I’ve been saying it since day 1: Imani Wj Wright is destined to earn a Grammy! His style is pure, timeless, and most importantly, genuine. With his newest project titled, ‘Envious Affection’, the talented artist hailing from Baltimore, MD, shows the world that he’s more than capable of making a masterpiece revolving around the trials and tribulations that come with love.
‘Falter’ is motion picture-esque to me! It’s not only impressive vocals that you get from Imani on this song, but you also get this impassioned instrumental that is so powerful that it might bring you to tears.
You know what I love most about this song? I feel like Imani handles the emotions of his woman with such fragility, making sure she understands that through his mistakes, he is only human and doesn’t mean to disappoint her. From start to finish, you will feel like that proverbial fly on the wall as he has a deep discussion with his lover. Judging by the fierce demeanor he shows on this song, you can tell this relationship he’s in is on the rocks, and since we’re simply a fly on the wall, there’s nothing we can do but sit there and hope they work it out.
4. LIKE THEM
Remember the hit sitcom ‘Living Single?’ Well if you are like me, you wished over and over again that Queen Latifah’s part on the theme song to that show was a full track: Well this is the closest thing to our dreams!
On ‘Like Them’, Imani drops plenty of wise bars that has him sounding a lot grittier than he does on his other tracks. With the raps on this song revolving around the beauty of African culture, Imani amazes me by dropping punchline after punchline about this girl that doesn’t quite know how African she is. As a fellow Nigerian, I appreciate how he embraces the continent, as he speaks some pretty knowledgable words about it throughout.
‘Envy’ opens up the album, and it perfectly establishes the tone of it. ‘Envy’ is smooth, it’s vintage R&B, and almost instantly displays Imani’s ability to harmonize some beautiful lyrics. Even though the song’s message is pretty powerful, it’s Mr. Wright’s passionate melodizing that catches my attention the most.
On ‘Lady’, Imani showcases his ability to drop some very impressive bars for us.
As soon as the beat drops, you can tell that ‘Lady’ is going to be a head banger, mainly because it has this infectious tempo and heavy-hitting sound. Imani wastes no time in attacking the track, laying down a very debonair verse that is aimed to convince this beautiful woman that he’s prepared to treat her right. While he shows off this flow that is comparable to some of your favorite rappers, he still instills these silky vocals to the song throughout both his verse and the hook.
Mile$ is featured on the second verse of this song, and he compliments Imani’s style perfectly. Aside from spitting some grade A game at his woman, I feel like Mile$ does a good job of riding the amped up beat and switching up flows fairly easily. It’s definitely some impressive raps from him.
Mile$ and Imani are two brothas that know how to treat a woman right! Who said Chivalry was dead?
‘Started’ is a juicy tale that I’m sure many of us men have flashbacks listening to.
One of the biggest benefits from listening to Imani’s music is his ability to create these relationship inspired tracks that people can easily relate to. On ‘Started’, Imani both slowly and passionately lays down his vocals about going to the next level with his lover, prompting this psychological obsession going on in his head. You can hear the infatuation in Imani’s voice, as he uses some astute words to show just how in tune he is with the individual he is dealing with.
Imani shows off his range of vocals on this slow tempo’d song, seamlessly transitioning from passionate to calming. You can tell he has a great understanding of what works for him musically, making this song a must listen for R&B fans all over.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. ENVY (4.6/5)
2. STARTED (4.7/5)
3. LIKE THEM (4.6/5)
4. FALTER (4.5/5)
5. WHY SHOULD I (4.4/5)
6. NO POINT IN TEARS (4.5/5)
7. LADY (5/5)
8. HIGH STAKES (4.5/5)
9. THE CALL (4.5/5)
For about 30 minutes, mere mortals like myself get a chance to enter into the world of a young adult that is still figuring out how to navigate through love. Every single song on this project has this soulness to it that will make you say: “I can’t see how he can get anymore emotional than this”, and then you get an even more emotional track once the song changes. It’s passion up close and personal, which I think is riveting to listen to.
Despite the album having this soulful tone, Imani does a little bit of everything on this project: Yes you get some heartfelt tracks, but you also get some heavy-hitting rap tracks, alternative tunes, and smooth R&B cuts. Imani comes out a winner in every genre featured, finding a way to excel in whatever hat that he’s wearing.
There are many different ways to enjoy ‘Envious Affection’: Listen to it while you cook on a rainy Sunday night, have it playing in the background while you relax after a long day of work, let it play with your emotions as you prepare for bed at night; whatever way you decide, make sure 1. you embrace it’s silky smooth roots, and 2. understand how brilliantly Imani was able to straddle the thin line between envy and affection…..
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.