Music, as you know can be anything & literally everything. Artists take the opportunity to share their thoughts on the world — or serve as an extension of their beliefs. No subject is ever off limit. With that in mind, I arrive to the artist Vagabond Maurice & his Watching Icarus Fly LP, released in 2016. I actually discovered him in 2015 from a friend’s random retweet, go figure.
Maurice hails from Minneapolis and is based out of Chicago. Over the years he’s kept his career busy. He’s known to conceptualize his geekdom through music that often is jazzy, blues inspired, to name a few. Some of his accomplishments include; he’s toured with Bop Alloy (Marcus D & Substantial), played at big venues, and has been featured on the Chicago Sun-Times. He’s also a member of the Slumpgang77 collective (more on them in the future).
Vagabond is a protester, poet, unapologetically black, and more. He creates a musical narrative of exciting hopes & dreams. While at the same, he expresses his views on society’s major shortcomings and reminds us of our beautifully sad reality. Let just jump right into his music. Of course, like any article you’ll find my thoughts on some of my favorite songs.
Track 1. Where Dragons Dream Pt 3
With his introduction, Vagabond wastes no time to express his message. He raps on the thoughts being black in America. Lyrically, he delivers imagery of all things that say I’m black proud. He notes the struggles involving interactions with law enforcement. His message comes across smoothly as he’s rapping to a strong jazz hop song (jazz & hiphop). Make no mistake, you can gauge as his anger escalates despite the chill beat. -“melanin glistening”
Track 3. The Boy Who Fell From The Sky
Maurice’s third track speaks to the idea that we are all sleep walking. He draws parallels that out dreams is like treasure we have yet to find — which is painfully true as he Our happiness is something we deserve much like royalty. Then he shifts to the concerns of our inner peace? We all seek peace and he reminds us that we have to ignore the distractions of life – our fears and so forth. The track is melodic and his use of certain audio clips create a beautiful composition. There is a beautiful connection to both our dreams and inner peace. It’s something we all deserve – “We are all royalty, roaming in a sea of crowns”
Track 4. The Shooting Star She Saw
“You Gotta Keep your soul intact”. As I heard Maurice repeat this I wondered what does he mean? He’s asking listeners to recognize that despite our experiences, our perspectives can change easily. It can change much like seeing a shooting start. We have to maintain our integrity. The battle we often find ourselves with in staying honest is hurtful. The jazzy production paints an image of Vagabond performing to the backdrop of an outdoor stage. I mean what would be more fitting?
Track 5. Flowers For Icarus
The song is perhaps one of the most somber throughout the entire LP. The youngman summons up scenes of melancholy. We are watching Icarus fly and coming to grips with what’s to follow. Thematically speaking, this song the very essence of his entire project. He warns: when on an incline we get close to dangers. However Icarus flew too close to the sun and fell. With well crafted prose, he cements that we can do little but watch a likely downfall. We all can share this same fate. Its a sad and honest truth that haunts us all. – “Standing in the labyrinth watching Icarus fly”
Track 7. Castillo Passion Fruit Pt1
Everyone feels all albums have a love song and that their the same. Well, not here friend. He weaves a story as “we know what love is”. He doesn’t waste time navigating what loves is superficially. He keeps it honest and to the point. Maurice lyric by lyric takes us through a series of past memories. We experience a youngman in love as he pours out his heart swimming in warm feelings. There’s an appreciation here as Maurice doesn’t forsake it or makes it seem like a handicap. There’s earnest sentiment that’s almost corny but it makes you happy on track 7.
Track 8. Castillo Passion Fruit Pt2
Continuing the imagery of love, the chi town artist taps into more intimacy. Speaking as a fiend he makes it clear how he feels about the object of his desire. I think he puts it best with the verse – my sanctuary where Lucifer creeps up. Of course, throughout the song he’s a little less subtle with lustful lyrics. There’s an eloquence to his feelings. We can almost imagine what this mysterious muse of Maurice’s appears like. This song embraces artful sensuality.
Track 9. (Interlude) Ambiance of Tomorrow
One of the most jazzy interludes I’ve heard on an album. Maurice talks to us about feeling good and looking forward to the day. Which is an interesting break to the overall serious nature of the project. It’s thoroughly appreciated as he shares an array of things that make him happy. Just to get by the day we need to drape ourselves in what we love. The song is a message of self care in the midst of madness.
Don’t Skip –
Vagabond Maurice has been on the mic for quite sometime and has a lot of work worth listening to. My overall favorite track by him to date is Session 00 / One Day from his 2015 album; The Dragon That Devoured The Moon.
He raps over the simple concept that one day we will all begone. With an unbreakable flow he draws attention to ideas and actions that are fleeting at best. It’s humbling but at the same time strangely invigorating. The vigor Vagabond skillfully displays leaves you excited regards of the so called futility we should take actions.
As of now, I ‘m not certain if he’s working on a new project. I have a strong sense he very well maybe. Given what thoughts and energies that are all over the world right now, I’m sure he has a lot to think upon and share.
Wait, what’s that? Can you follow him on social media? Why yes you can friend
You’ll find his music available via
Although I did share some songs you should give his LP a full listen. What I didn’t mention is that he’s skillfully able to intertwine geek references throughout the album. Its quite impressive as I lost count listening through. Conceptually this album continues the journey Maurice has set on. He’s growing and sharing these experiences along the way. Let’s just hope that we don’t have to wait long for more of musical messages.