Manu Malik Hooks and Bars

Since Grade Eight, it has been Manu Malik's ambition to rock the microphone. Don't call him a rapper though; he is a chemical engineer by day that prefers to be known as an MC. It was underground hip-hop that initially got its hooks into Malik and it is still the main principals of underground hip-hop that the Ottawan attempts to stay true to. Hooks and Bars is Malik's debut album, the production (with beats created by L.A. Luv, purchased by Malik over a decade ago) are understated but solid, working well with his flow. Lyrically, it's good, with stories and self-examination focusing on positivity and knowledge of self, which can tie into some dark subject matter. It would seem there's been a lot that Malik has experienced, especially in his youth, that's weighed on him, leaving a deep impact on his life. Although there are times when the listener could use a little more depth and breadth in this regard. With Hooks and Bars, Malik wants to make a name for himself as a true artist that loves hip-hop. It is quite evident that his dedication to the music he loves has gotten him this far, and it is certainly what will fuel him onwards. (Independent)