Love it or hate it, Saukrates' 2012 album Season One wasn't what many were anticipating. Amani is the first step in winning back fans who may have drifted since then, primarily by giving them what led them to water in the first place. This is a rap EP with little deviation towards anything else. The Snaz-produced lead single, "Kingdom Come," is the first indicator of that direction, a high-octane reminder of Sauk's greatness. On the title track, Saukrates gets more personal and introspective than we've heard from him in the past, giving a glimpse of the headspace he's in via Q&As that reveal a man who's shrugged off cynicism, at peace with his life and career choices.

The SonReal-assisted "#FYEO," surely named after the King St. West gentlemen's club, is an affectionate and progressively appreciative homage to those women who've capitalized from manipulating the male gaze. The bar-heavy and humility-bolstering "The Big Bang" rounds out Amani. As with many EPs, especially those clocking around 14 minutes, one wishes this was longer, but we've been told his deal with Culvert was predicated on being able to push new music out far quicker than we've come to expect. Amani is meant to test the audience waters, and it's a clear indication of where Saukrates' head and artistry are at. More importantly, it bodes well for the future. (Culvert Music)
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