Music. The language of the soul. Food for a famished heart. A unifier amidst all real and perceived differences. Music and the arts have united the world during the pandemic amid all the grief and division simmering beneath the surface. When politicians and world leaders have caused social strife and chaos, artists have offered medication in the form of new and uplifting pieces that have reminded us we all have commonalities that far outweigh the differences.

Striving to give their fans new inspirational music to lift their spirits, the dynamic rapper-producer duo of YOUNGMAN and Celestaphone worked extremely hard to produce their hot new album, “A YEAR OF OCTOBERS,” long before the pandemic set in. Even with challenges of social distancing, long-distance communication, and non-studio locations, the duo finally debuted their 12-track album in late August 2021.

Produced during the global pandemic, the 12 track albumis a package full of emotions. It evokes all the sadness, angst, hope, and pain most people were and are still experiencing in the aftermath of a global catastrophe, yet it still celebrates love and life. Blending weird beats with unique rhyming and different musical instruments, it truly is an anomaly genre fusion of punk and hip-hop. Its well-layered and detailed production combined with the dope rhymes in most tracks make the album a study in masterful education and entertainment.

YOUNGMAN is MC Paul Barman’s alter-ego, a character that spawned during conversations with the late MF DOOM. While “A YEAR OF OCTOBERS” is YOUNGMAN’s debut album, Paul Barman is a legend known for inventing a word that is now in the Oxford English Dictionary via his hip-hop lyrics. He collaborated multiple times in the past with the legendary MF DOOM, and the album is in part dedicated to him. MC Paul Barman has always had a way with perfect rhymes that are fun to listen and rap to, and his persona YOUNGMAN is living up to that reputation.

Celestaphone is a Californian record producer. He began collaborating with Paul in December 2019 to create the album. Celestaphone produced the entire album, and his mastery at the keyboards and turntable catapults “A YEAR OF OCTOBERS” from the level of mere music to a masterpiece.

The combination of YOUNGMAN’s rap skills and Celestaphone’s dynamic production gives the album potential to become the best in its category this year. The real-life MC Paul Barman also makes an appearance in the third track, “GUILLOTINE,” alongside YOUNGMAN. Speaking of their album, the skilled duo says their greatest lesson is that “Great art can be a healer during times of turmoil or uncertainty.” And that healing is what they believe everyone who listens to the album will find.

Each track in the album is awesome in its own right, and choosing a favorite is simply impossible. The pieces range from short at two minutes and eight seconds to longer at five minutes and seven seconds. The overall effect will leave you wanting more than the thirty-nine minutes the entire album lasts. To all their fans, the duo says their collaboration will not end after one album, and they already have plans to release new music soon.

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