In a climate of posturing and pomp, it is refreshing to see an artist like Topeka, Kansas’ Stik Figa unafraid to come As Himself. After spending years gaining prominence in his hometown and love from the likes of Miles Bonny and Oddisee, Stik Figa steps up to the national stage with his debut Mello Music Group album As Himself. The album is blue-collar rap, at times somber and at times jovial. There is no hyperbolized varnish here, just the raw grain of Stik’s mental flow.
Stik Figa’s newest single “Medicine” incorporates all the tried and true elements that initially made hip hop a cultural movement: sharp insight and clever wordplay backed by a re-configuration of the powerful music of yesterday. As soon as producer Michael “Seven” Summers (Tech N9ne, Kendrick Lamar, Busta Rhymes) sets loose the undeniable bass line and programmed drums, Stik Figa hits the ground running questioning the metrics of masculinity; drawing parallels between the motivation behind armed robbery and playing the lotto; and explaining how for many “Ready to Die is a religion and philosophy.” By the time the organ picks up in the song, you’ll find yourself keeping pace right along with him. The ideal track for those of us who prefer to listen to artists we can relate to: prescribe yourself a dose of Stik Figa’s “Medicine” and see if it doesn’t soothe your soul.