The Awakening (II)

Texas Platters

No such thing as a sure thing, but 20-year-old Brian Baptiste has pitched his trajectory upward as Malik on these well-purposed chronicles of a young soul teetering in the balance. Continuing the Austin rapper/producer's existentialist series, The Awakening (II) follows his ultimately hopeful The Principium with a sonically dense spiritual reverie turned burner. Oozing confidence, this spectacular offering is rife with trap, jazz, and trip-hop cadences, its production lush throughout. On lead single "Alone," he tickles the keys and goes full-on PBR&B singsong over layered flourishes. The album's best track goes to atmospheric stalker "S.M.S.," where he calls out rap's spiritually bereft subculture: "The secret's minimal, keep it subliminal/ No one's born a criminal, but we can get him there." On "Something / Nothing" and "Exodus," he makes use of eerie touches and strange clangs à la Brixton's old trip-hop/electronic acts. Malik eschews preachiness, not necessarily even delivering a Christian message – which is the trick.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Malik
Vocalist and Producer Malik Explores Emotion Through Color
Vocalist and Producer Malik Explores Emotion Through Color
Grammy accredited Austinite compartmentalizes himself on the inner-facing Spectrum

Kevin Curtin, June 26, 2020

Texas Platters
The Principium (Record Review)

Kahron Spearman, Dec. 4, 2015

More Music Reviews
Review: Free Hamze & Peace, <i>FREETAPE2: Peace by Piece</i>
Review: Free Hamze & Peace, FREETAPE2: Peace by Piece
FREETAPE2: Peace by Piece (Record Review)

Derek Udensi, Aug. 4, 2023

Texas Platters
Ben Buck
Kilroy (Record Review)

Derek Udensi, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Kahron Spearman
Austin's Hip-Hop Pioneers, in Their Own Words
Austin's Hip-Hop Pioneers, in Their Own Words
The Austin History Center-archived rappers and industry innovators share stories

Sept. 15, 2023

The Prodigal Producer: Austin’s Malik Baptiste Comes Home
The Prodigal Producer: Austin’s Malik Baptiste Comes Home
Alchemical rapper returns from L.A. with 24-karat solo tracks

Sept. 8, 2023



One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle