By Edward Miskie
The new Ya Minko track “Hideout” featuring ADB is an easy listening track that quickly transitions from a smooth jazz intro to an amalgamation of hip-hop, jazz, and R&B reminiscent of the mid-2000s hip-pop sound. The use of saxophone embellishments throughout the track is appreciated, as I personally believe the art of the saxophone solo is lost, and hopefully making a comeback.
“Hideout” travels through the process of figuring out what you want, and where you want to end up in life. “On my way to find, something to live and die with. Pray I smile when I sleep. Die and find peace.”
From the Central African region of Gabon, Ya Minko is heavily influenced by his African culture. Though his music is grounded in hip-hop, it flirts with multiple genres. But Ya Minko’s standout traits aren’t necessarily his beats, or mixing of genres, but his lyrics. “I just had to be an immigrant. With emotional needs in a pandemic,” he sings in “Hideout.”
Throughout his growing body of impressive work, Ya Minko has honed a way of dancing through expressing his emotions studiously without relying on the crutch of crude metaphors or harsh language. “But in my house, the pots cry, yet the city is silent. Can’t you hear how they scream? Yet the city is silent. They quarantined us. I have a heavy heart, and they still want to crush it. One should not expose their home while their children are crying. I smile with tears in my eyes; I cry in pain.”
Ya Minko’s poetic use of words to express himself is masterful and original, and even though typical themes of the genre – cars, money, women – exist in his writing, they are tastefully used in the context of his larger lyrical narrative. I’m not sure I would have enjoyed this track as much had I not read Ya Minko’s lyrics first. They are what made me want to press play, and repeat, and listen again.
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