Peter Jordens has sent us news that Fresku, a Dutch-Curaçaoan rapper based in the Netherlands, has recently released his second album, Maskerade. Fresku, whose real name is Roy Michael Reymound was born in Eindhoven in 1986; when he was 7, he moved to Curaçao to live with his father. Since then, Fresku has been inspired by Curaçao [see previous post Fresku, Dutch-Caribbean Rapper]. Here are excerpts from Jordens’ report (many thanks, Peter) based on his translations of several Dutch-language reviews.
Maskerade debuted on the Dutch Album Top 100 at number 7 – an excellent start for a hip-hop album. Maskerade contains various duets. ‘Cirkels’ with Curaçaoan jazz diva Izaline Calister and ‘Kwantu Mas’ with Fresku’s brother Michael Reymound are two socially critical songs about Curaçao.
Fresku’s first album (Fresku, 2010) got him established as a smart rapper willing to expose his deepest pains and doubts while also entertaining his fans with self-mockery and screwball comedy. Maskerade is fresh and even more diverse in terms of both beats and rhymes. According to one reviewer, Erik Zwennes of 3voor12, Maskerade is “a bittersweet masterpiece and painful confession, inspired by all the experiences of a twenty-something youngster whose life was turned upside-down in a very short time-span,” referring to the personal and professional trials that Fresku experienced in the 2-year period between his two albums.
[. . .] Maskerade could justifiably be called an experimental album. The production is marked by great diversity; for example, the summery, almost Mediterranean guitar sounds of ‘Cirkels’ change seamlessly into the progressive beat of ‘Status.’ The emotional impact is greatest in the songs about the relationship between Fresku, his daughter and her mother. On ‘Liefdesliedje’ and ‘(Brief aan) Alisha’, Fresku digs deep and shows a side that most rappers prefer to hide. It is especially the successful combination of imaginative satire and honest emotion that makes Maskerade the best hip-hop album in Dutch of 2012 so far.
For the original and complete reviews (in Dutch), go to: http://3voor12.vpro.nl/#!/nieuws/2012/mei/Interview-met-Fresku.html (Erik Zwennes), http://www.nu.nl/cd-recensies/2812042/fresku–maskerade.html (Abdel Chaouch) and http://www.telegraaf.nl/filmenuitgaan/muziek/12101906/__De_vele_gezichten_van_rapper_Fresku__.html (Myrthe Van der Wolf).