We all see the world through different lenses, which form the limitless spectrum of perspectives that shape our thoughts, words and actions. This seldom considered reality – the fact we all live in our own, unique reality – comes into play when any art is placed before us. The idea that one mans trash is another mans treasure could not be any more true in the realm of artistic taste. I may be able to break down exactly why one song is my favorite for so many reasons but that holds no weight to the next individual who listens, hears and digests the same song in their own way.
With “Penny,” Sol takes this process of thought and couples it with a wide array of other social, political and artistic commentary to create a thought-provoking dialogue on the value of art, one’s perspective and the ways we interact with the individualized beliefs of those around us. In true Sol fashion, you could put “Penny” on as background fodder and simply vibe out to what sounds like a sonically pleasing experience. But, if I may offer a suggestion, “Penny” is best served when you have the proper time to sit with it and actively listen to the prose coming forth. Allow yourself the time to run it back, to pause and consider his words, and then run it back again. Because there is a lot going on here, somehow packaged so meticulously in one record. The puzzle pieces all fall into place, situated precisely where they need to be in order to build upon each thought and each bar.
His first release of 2020, “Penny” is something of a callback to “2020” – mind you, it includes nearly a decade of personal, social and political evolution influencing its direction and trajectory. The song is saturated with quoteables, each one serving to call upon and draw out various thought patterns of the listener. In short, “Penny” is deep. If you listen, you’ll be left with a lot to think about. And, at the end of the day, I think that’s what Sol was going for – a reflective piece of art that will cause listeners to look in the mirror, consider their environment and surroundings, and then think about how they interact with the people, places and thoughts that make up their world.
In addition to the vastness of sociopolitical commentary, Sol also touches on his own place in the world, especially in regards to the art he shares. It’s no secret his music tends to be vibe-laden and feel-good. As a result, when he looks at the trials and tribulations impacting the lives of those around him, there is a looming sense of guilt. Flipping this into a positive, however, Sol recognizes the healing and medicinal nature of music – and he hopes his music is able to lift people from the darkness they may be experiencing.
“Penny” features vibed out but mellow production that comes courtesy of a slew of hands, including Nima Skeemz, Elan Wright, Budo, Sango and MTK. And daps and pounds to Teal Douville for mixing and mastering the joint. The instrumentation is comforting, almost like a craddling embrace to help balance the weight of the lyrical content. As Sol’s words forge fidelity with the collective production, “Penny” becomes a journey inward that simultaneously ripples outward.
“Penny” is available now on all your favorite streaming platforms.
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