Jal begins this track with the line “I believe I’ve survived for a reason/to tell my story, to touch lives.” Needless to say, the Sudan-born MC–who served a large chunk of his childhood in a rebel movement known as the Sudan People’s Liberation Army–has some heavy topics to impart on his debut album, Warchild. His lyrics touch on the devastating impact of conflict in his homeland, his need to share those experiences, and the lack of responsibility contemporary hip-hop superstars have with regards to being role models. The album’s story is, perhaps, not the most easygoing one to tell, but nonetheless an important one to share.

Jal – Warchild