In the attempt to discover what happened to hip-hop and soul fusions that artists such as Common pioneered in the early 00’s, one must do a little digging. In times where compassion is experiencing a resurgence within the arts and hip-hop can exist within such amorphous boundaries, it’s no surprise that B. Millis’ The Life & Times of An Eternal Optimist should find an adequate foothold today. Millis demonstrates a nearly immediate call to action to transform one’s perspective or state of mind, incorporating a wide survey of theologies and philosophies to inform his worldview.
Millis, much like his positive R&B predecessors, is no stranger to creating something that has inherent value that makes it jump, rather than simply serving as a testament to the power of positivity. “Get Up 2 Get Down” is as funky and fresh as any soul-pop jam may manifest itself – while still preaching the perils and pitfalls of success. However, the verbiage of “preaching” ought to be taken with a grain of salt – there is little that is overtly pragmatic or self-righteous coming from B. Millis.
An interesting figure as an MC, Millis employs a unique mode of singing, spoken-word affirmations and more conventional spitting. Millis seems to comfortably lean towards belting his heart out over his own lyrical compositions as they relate to life, love, and the inevitable awakenings that occur. In this sense, Millis can’t help but serve as a spiritual guru/preacher, employing different modes of vocal discourse.
It’s pleasant to embrace music that sets a linear course with zeal. Dispelling gray areas and working alongside the binaries of categorically good vibes and those which are categorically corrupt, The Life & Times of An Eternal Optimist is a guide nearly anyone may follow.