Iami Collective (pronounced "I Am I") is a group of educated black males that mixes unorthodox sounds and melodies to deliver messages in a trippy way. The group is composed of World Emcee rapper Habeeb, national slam poet Robalu, film-maker Torian Ugworji (known as IX), and musician Logos The Poetic. Injoy Or Die is their debut project and it is a thirteen-track album that feels like lucid dreaming.
When asked about the leading single, Danger Zone, Habeeb discussed how the song was created. "It was the first track he ever produced for Iami. We were in upstate New York working on another visual project and I wanted to make something dark, but with a bounce to it. I chopped the piano sample and added some scary vocals in the background to give an eerie feeling. We sat in a circle and wrote our verses, recorded it in fifteen minutes, and just danced to it for about three hours."
Habeeb created a hypnotizing hook that sets the tone for the song that covers how he's writing in corners and fighting the light in seclusion. All the members approached Danger Zone with intense deliveries to complement the eerie feeling the song presents.
Real Talk featuring Robalu and Logos The Poetic begins with an ominous voice that says "this project might sound happy, but it's an eerie happiness. It's like a happiness that lasts forever, but you know it doesn't." Logos raps about finding something to fill a dark and empty void. His lyrics cover:
dreams of being a human but feeling like a corpse
envisioning new heights after short expectations are sold to him
his divinity as he rapped "death isn't even my final form"
Robalu's verse reflects the first line of the song's hook, "real talk resonates longer." His verse covers smiling through the storms, maintaining beautiful karma through the darkness, and creating a legacy that will last longer than his time above ground.
Pyres has IX rapping over calm guitar strings. It is a perfect song to slow down the pace of the eerie feel Injoy or Die presents. The song is an introspective moment as IX shares his thoughts while driving. You hear "The truth burns somewhat" before you hear the car drive off of the road to an unknown destination and it sets the tone shift towards a darker one. The song would go on to talk about having no friends and making amends in life.
Origami has all four members rapping on a beat that's a mix of piano keys, distorted melodies, and a catchy drum kick. It presents a catchy chorus to introduce the song "Art out of paper, origami no. I can sell you my vision, never sell my soul. Keep an eye on your haters, mama told me so. One in the air, one in the chamber, I'm about to set the tone." The song is a perfect display of the wittiness each member can push with their pen.
Iami's debut album plays through like a continuous independent suspense film in forty-one minutes. With clever skits like Narrarator's Introduction, Gos' Skit, and Final Sketch, they painted deeper pictures of life, death, working for money and miracles, and apathy toward mortality. For a debut album, the four artists meshed so well together in lyrics, flows, and creativity. Each artist plans on releasing individual works throughout the rest of the year in different mediums.
Stream their debut project on all streaming platforms.
Check out their Deluxe Doom version available only on Soundcloud.
Follow Iami on Instagram.
Written by: Jay Guevara. @justinhisprime on all social media.