A new phase for lyricist-lawyer Essa begins with the release of new single Heavyweight, produced by one of the calmest heads in the game, Pitch 92.
Heavyweight marks the first new release from Essa since Juneteenth 2020, when he released Justice, a reaction to the BLM movement which raised money for access-to-justice organisations.
Essa was known as Yungun in the early noughties and the UK golden age of the period, earning praise from the likes of Nas and Mark Ronson, while performing with De La Soul, Wu Tang, Guru, Slum Village and Pharoahe Monch. He dropped album The Essance in 2004 while he was still at law school, then a landmark collab album with the legendary DJ Mr Thing, Grown Man Business in 2006, and then a break for a good while before returning with a name change to Essa with his First Word debut, The Misadventures of a Middle Man.
Tag teaming with Essa for this new project is Pitch 92 – a youngun himself when he learned the ways of the MPC nestled amongst the ranks of international crew ASM. Pitch is a blessed with a golden age knowledge thread which he’s brought to The Mouse Outfit, MC DRS, Verb T, Jehst, Illaman, Confucius MC, Ocean Wisdom, Foreign Beggars, The Four Owls, Ruby Wood and Tyler Daley of Children Of Zeus. It’s a long list which only adds more depth to his sound and one which lured Essa back to the mic.
“As an identity explorer, I’ve always wanted to do a ‘solo posse cut’ – one MC, multiple voices”, he explains.
“This banger from Pitch was the perfect platform. He really brought me out of the wilderness. I was focussed on legal work and fatherhood but his beats called me back to the mic. Heavyweight is the first of many from us.
This one’s also co-produced, mixed and mastered by Viva Cee, an extraordinarily versatile up and coming writer/producer, known for fusing international sounds with contemporary black music styles. “A musical genie who can conjure any sound you wish for. The energy reminded me of ‘Push’ from my first album, so we decided to re-release that as a b-side.”
Enjoy the video for Heavyweight below, shot, directed & edited by Ellis Dawg.
‘Heavyweight / Push’ is OUT NOW via First Word. Get it HERE.