Those who know MoRuf tend to love him. The following that he has earned since his debut in 2011 is fiercely loyal, lighting up the internet with calls for more attention paid to his 2013 album, the underrated Shades.Of.Moo. It's a fact that the artist—New Jersey native Moruf Adewunmi—seems aware of on his expansive new EP, Loosies. At the beginning of the second song, "Viewtiful Fish," a woman, presumably a radio DJ, compliments an artist, presumably MoRuf, saying that she has seen people stop in their tracks when his music comes on, that he "has an ability to captivate a listener who's not really even listening to the music." It's a subtle and humble exhibition of swagger, a self-endorsement that says, trust me, you'll want to listen to this.
And it's accurate. The version of Loosies that I listened to plays all eight tracks as a continuous stream, refusing to let you emerge for air until the last notes fade out. But the EP contains plenty of breathing room in itself. With a different producer for each song producing varied shades of MoRuf's self-proclaimed "Soulhop," the album ebbs and flows through different sounds and themes, unified by an underlying warmth, accessibility, and jazz-influenced '90s hip-hop vibe.
A few of the many highlights include "GOLDEN LAKES," a song that combines an introspective gaze with a full, intricate sound focused around smooth keys; the gentle song "Huxtable," about love, poetry, and the Cosby Show; and the epic track at the end, "I WANT YOU," which catapults off of a single encounter in the street, using heart beats, breath, and MoRuf's rhythmic flow as percussive elements in a ten-minute, anxious, longing-filled journey that travels to childhood and back—and is worthy of the Erykah Badu song that it reimagines. Diverse and inviting, Loosies is another strong case for MoRuf that deserves your attention.