Village as told by Jacob Banks

Jacob Banks’ Village album review by Bongiswa Dlamini.

This review is not based on statistic/numbers but purely based on my own perspective and enjoyment.
In my quest to find new music I stumbled upon Jacob Banks’ Mercy on the Colors show (his voice in this track reminded me of Rag’n’Bone’s rough pipe) which made me dive fully into finding more of his music. This review will however be on his album, Village which he released on the 2nd of November 2018.

He is known for his contemporary songs that fall in the Soul music and contemporary R&B genre. Having listened to it countable times, kept on being drawn back of course. I was blow away by the freshness of the sound and absence of musical clichés. The crisp and intense combination of his rough yet soft voice and the African tribal production in some tracks laced soulful tuning. It is safe enough for me to consider this album a no-skips album because he really delivered. His authenticity and vulnerability in his story telling is one of the things that just keep on drawing me back, the versatility of the whole album too.

He bears it all on this album, from family feuds to half worked-out relationships in the song Unknown (To You). On Peace of mind he voices out the frustration of not being able to get someone out of your head and heart, this song holds so much sentiment because we have all at some point in time battled this kind of saddening frustration. Mexico starts with a deeply soft tuning only for it to climb for an upbeat bass drum, a song I’d vouched for any day for a playlist compilation. He really delivered sentimental messages throughout the entire album and his vulnerability in his story telling wrapped up the whole purpose in the album.

My favorite song in the album ‘’Unknown (To you)’’…this has got to be the most vulnerable song in this album. ‘’I think the relationship is very tender between man-and-man because life teaches men to pretend to be okay all the time, and even when were not we have to always put on this brave face. I think it takes greater strength to be vulnerable than it is to pretend to be strong all the time’’. Jacob Banks tells Billboard. For him to write this song was purely about a relationship with a significant other until it had a more intimate meaning to him stating about his recently matured relationship with his father and conversation he wishes they’d had earlier in life. With just two features in the entire album, he featured Bibi Bourelly in the song Kumbaya, one of the most unique voices I’ve ever heard, heavenly.

The whole album is a gem and if you’ve listened to it, let me know which ones are your favorite tracks and why. If you haven’t listened to it, can you dive in already and get lost in the music.

Music Linked to Memory

I lied on your bare back with my bare chest. Your skin felt soft and warm, my nipples must’ve felt the same way. With my cheek slightly on the back of your neck I tried to keep up with your breathing, to match your exhaling and inhaling with my eyes slightly closed. Daniel Caesar’s Freudian filled the comfortable silence and I would every now and then quietly hum our favourite lines, dedications. You tilted your back and brought me to your side with your arm making sure I don’t fall an inch away from you. You pulled me even more closer and planted a soft kiss on my forehead….we drifted to sleep.

Love Ties

I stood on the pavement wearing just your oversized t-shirt, my t-shirt dress and looking at your direction. Your face was clouded with so much emotion and my face was puffy and red, it had been a long day of crying and lashing out. “I’m so sorry but you have to leave”. That made want to run back to you and wrap my arms around your neck but your shoulders had been cold for a while so I stood powerlessly yet fiercely for a moment trying to find the right words to sum this up in a soft way. “How do you hang my body towel in your bathroom rail, place my clothes in your closet and then tell me to leave”. You started to walk slowly towards my direction…

Cover Me

Leaning into a state of softness in spite of anxiety.

I’ve always had a hard time explaining what anxiety is without the aid of existing information. Even a much harder to time to explain it through my experiences because that means I’m letting you into my head.

Existing information states that anxiety is an unpleasant state of mental uneasiness, nervousness, apprehension and obsession or concern about some uncertain event. It’s an explanation enough but not really enough for one to fully understand or even empathize if need be.

As far as my experiences are concerned (now I’m letting you into my head), anxiety is getting heart palpitations whenever your phone rings or when a notification lights up your screen because your space is just too small for anything to emerge uninvited. Switching it off is your last escape when you have woken up on the wrong side of your bed and you’re just too panicky to be having a conversation over the line but then again ‘’what if I miss an important call’’, you switch it on and wait in vain while contemplating about the ones you ‘’intend’’ not to take. A mere vibration of your phone is capable of throwing you off the edge, especially if you’re battling extreme phone anxiety.

It is also deciding which route to take around campus to class, an overly crowded one might overwhelm you and a clean route might creep you out because your nerves are always on the edge and the last thing you need the presence of people around or an absolute absence. One has to practice self-calming techniques more than they had anticipated like literally counting down from 10 to 1 in pursuit of some relaxation before emerging into a crowd when they finally decide to.

Pinterest. @The Mighty.

Anxiety is not trusting your words, your judgment and your deeds at times because your mind and nerves have played tricks on you for too long you doubt anything rooted on either. The worst of its definition is throwing up in the bathroom before getting into an exam room because your tummy is just too knotted with nervousness. Your walk in with a pale face, sweaty palms, burning underarms and a thudding chest. Your only redeemer is to sit still and practice your self-calming techniques before you get your pen pacing.

An anxiety/panic attack is anxiety telling you that ‘’you and I will coexist in this body, sometimes I will win and other times I will lose but for now it is my time to shine’’. I’ve (still do) had a lot of frustrating, saddening and confusing experiences but I’m learning not to be too hard on myself and always leaning into a state of softness because that is what saves one’s sanity. Getting help when need be and also believing that my anxiety does not define.

The better thing (I won’t say good) of which I appreciate about a moment of being throw over the age is that it announces its looming presence even before showing up, it gives you enough room to corner and simmer yourself down with whatever technique that has been instilled in you, by you of course. If you choose not to use that room at your advantage then anxiety will have you by the throat.

Having dealt with anxiety for more than 2 years and present, I’ve come realize that there is nothing wrong with having an anxiety disorder but there isn’t anything right with letting it control your life, your goals, restricting you from getting into certain spaces and having meets and greets with certain people, letting it tell you that you’re not good enough (second-guessing yourself) because you are. There isn’t anything right with letting it ruin your friendships/relationships because you are just too much of an over thinker and an overly analytic person you let your head and nerves play tricks on you even when they aren’t supposed to. I’ve also come to realize that you do not have to always live inside your head, believing on anything your mind tells you, especially when you are on the verge. You do not have to control your thoughts at all times, you just have to stop letting them control you.


Battling with your own mind a lot more often than usual requires you to practice self-care (however way that is good for you), wear positive self-affirmations on your sleeves, be around people who are good for your mental health, practice self-calming techniques whenever you get cornered, cutting down the use of social media, have a strong attention control (mindfulness), live in the moment and best believe that you are good enough.
Your anxiety does not define you.

Love and Light❤☀️.

What is anxiety according to your experiences?

My Sun

I wanna show you the world but you have a curfew.
I can never stargaze with you, your uranophobia always comes in our way.
You fear the night sky but you always find comfort in Sky’s bare arms at night.
What happened to calling me at midnight? Do you fear the dark that much?
How come my dark coloured hoodie is your favourite?
You never want to strip off that hoodie and let me trace those spots that resemble constellations on your skin.
You never want to strip bare and show me the parts of you that you’ve hidden from the world for so long.
Who showed you the darkest side of darkness that you flinch everything a shadow creeps into your world? Even a righteous one.
You always see genuine affection as an attack.
You see vulnerability as a weakness.
Listen, I can never save you. I need saving myself.
But I can shed some little light into your dark-shaded bubble, the one you don’t want to burst out of.
Now let me.