The following review is courtesy of www.artthreat.net.
"Lakay is an intense and jarring album that is equal parts political critique and cultural celebration. Vox rhymes almost entirely in Creole and his arrows carry messages aimed at his Haitian countrymen both at home and abroad. That is not to say however that this album is off limits to the masses-Vox’s themes are easy enough to pick up on and his mike skills shine through in any language. Not to mention the fact that the multilingual members of the Montreal-based collective Nomadic Massive have his back on a number of tracks. "The Boat" tells the story of a man fleeing Haiti on a ship bound for Miami—an occurrence more common than CNN would have us believe.
The best example of Vox’s lyrical dexterity is ‘Neg Chante’ which is produced by Nomadic’s Lou Piensa. The syncopated beat, minimalist baseline and Vox’s off-kilter delivery lend the song a sense of urgency while the chorus provides a cathartic release. The track is also embedded with samples of broadcasts made by Jean Dominique the populist Haitian radio host who was assassinated in 2003. Ultimately, ‘Neg Chante’ is about dancing in the face of oppression and not becoming consumed by political disenchantment.
On ‘Bato’ (The Boat), based partly on the experiences of two of his brothers who claimed refugee status in the U.S., Paul plunges the listener into the life of a man who flees the country illegally on a ship destined for Miami. According to Vox this is occurring much more often than CNN would have us believe. Instead of simply pointing his finger at the government Vox questions what the Haitian community can do to counter the lack of hope felt by the country’s disenfranchised. ‘Bato’ stands out on the album because Vox doesn’t stick to a strict formula of a specific number of bars per verse. Instead, the narrative takes precedence over song structure resulting in a chilling tale that is highly cinematic.
On ‘Idantite’ which features Sara Renelik, Vox targets Haitians in the diaspora who are proud to represent but at the same time harbor prejudices against their own. Although this is a moving song it also illustrates one of the drawbacks of Lakay: at certain points Vox comes off as if he is preaching to second-generation Haitians in North America and chastising them for disassociating themselves from their culture. There will also probably be some heads who have seen Vox spit fire live and are wondering why he didn’t add a bit more Dancehall flavor to his debut. Despite these minor glitches Vox has succeeded in crafting a unique solo album that is audacious, introspective and very difficult to ignore. Let the home-schooling begin."
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