In the spirit of James Baldwin: “Soldiers don't, statesmen don't, pastors don't, union leaders don't. Only the poets.” And again, only a poet can illustrate the beautiful tragedy of their city, their people, themselves like Kondwani Fidel does with The Mud Was Made For Us. At the center of this poetry EP, beyond the multi-layered aesthetics of Fidel's steady flow, tactical wordplay and smooth cadences crooned over laid back jazz beats; the passion, admiration and love Kondwani has for his people and his city is obvious. On Born In It he laments, “y’all adopted the mud/ I was born in it.” And on Real 4 Eva he states “This here is my open letter no matter if you love or hate it.” While on the last track I Will Tell Them he sums up the essence of it all, “for too many moons America has been lying to black children.” To simply put it, Kondwani Fidel masterfully dissects the “mud” he was born in and molded with, by offering a candid glimpse into the survival required of one truly born in his city. From the unscripted testimony of one of the homies on Track 1: “80% of Baltimore has a cloud hanging over top of it” to the calming wisdom of a matriarch on Track 8: “all systems work by design”; The Mud Was Made For Us is a mandatory and complete listen.
- Wallace Lane author of Jordan Year