Looks like Malaysia can pride herself again on having produced a truly talented man who found the route to re-define his music and at the same time, managed to save his soul. A man seemed lost to the world but came out again to prove that his absence was for the better even if it meant jeopardising some of the momentum (or craze)that he has garnered over the past 10 years or so. For those scratching their heads since I haven't reached my point, I'm talking about Malique Ibrahim and his solo debut produced under the indie label, Qarma Music entitled justly, OK.
OK is a double disc album with 20 tracks although I sincerely think "Diam" does not count as one (or two for that matter :p). I remember grinning with much anticipation as I looked at the credits for some of the tracks and the moment I got into the car, the record was playing on full blast. I went straight to track 7 on disc I, Kau Yang Punya featuring Najwa Mahiaddin and couldn't help but to feel an involuntary sinking-into-the-chair-I-was-sitting-on sensation. This track is a fine remake of The Roots' You Got Me and I dare to say Najwa made the song happen. Even better, there is another 5 Mic Remix of the song in Disc II featuring Najwa, Lah, Zaf and Elvira (musical orgy, for sure!). Another winning collaboration in this album is "Mantera Beradu" with M.Nasir which gave a significant and exciting flair to OK.
The other tracks in this independently distributed CD also speak volume for the album's strength where you have a clear impression on all the experimentation the man would like to take. For example, Bahasa Melayu becomes the primary language compared to EL widely used in Too Phat's previous albums as a reflection on Malique's ability to tap on a relatively unexplored side. Another appealing thing is that despite being quite egoistically generated around his life as is expected with rappers, the issues talked about can easily be identified with. You have tracks such as "Layu" and "Rahsia" which revolves around a genuine concern for Malays from Malique's point of view going against some party-like rastafarian influence in tracks such as "Rasta Say" and "Masih Khayal (Bangun)" featuring Zaf. I particularly like "Dalam Aku Ada Hantu" and "Assalamualaikum" for Malique's fluid-like poetry skills and this album also pushes my buttons for the brilliant, brilliant samplings in tracks such as in the title track "OK" featuring Cat Fabuloso and "Pergi Jauh" featuring Elvira (Did I hear Lah's smooth voice too? I think credits for him is much deserved for this track).
I wasn't too much of a fan of Malique before and despite having all of Too Phat's album, I would only categorise myself as a listener of their music. But after a dose of OK, consider myself converted as I discovered the strengths and developments of Malique, not only musically but also as a human being. OK stands out as it does not fear to be a true justification of all the trials and tribulations of a man trapped in conflicting worlds (nihilism vs existentialism, East vs West, English Language vs Bahasa Melayu). Malique's sincerity in sharing his life and his undisputed "ritma atas puisi" skills make this album a sure winner.
Ways To Get The Album
The album is available in all Rock Corner stores:
• The Gardens, Mid Valley City
• 1 Utama
• Mid Valley Megamall
• Bangsar Village
• Subang Parade
• The Curve
• Rhythm Music-Pertama Complex
For those too busy to function like all us who can, you can also try this method:
STREET TEAM DELIVERY (WITHIN KLANG VALLEY)
please send an sms to +60122957148 with your details and our street team will deliver the albums to your doorstep within the same day.
* delivery applies only for orders of 3 copies and above
* cash on delivery
For those living outside Klang Valley, visit Malique Ibrahim@Myspace