McKinley Dixon uses rap for time travel on For My Mama And Anyone Who Look Like Her

On the album, Dixon bounds between rapping and spoken word cadence over production ranging from…

On the album, Dixon bounds between rapping and spoken word cadence over production ranging from piano-led gospel to frenetic jazz, subverting genres without necessarily blurring them together. Tracking like an introspective journey through heartbreak and healing, Dixon’s ideas about home, connectedness, and the notion of using rap as a means of time travel through the Black experience shine. “If time is ‘non-linear,’ what is stopping me from going back to process the past,” he pondered in an official statement about the album, adding that previously learned lessons are instrumental in moving forward. “I can see what I can do differently for the community and people around me.”

Despite tackling topics like survival, violence, and religion on previously released singles like “Bless the Child,” and “Swangin,” Dixon is intentional about not being perceived as overtly conscious. On “make a poet Black,” Dixon is succinct about his music’s catharsis, a feeling that permeates through the entire 11-track album. “Joyful hymnals packs with the subliminals / to distract from the fact that I’m without my kinfolk,” he raps on the track’s seemingly endless bars. “Once people hear the album, a lot of people will think I’m talking about like, mass incarceration,” he explained. “And it’s like, the guy I’m talking about is literally just my homie. I’m mainly trying to do this for myself.”

Ultimately, Dixon wants both existing fans and new listeners to take the same thing from the project: the concept of growth. “I want them to know that things take time,” he said. “It’s a privilege to be able to have the language to describe what you want as eloquently as I tried to, so I definitely want people to know that it takes time, and there’s patience in it.”

Stream the album below.