‎Grit & Lust by Zinoleesky on Apple Music

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    Within the two years following his grand introduction on 2020’s Chrome, Zinoleesky saw his star power rise because of a street-inspired lyrical style that explored the contrast of his weighty ambitions and the extenuating circumstances of his birth. But while the strain between goals and origin has been the crux of his most profound work, the singer has also found time to reflect on the evolving landscape of his life on tracks just like the Niphkeys-produced “Blessings” and “Naira Marley”, and ponder companionship on songs like “Loving You” and “Rocking.” On 2022’s Grit & Lust, Zinoleesky confirms himself as a transcendent star via the facility of his storytelling and witty observations. Across eight songs, the singer (born Oniyide Azeez) pulls threads from his life to create a compelling tapestry of the lifetime of a pop star in the midst of a compelling come-up. Filled with soulful odes and gritty word play punctuated by Zinoleesky’s lithe voice, Grit & Lust just isn’t a lot a victory lap because it is a testament of where he’s straight away. “Personal” is an audacious hustler’s anthem that addresses online trolls and his super-sized dreams, while “Yan Yan Yan,” a hypnotic mix of log drums and prickly horns, finds Zinoleesky bigging up himself. As with the whole lot Zinoleesky, the true clincher on Grit & Lust is how he keeps finding nimble pockets to microcosmically express elation, angst and acceptance which might be alien to the de rigeur of street pop, as he does poignantly on the Ayra Starr-assisted “Many Roads.”

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