Pink Siifu Goes Punk on His Latest Album
Pink Siifu’s most recent effort is an experimental ode to preserving blackness. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, the birthplace of revolutionaries Sun Ra and Angela Davis, Pink Siifu embraces the history he has digested to craft something original and his own. Over the past two years, following the release of his 2018 album “ensley,” Siifu has dabbled into collaborative albums and transient beat tapes under his alias, iiye. Diving deep into other genres and sounds, Pink Siifu feeds off experimentation.
The project is both prideful and painful, Siifu’s most insightful moments come when he blurs the line between the two. His approach to lo-fi and punk is unique, and different genres, Siifu’s poetic wordplay and jazzy production are powerful. On “ensley,” Siifu was emotionally vulnerable and reflective, with “NEGRO,” he amps it up, swapping his calm and collected tone with an abrasive, urgent voice.
Aside from the album, he published a website filled with personal portraits and links that reveal inspiration and samples from and for the album. Notably, the album is only available on Bandcamp for purchase; a move to make more revenue from the project’s sales due to the minimal amount that streaming services generally pay the artists using their platforms. An arrangement of 20 tracks paired with a collection of elements ranging from his memories and family photos to powerful glitchy visuals, Pink Siifu’s latest campaign is one for the books.
we need mo color. Abundance
The fourth track on “NEGRO,” is an exhale from the intense three-track collage that starts the project. Stemming from a blend of psychedelic rock and funk, the mix on “we need mo color. Abundance” is spacious, the drums and guitar are stitched together while the vocals swim underneath them. The lyricism is almost inaudible but Siifu’s grit abruptly melts into a gleaming ambient bell. The ambiance is refreshing and calming in juxtaposition to the harsh guitar and drums.
Black Be Tha God, NEGRO. (wisdom.cipher)
Cleverly teased in the visual released before the album, “Black Be Tha God, NEGRO. (wisdom.cipher)” samples Eddie Kendricks’s “Intimate Friends,” for a glimpse into Siifu’s closing thoughts. He has big plans for the future but expresses his frustrations within himself and society.
dirt ft. Na-Kel
As he teams up with fellow L.A.-based artist/skater/designer, Na-Kel, Pink Siifu zealously spazzes on the gnarled instrumental. Beginning with a drowning cymbal and an intense set of lyrics rebelling against the police’s treatment of people of color. Both Na-Kel and Siifu are assertive and passionate, making the song and their message strong-willed.
Over several interludes and skits under a minute, on “myheartHURT,” a pitched down vocal sample dances throughout the song’s brief duration. Between two brash songs, there’s a short conversation that is layered on top of the soulful loop, ending in a joyful laugh that lends a comfortable feeling.
Originally posted to his SoundCloud as a demo roughly two years ago, “FK” is bold and intense. Siifu’s rage and aggressiveness are poignant and powerful as he screams over the warped guitar melody. At around the 1:40 mark, the song abruptly transitions into a pitched down verse over a crisp loop. The occasional scream of Siifu’s rage bleeds through into the repeated hook of the second half. “FK” is two tracks in one and a powerful punch.
Listen to Pink Siifu’s “NEGRO” on Bandcamp now.