Modern Griots Reviews: Old Money

Take some mysticism and some social realities mixed with some humor and Brooklyn-by way of the Caribbean-flava and you have Old Money‘s debut mixtape, Fire in the Dark.

Their album released on Dutty Artz records, the group consists of Afro-Caribbean-American (Jamaica and Guyana) duo, Ahmad Julian and Andre Oswald. The mixtape uses references familiar afrofuturist themes, like “Mothership,” as well as spiritual elements, as in “Ayahuaca” (the psychoactive brew made by native people in Peru). But it also is down to earth with songs like “Doctor Doctor,” which samples Chris Rock’s joke about lower class black families using Robitussin as a cure-all because they cannot afford to go to the doctor, a humorous criticism in the form of a lullaby or children’s game song about the failure of science and the healthcare system with black and lower-class people.

Fire in the Dark additionally uses a Caribbean cultural lens, clearly beginning with the intro track and referencing maroons running as the judgement day comes raining down, and a callaloo interlude. All of that presented with wide range of global beat influences including dancehall, dub, kwaito, kuduro, hip-hop and European electronica that has you moving out of your seat.

Download the mixtape and watch the trailer for Fire in the Dark below. By the way, their album listening party is tomorrow in New York City. And if you want more from them, listen to their earlier mix, Africa in Your Earbuds #36: No Death.

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