On Thursday April 24th , Liberian R&B/Pop artist, J Slught released his first studio album titled, Home & Beyond. Though the artist has populated the Liberian music scene with previous hit singles, this album serves as his official introduction to the industry. With Home & Beyond, Slught is not only solidifying his place in the Liberian music industry, but also preparing the world for his masterfully self-produced musical story.
The Artist from Home
Like any story, the album starts with a soft introduction of the artist, rightly titled, My Story. This beautiful rendition of the artist’s story provides fans an idea of what to expect not only from the album, but also from him as an artist. With his comparison of himself to the likes of international Afropop artists like Davido, Wizkid, and deceased Liberian legend, Quincy B, J Slught provides his fans insight on his musical inspirations in Liberia and beyond. This comparison is not his alone, as his album was featured on Apple Music’s April 10 Afrobeat playlist – a record achievement for a Liberian artist.
The EP then enters the body of the story with a glimpse into J Slught’s possible love life and romantic interests. Songs like Emotions, Monrovia Girls, Angela, and Call on Me, suggests that the artist may not only be in love, but is in love with a Liberian girl. Who can blame him, right? Although, he did say that the song Monrovia Girls is not about one single girl, but is rather inspired by all Liberian girls. The girls, he said, are the source of his musical inspiration, as well as the makeup of his fanbase. As the only free song offered on the EP, Monrovia Girls serves as a gift to his largely women fanbase.
Moving on from his love life with his promises of I Do to Angela telling her to “Call on Me”, the artist seamlessly transitions into the next phase of his story, his hustle. In that light, the presence of No Money was a pleasant and slightly unexpected surprise on the album. No Money was released as a single in mid 2019, becoming a sudden hit among Liberians around the world. Its presence on the album was an important and conscious choice, as it tied together the long journey to his first album.
The Artist Beyond
To compliment No Money, Slught performs Living my Life, which works as both a cautionary tale to his enemies and a song of manifestation of his life and destiny. Then comes another released single, I Do, which concludes his romantic storytelling.
After these two songs, no listener is prepared for what J Slught brings next to his storytelling – the END! Can you imagine? Just like that, after 9 songs and 32 minutes, the entire album is finished with a song called Mio Ran (I don’t Care). Though the experience is very quick, the storytelling still feels somewhat complete, as the artist is vulnerable enough in his storytelling that allows the fans to connect with him without revealing too much. Although, I can’t say it wouldn’t have aided the experience had the album been a bit longer.
To bring my own story of J Slught’s Home & Beyond story to an end, I must say that the musical experience of the album was absolutely superb. If you are new or a veteran to Liberian music, this is a great album experience, as it offers something different for its listeners. What is even more impressive is, Slught is the only recent Liberian artist to have released an album completely void of any features. A young talent he is, for writing, producing, and singing his entire album, and still managing to masterfully tell his story while paying homage to those before him. While the album works great together as a whole story, it remains unclear though, which songs will end up resonating most with fans to become a hit single.
I appreciate the art for what it is, and J Slught for who he is as an artist in the industry. With works like this Home & Beyond EP being released out of Liberia, it is exciting to see where this industry is going in the years to come.
Where to Find J Slught’s Work
The album is available on most streaming platforms like Apple Music, Spotify, Audiomack, Deezer , Boomplay, SoundCloud, Amazon Music, YouTube, etc. You can also learn more about J Slught via his social media; Facebook /Instagram /Twitter @jslughtofficial, and website, www.jslught.net.