Ill lyricist Charles Hamilton is back and has teamed up ManKind members SciryL and !LLumiN@TE to produce one of the year’s most creative and engaging concept albums, 8-Bit Genesis.
A throwback masterpiece, the trio used the music video generator startup MVGEN to create a visual album for Hamilton’s Sega Genesis-inspired production and ManKind’s love story narrative that incorporates video game characters and messages about faith.
“Once we came up with the title, we decided to use religion and video games as the backdrop for a love story,” !LLumiN@TE said. “The project is also a metaphor for ManKind’s relationship with God as we often choose to look externally for things that can only truly be found internally.”
The songs transcend video game concepts. “Streets of Rage” champions the Black Lives Matter movement. On “Zelda,” the MCs ponder how a relationship might be impacted by one partner’s new found faith. “Contra” addresses the drug game.
!LLumiN@TE says it was easy to infuse the video game elements into the album’s theme. “As artists, we naturally see a multitude of layers in all that we do,” he says. “Plus, we both grew up playing these video games, so, in a sense, we already had years of research to work with.”
ManKind released their last album, Election Year, in July. On Friday, Hamilton’s Red Bull TV documentary, Let It Play…Faltlines: The Charles Hamilton Story, debuts and his Republic Records’ album, Hamilton, Charles, drops on Dec. 9.
Check out the visual album below:
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