Mint Condition frontman Stokely, returns to the scene with his sophomore solo album, Sankofa. Prior to the COVID pandemic, Stokley released the singles “She”, a ballad that recalled the classic Mint Condition sound, and the up-tempo bop, “Vibrant” feat. Snoop Dogg. Thankfully, the pandemic did not slow Stokley down and he released two more promotional singles earlier this year.
Up first was “Cascade” feat. The Bonfyre and more recently “Woman” feat. KIDI, which started to gain traction. In 2021, four promotional singles is not a surprise, as it creates anticipation for the album. All of the aforementioned singles make an appearance on the album, so I will not go too in depth about them in this review, other than saying they all still sound good. Stokley opens Sankofa with “Sankofa Past”, a great instrumental that would feel right at home on the soundtrack to next summer’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
“Vibrant” and “She” then follow before Stokley teams up with Wale on “Café.” This song is a grown man sexy track about comparing women to coffee. Now, in lesser hands, the concept might not have worked, but Stokely pulled it off with ease and the Wale verse was good. H.E.R. joins for the mid-tempo ballad “Rush”, which reminded me of something Prince might have done in 2021. While “Recipe” is borderline Rock, it is going to sound great with a live band. Stokely also finds time to bring back the art of the interlude on Sankofa. The style on the interludes all transition naturally into the next song.
Snoop Dogg pops back up for “Jeopardy: Verbalize ” which has a great smoky jazz café vibe feel. Snoop and Stokely have a great chemistry together and I would not mind a joint tour or project from the two. There is also a great remix of “Cascade”, but carries the hyphen – Lvrs Quarrel. The artistry in this particular remix comes in the lyrics as Stokely flips the beat and even the message in the song. Towards the end of the album, Stokely hits us with another great ballad in the form of “Lost”, before closing out with the album’s title track.
Overall, Sankofa is a strong follow up to 2017’s Introducing Stokley. I was not that fond of “Vudoo”, but when the good outweighs the bad, I will let it slide. Sankofa is highly recommended and I cannot wait to hear these songs live.
Final Grade: A-
Sankofa is available now on all streaming platforms