Pure Knowledge is a Richmond artist who has been working with theMSQshop since the very beginning! Last year, his single Avoidance had fans bopping their heads and confronting their fears; but he isn't done just yet! Pure Knowledge's latest project Learn 2 Love Self is a sixteen-track album marking his first musical contribution of 2022. It's jam-packed with an intro, interlude, outro, AND music video!
The album itself touches on mental health and the journey to healing and self-love, all while taking you back home to the roots of RVA! It gets dark, it gets beautiful, and all of the above. Pure Knowledge admits that "this is the most vulnerable and honest I have been."
Right off the bat, I could tell that Pure Knowledge put a lot of thought behind the branding and concept of this project. The first track, Letter to Riley, draws the audience in with a catchy hook. Immediately after listening, I could tell that this album was going to read like a story.
The second track is Incline, which just so happens to be the title track off of L.2.L.S. The song itself has a typical "Pure Knowledge flow", clean utilization of autotune, and it had me head bopping! The music video was high quality, had amazing transitions, and I could feel his passion through the screen. Most of the video was shot in a Richmond house which made me nostalgic for the 804.
"Every superhero needs a theme song, an anthem, to sing back on" - Pure Knowledge
I will be skimming through the rest of the album with a few key listening notes! Feel free to check out the whole album here!
T.O.Y.L (Time of Your Life) is an upbeat and happy song perfect for a summer vibe! I loved that this album highlights both the highs and the lows of self-love.
Avoidance is clearly one of my personal favorites from 2021. The chilled-out beat and "Pure Knowledge flow" is unmatched!
The next song is titled Unpickd. I loved the voice memo at the beginning as it helps to tie into the conceptualization I touched on earlier. This is a very raw track where Pure Knowledge puts his heart on his sleeve and shows that he stays true to himself.
"We are unpickd and chosen by ourselves." - Pure Knowledge
Melanin Medusa is the title of the sixth track, and it's a banger! The beat is catchy with amazing bass. Pure Knowledge exudes extreme confidence while completely murdering the beat. This song reminded me of Travis Scott a bit.
731: This track reminds me of the Joker for some reason. The lyrics are somewhat dark and sad, and the beat is catchy yet empty, allowing for Pure Knowledge's voice to fill in the emptiness. I loved how this song shows the dark side of the self-love journey.
Kayla's Interlude was positioned perfectly in this album. After multiple hard-hitting bass-heavy songs, this relaxed track is a breath of fresh air! I enjoyed the ad-libs on this one as well.
After a brief intermission, Pure Knowledge proceeds with a groovy track titled Ink Therapy. His flow was amazing as always, but it was the vocals that shocked me! His vocal range shined on this track, and the message of this song is heartfelt and relatable.
"Lost my way tryna fight for love, caught feelings and it left me numb" - Pure Knowledge
The next song titled Rock Bottom is also a pretty laidback song. The hook is catchy, and the lyrics highlight the "I don't care" attitude of hitting rock bottom. He pours his heart out on this one, and I loved being able to learn more about his life through his lyrics.
"I can't change for shit / I can't die a bitch" - Pure Knowlege
The beat of Mom's Voicemail reminds me of a victory song, and it really adds to the story of this project. His confidence goes CRAZY on this track, but he does so in such a "lazy" way that I enjoyed.
"You wasn't loving me when I was down / bet you be loving me now" - Pure Knowledge
All I can say is that Pure Knowledge has mastered the art of exuding confidence in such a laidback way. The next track City Lights speaks for itself. The lazy Pure Knowledge flow is there, and I can imagine speeding to this song on the highway late at night. (He mentions this in the song!)
The thirteenth song Blue Dream made me realize that Pure Knowledge's uniqueness as an artist comes from his combination of singing and rapping. His musicality and lyricism are no surprise, but the most important factor is seeing him have fun and genuinely enjoy himself on this one.
The next song Learn 2 Love Self is clearly the inspiration for this album's title. It's a relatable and motivational song that talks about having to "battle yourself."
"I am not a product or an item / Had to learn to love myself / and still I rise, I rise" - Pure Knowledge
The song lineup for this project was strategically and perfectly laid out. idontneedu highlights the isolation aspect of awakening. Sometimes it's okay to take time for yourself instead of others. If someone isn't adding value to your life, then there's no need.
"Now when they check up on me, they view me through a screen" - Pure Knowledge
As the album comes to a close, the outro titled Unpickd_Chosen leaves the audience with some food for thought. You are unpicked and chosen only by yourself, not by the standards of others. Which one are you?
This whole project felt like an emotional rollercoaster! Every song was relatable and had such a beautiful meaning. Each voicemail included shows that the support of others is crucial in learning how to love yourself. Humans need others to survive, and having a good support system is an important lesson on the self-love journey!
Fun fact: There is also a "record scratch"/voicemail concept that Pure Knowledge manages to tie into his music video as well as the rest of his album! Can you catch it?
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STREAM Learn 2 Love Self HERE!
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Written by Vy Truong, @avocavy on IG
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