Power, Resilience & Joy is the fourth album from American hip-hop artist River Nelson, following his critically acclaimed LPs The Rise and Fall of River Nelson, The Shape of the Sky and How To Dream.
With a classic hip-hop sound at its core Power, Resilience & Joy is driven by conscious and thought-provoking concepts, delivered with the grace of a veteran storyteller. Centering on the words “Power,” “Resilience” and “Joy” – three things that River tries to maintain in daily living with each song documenting that process. The positive message of the album is an inspiring centrepiece for a current hip hop record.
“In my opinion, there’s work that goes into being joyful, which starts with being thankful for the good things in your life while powering through the challenges,” says River. “These songs are a personal reminder that I need to maintain that perspective and hopefully they’ll motivate others to do the same if they choose.”
Highlights include the up-tempo and optimistic lead single “Today,” about never giving up on your dreams – a balance to the more heavy-hitting, reflective tracks like “Law of Averages” – a long-flowing stream of consciousness about patience and self-belief which packs a strong punch. The bouncier “Japanese Proverb” is about learning to rise again and don’t miss the punchy keys of “Broken Sky,” a stark contrast to the trappy bassline of “The Night the City Died”; a gritty story of corruption and crime.
“There’s no filler on the album and you’ll hear the same attention to detail in each song,” River explains. “Hopefully it’ll inspire people to keep going and to pursue your passions, all while being joyful, powerful and resilient through whatever comes.”
The album’s producers include K-Murdock of the hip-hop group Panacea, formerly signed to Rawkus Records, as well as the British beat maker Giacomo Trivelli of the critically acclaimed UK based hip-hop group Sam Sure & Giacomo. Florida’s Orlando Lorde also contributes production, as does Los Angeles’ Mudslide Matt and Oakland’s AltoBeats.
Native New Yorker, River Nelson has carved out a respectable following for himself in the U.S., Europe and other parts of the globe, with widespread press acclaim and radio support from the likes of BBC 6 Music’s Lauren Laverne and Giles Peterson. He began his recording career when he was signed to Arista Records by label executive Joy Bailey while Clive Davis was still at the helm. He also hooked up with the New York rappers the Boogiemonsters and was featured on the group’s classic debut Riders of The Storm: The Underwater Album. In 2010 River worked with legendary UK producer Lewis Parker and the two created the critically praised The Rise & Fall of River Nelson, described by The Independent as “full of thoughtful sentiments and a positive attitude set to infectious symphonic-soul beats”. This was followed in 2013 with The Shape of The Sky, and histhird album How to Dream in 2016, followed by the EP Navigation in 2017.
Power, Resilience & Joy is out June 14