“I’m a war child/I believe I’ve survived for a reason/to tell my story/to touch lives.”
Jal pleads with rapper 50 Cent on “50 Cent” to be a better role model for his young fans: “You have done enough damage selling crack cocaine/now you got a kill a black man video game/We have lost a whole generation through this lifestyle/now you want to put it in the game for a little child to play…”
Listen up! Emmanuel Jal, a conscious Hip-Hop artist and former child-soldier from the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army is set to release Warchild on May 13th in the U.S. In other words, put down the pre-programmed overrated and over hyped pop album you’re playing and get ready for something new and real.
One of the “Lost Boys” of Sudan, now an international Hip Hop artist, “Warchild” is a culmination of his experiences.
After serving in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) from age 6 through 13, Emmanuel Jal found music. Jal “survived to tell his story” through Hip Hop.
His experiences have lead to a thoughtful album in which he shares his past, as well as comments on issues important to him. Things such as 50 Cent’s lack of responsibility as a role model, his never-ending love for Sudan, and a dedication to the woman who helped him escape. In “Skirt Too Short,” he says, “Hey girl, pay attention to this conversation/Leave a little to the imagination.”
The debut album, “Warchild” was mixed and additionally produced by Grammy winner Neal Pogue (Outkast, Talib Kweli, Stevie Wonder, TLC), and produced by UK-based writer/producer Roachie who co-wrote most of the 13 songs with Jal.
The inspirations for the 13 songs on Warchild are rooted in Jal’s impossible past. In “Forced to Sin,” Jal recounts, “I lived with an AK-47/By my side/Slept with one eye open wide / Run / Duck / Play dead.” His love and loyalty for his homeland of Sudan shines in “Stronger” – “I pledge allegiance/To My Motherland/That I’ll do everything possible/To make a stand/Yes I can.” Jal pleads with rapper 50 Cent on “50 Cent” to be a better role model for his young fans: “You have done enough damage selling crack cocaine/now you got a kill a black man video game/We have lost a whole generation through this lifestyle/now you want to put it in the game for a little child to play…” From the CD’s title track, “I’m a war child/I believe I’ve survived for a reason/to tell my story/to touch lives.” And, “Emma,” the album’s closer, is a heartbreaking tribute to Emma McCune, the “angel” who rescued Emmanuel. McCune, who died in 1993 in a car accident in Nairobi, was the subject of a book, “Emma’s War,” by Deborah Scroggins, and producer Tony Scott (“The Assassination of Jesse James,” “Top Gun”) is in pre-production on a film based on the book. “This one goes to Emma McCune/Angel to the rescue one afternoon/I’m here because you rescued me/I’m proud to carry your legacy/Thank you/Bless you R I Peace.”
Jal plans to support the release of Warchild with a tour of North America; details will be announced shortly. In addition, he frequently speaks on college campus about his experiences in an effort to raise awareness of and halt the inhumane treatment of children in Sudan. “I believe I’ve survived for a reason,” says Jal in Warchild. “To tell my story, to touch lives.”
Video – Warchild
Coldplay to Debut New Album June 17th
Okay so one my absolute favorite bands Coldplay has enlisted “Joshua Tree” and “Achtung Baby” co-producer Brian Eno to co-helm its new album, due out June 17th, Viva La Vida.
Viva La Vida is the heavily anticipated follow-up to 2005’s 10 million-seller “X&Y,” The first single, “Violet Hill,” is good stuff and making the rounds on local radio stations.
So check out the new single and some of my favorite Coldplay joints. Enjoy!
Coldplay Jukebox Featuring New Single “Violet Hill”