By: Shamus Hill
The concept of a “blank slate” drifts back centuries, with its truest meaning revolving around the fact that people aren’t born with pre-existing knowledge, but rather that we learn through both our experiences and perception. Today, it’s commonly thought of as a new beginning, a point in one’s life where their past is in the past, and it’s only up to oneself to ensure a bright, desirable future. Perfectly embodying the many interpretations of a blank slate is Lynn-native Suriel, who recently gifted listeners with his wonderfully-developed, debut album titled Blank Slate.
Suriel made his first appearance on Graduation Music a couple of months ago with the release of “$tack$” featuring Rockie Fresh, a song that not only highlighted the Lynn-artist’s potent rapping ability, but showcased his hunger for success, just as well. Blank Slate offers a broader scope into Suriel’s personal life, detailing precisely why he values his strong work-ethic so highly, and how he’s overcome a challenging past to earn everything he’s got. Gift-wrapped with some impressive production and hard-hitting bars, this project is most definitely one worth spending some time with.
Towards the beginning of Blank Slate, Suriel touches upon some of the tumultuous events of his past, and how, at the time, he was unsure of whether or not they would be something that he could overcome. From living in the projects to being raised by a single mother, Suriel has always endured challenges that were beyond his control, however, he’s learned not to let these challenges dictate his life. Songs like “Motive” and “Wake Up” speak to this effect, recounting how Suriel found solace in his surroundings and built upwards from there. While this may not have been his natural reaction immediately, with time, Suriel has learned how to properly navigate through the turbulent periods of life so that he can work towards his goals. Something that each of us strives to accomplish, Blank Slate offers listeners a fresh reminder that they too can overcome anything.
“Rockland Street” is one of my favorite songs off of this album, highlighting how Suriel’s formidable state of mind is truly coming to fruition. While understanding that he’s never had an easy life, Suriel has also come to terms with the fact that a lot of the people placed in similar circumstances haven’t made it to the position that he’s found himself in. He’s placed an incredible amount of time and effort into his craft, and is faithful that his hard-working mentality is what will launch him into his next phase of life.
As Blank Slate shifts towards its end, listeners begin to understand how truly concrete Suriel’s state of mind is. While continuing to reference his difficult past, Suriel begins to describe how these events are what have made him into the strong, withstanding person that he is. Rather than falling victim to the things that he’s endured, Suriel’s taken it upon himself to put his pain to good use. “Blank Face”, the last song off of the album, largely centers itself around this thought-process. Suriel has already witnessed a severe amount of change in his life by refusing to let anything tear him down, and with this in mind, he’s prepared to do whatever it takes to succeed. He’s arrived at a point where he’s built himself his own blank slate, so it’s up to him to either choose to dwell on the past, or flip the page and become the person that he’s always dreamed of becoming.
Largely-based around life experience and change in perception, Blank Slate is a powerful debut album that is worthy of praise. Suriel is living proof that even if the circumstances aren’t always in our favor, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to back down and run away. By facing adversity and having the will to learn from trauma, each and every one of us can have what it takes to overcome any challenge that life throws our way. Suriel brings all of these thoughts to life with his latest release, making it a must-listen for fans everywhere.
Listen to Suriel’s debut Album Blank Slate below:
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