Maimouna Youssef – Work In Progress

“Dig the lyrics Jack, she’s dropping some knowledge and making you feel good too.

A groove to get you in the mood, some sounds for your get down!”

With inspiration drawn from the streets of Baltimore, Maimousa Youssef’s is a wholesome brand of hip-hop – rich with emotion and fierce with pride. She has a gift of making you feel the grief, anger and hurt contained within her lyrics, and she epitomised the sheer joy of life in spite of those hardships.

Having worked with a long list of hip-hop royalty that includes The Roots, Common and Nas, Maimousa brings a fresh approach that combines neo-soul with flow that celebrates rather than objectifies women; promotes love rather than violence; and pushes forward the fight for ethnic equality through the truth of the past. Mumu Fresh comes across as unashamedly honest in all of her work and performance, rapping with a cultural and spiritual responsibility.

“I been through so much shit I’m surprised I’m still standing, so every time I see a mirror I pose dammit – it’s a celebration!”

Work In Progress follows a steady old school jam, laid down by DJ Dummy, joined by sweet harmonisation that provides the perfect accompaniment for Mumu’s heartfelt vocals. A role-model message that doesn’t resort to sugar coatings or present a curated reality, this is a song that embraces the ugly with the good.

My words don’t do her justice, as a singer she’s nothing short of a poet and as a performer, well – you only have to listen to her recent NPR Tiny Desk Concert. From the stunning opening performed in Lakota, capturing a perfect picture of her heritage, to the incredible musicians and collaborators including a free-style verse from Black Thought. The performance is electric and deserves to be listened to, along with her 2017 album as the Vintage Babies.