not only because he is an inspiration to me musically, but because he is Philly soul music kinfolk. My former band member Jani Coral is his current one in a group representing the incarnation of Hezekiah's alter ego, Johnny Popcorn. He has worked with Philly's most esteemed talent, many of whom I have the pleasure to call good friends; six degrees of soulful separation. This latest project sees Hez working with one such friend who co-directed the short film sharing its name with the album. Take a second to check out the project posted below that accompanies the release of the album, co-directed by Embassy of Embassy: Interactive. And of course, download the album on iTunes and at BandCamp. Stream it online here as well.
I felt compelled to jump and shout and stomp with this record even before I saw any visuals or heard a solitary note. My anticipation was nestled in my unfailing trust that good music still rescues us in these days and times, and that our family in Philly is as strong as ever, and producing some of the best tracks I've heard since our generation's Golden Age in the mid to late 90's.
Share the links. Support Philly music. Because as Hez reminds us, dreams don't chase themselves and we've got plenty of work to do. Put on your running shoes and get after your future... Hez is chasing his and we should all be glad he's taking us along for the journey.
Good music lives!