Baltimore native and MC Maimouna Youssef, known by her stage name Mumu Fresh, released her fifth studio production, The Reintroduction of Mumu Fresh on May 13, 2014. Painting realistic portraits with her lyrics, the digital album holds true to the text-book, heavy hit sampled, non-cohesive yet lyrically fluid mixtape format.
Grammy nominated in 2007 for her vocal contribution on The Roots’ track “Don’t Feel Right”, Fresh made a definitive name for herself. A true patron of politically and socially upfront hip hop, Fresh shares a raw and witty story of everyday life in relation to her community in a fresh but not so familiar way on Reintroduction.
Cleverly sampling Pharell William’s popular single, “Happy”, and flipping the hit into a #carefreeblackgirl summer track, Fresh alters the original chorus on her positive track, “Nappy”. “Clap along if you know that a comb can’t mess with you (cuz I’m nappy)/clap along if you know that Africa’s in ya’ roots (cuz I’m nappy)/clap along if you know that nappiness is the truth (cuz I’m nappy)/clap along if you know that nappy’s what you’re born to do” she chants proudly. The song is perfect for naturalistas of all ages.
To the plight of many students and post grads on the humorous but not so humorous, “Student Loans” Fresh samples Rihanna’s club hit “Pour It Up”. Addressing Sallie Mae’s tactics in the first verse, Fresh rhymes, “Sallie Mae calling up my phone (aint got ya money)/still living in my mama’s home (aint got ya money)/went to school and got two degrees (spent all my money)/still working at Mickey D’s (still aint got no money)”.
On “Crunch N Grub”, sampling Beyonce’s hit single “Drunk In Love”, Fresh mimics Bey’s flow for one hell of a satirical depiction. “We woke up in the kitchen with some chicken, saying thank God this happened…aww baby” she sings, highlighting a not so desirable reality while expressing sentiments of pure gratitude.
My favorite on the album is “We’re Already Royal”, sampling Lorde’s catchy but rather meager depiction of noble fantasy. The track explores the disparity between the royal lineage of peoples of African descent and the current disposition of marginalized POC living within society’s present limitations.
“So if we sing about gold teeth/Maybach’s/ diamonds on time-piece/you should raise a glass, help free us of this poverty/ so unfair…give us free from this love affair/ chorus: cuz we’re already royal/see it runs in our blood/ we’ve just been having tough luck/ we need a different kind of buzz” she sings unapologetically.
Fitting for the summer with clever lyrics and a fresh delivery, Fresh’s 20 track studio project is authentic and carefree.
Click here to listen to and purchase The Reintroduction of Mumu Fresh by Maimouna Youssef!