Johnny Ciggs (leader of Gritty City Records) releases new EP "Paradise" with transparency and self awareness. After first listen, I appreciated his choice of production. It truly sets the feeling for the depth of this album, allowing stories to flourish with his honest lyrics.
Beautiful samples like "Love Again" set the tone, which is no surprise when you find out it's produced by none other than Fan Ran. But this song also has very relatable lyrics when Ciggs speaks of being hurt by love, and then hurting himself and others in return.
Throughout the project, you hear one thing consistently: CLARITY. It appears that after choosing sobriety, Ciggs discovered a lot about himself. Stories, reflection, and experience are portrayed with raw verses in these songs.
"...The other night you called your mother, told her you needed help, woke up the next day and you was mad at yourself."
In rhymes like this, we hear a very vulnerable person who isn't afraid to shed ego for inner peace. Songs like "The Truce" stand out when he not only talks about his struggles with drug and alcohol abuse, but also how that is directly tied to his stubbornness and inability to accept help from others.
"... My bitterness and resentment was my refusal to learn..."
The entire EP is a journey through Ciggs battle with addiction, but even more so a battle with his conscience. Johnny gives insight on his strained relationship with his parents; in particular his father. Also, he touches on not just leading a grimy life but indulging in it. Ciggs even taps in with Richmond native, Black Liquid, with songs like "The Fog" where he smiles at death.
Overall, the greatest victory that can be taken from this album is the lesson that it’s never to late to experience GROWTH.
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/album/paradise/1547860146
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Written by OG ILLA (@HLGNLIFE)