Imaan Faith went right to Tupac producer Johnny J for the track Goin 2 The Top and got something that sounds like a leftover from the batch of beats made for Pac during the All Eyez On Me sessions, complete with Pac’s vocal layering technique. Getting Mopreme Shakur and Big Syke adds to the Pac comparisons, but good intentions are evident in Haven’t Seen U Smile (Pac-like, even down to the pronunciation).
Faith’s life story is interesting. The Iranian-born immigrant to America met his label partner in a Brooklyn homeless shelter and moved to Toronto to escape hate crimes, only to find Canada not much more tolerant than the U.S. This history isn’t told in this debut album, though. Faith obviously idolizes Tupac Shakur and writes empathetic ghetto poetry, but he’s too heavily influenced by his hero, unfortunately not telling his own intriguing story. The production is polished and efficient, if not groundbreaking, and Faith has potential but needs to pull a Daz and be his own man next time.