Mo Sabri may have come from a small town in Tennessee, but his talent is one that easily extends far beyond the bounds of Tennessee. I would say that he is an up-coming hip hop artist, but I think it would be wiser to say that with this album, he is a hip-hop artist that has arrived and is here to stay. In fact, The Overnight Classic became an instant classic on iTunes world – topping the chart at #6.
Mo’s mastery of fusing rap (all in English) with fluid lyrics rivals that of artists like Blink-182, Eminem, and U2 – who all happen to be artists that inspired him. This is one album I would urge everyone to get. As you get further into the album, his talent is showcased more successfully.
Despite a couple songs that aren’t as strong, you’ll discover that he finds his swag for most of the album. Plus, he is able to rap without inserting your usual rap arsenal of slurs, swears, and sex. Having heard the whole album, I can confirm that he is incredibly talented. This album is a must have for anyone – whether you love hip hop or not!
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Track #1 – M.O.E. (The Good Life) – 4/5
From the instant this song plays you will be hooked! I can’t give a full 5/5 on this track because the lyrics simply aren’t as strong as some of the other songs on the album. For example, it could’ve benefited from removing the line about fruit roll-ups, which made the track sound a bit more juvenile than his other songs. Otherwise it’s an outstanding number.
Track #2 – Take Over the World – 5/5
Again, like track #1, this song begins with a catchy hook. The song and his rapping style on this track will remind you of Eminem (particularly “Just Lose Yourself” from 8 Mile), but in a good way. Mo’s mastery of rapping is clearly exhibited in this track. One of the best songs on the album.
Track #3 – Best of All Time (B.O.A.T.) – 3.5/5
This song is in the same vein as Track 2, but the constant reiteration of “best of all time” throughout the track detracts from Mo’s actual vocal talent.
Track #4 – The Music – 4.5/5
This is one of the first in a series that truly showcases Mo’s talent of writing lyrics and rapping. The song is pretty much an ode to music and Mo’s love of it. It reminded me of the type of songs that typically play at the prom – iconic and reflective of a generation. It’s a very smooth track, which all listeners will adore.
Track #5 – On and On – 3.5/5
This track is good, but not great. It doesn’t have the variations of some of the other tracks on the album. It sort of reminded me of Third Eye Blind, with the “na na na” part and just certain notes in the song. So, I felt it didn’t showcase Mo’s unique talent as well as some other tracks on the album.
Track #6 – Listen! – 5/5
Another very strong track on the album. Perfectly allows Mo to tackle the lyrics and showcase his control of rap. Also, unlike track 3 which reused the lyric “best of all time” to it’s detriment, the hook using the word “listen” worked flawlessly on this track. One of my favorites on the album.
Track #7 – Hey I’m Mo (Desi Flow) – 5/5
This is such a surprise track on the album because it’s a desi fusion. I won’t tell you which song he’s mixed in because I don’t want to spoil the surprise. However, let me say that you will never guess because it is not one that you would immediately think of being ‘mixable’. Truly showcases Mo’s genius. The risk he took on inserting this mix is one that could either have immediately dropped the quality of the album, or it could have been one that will kick it up a notch. Luckily, it did the latter and his risk paid off.
Track #8 – The Music, Part 2 – 5/5
The piano starting the song is beautiful and the transition to the synth was flawless. Slowly kicking in the beat was another wise move. Mo actually sort of sounds like the Beatles on the track. If you didn’t fall in love with his voice by now, when you hear this song, you will be a Mo fan. I actually listened to this track twice in a row! It’s masterfully made and is easily the best on the album. It also showcases Mo’s ability to rhyme words flawlessly. Watch out Eminem!
Track #9 – Brett Favre – 3.5/5
This track was alright, but for some reason, the music used makes it seem dark in comparison to the earlier tracks. Although Mo’s rapping is good on the song, the overall feel of the song seems a bit off especially since it follows a more upbeat song.
Track #10 – For You – 4/5
The piano on this track was wisely relied upon. The lyrics were really sweet and you can truly feel Mo’s emotional connection to music on this song. I took off one point because, at times, it sounded like the song suddenly sped up.
Track #11 – Johnson City, Tennessee – 4/5
You can hear a slight country vibe on this song, which of course is appropriate! It’s a great closing song to a great album, and a nice way to dedicate a song to Mo’s hometown.
Overall: It’s a must have! Purchase at the following link: