Gilbere Forte - OZY | A Modern Media Company

Gilbere Forte

Gilbere Forte

By Jasmina Cuevas

Black and white portrait of Gilbere Forte.
SourceAnthony Cabaero


Because being the future of freshness in music takes talent and prayer. Gilbere has both.

By Jasmina Cuevas

Forte released two mixtapes, 87 Dreams and Eyes of Veritas, prior to being signed to Epic Records — a record deal that merely confirmed what many already knew: Forte had the talent but was missing a platform so that more people could truly hear him. The wait for his debut album will soon be over as he is in the studio finishing the project for a summer 2014 release. Dedicating his newfound success to God and prayer, Forte released his third and most successful mixtape thus far, Pray, in May 2013.   Eight months since its release, the tracks are still addictive and reveal something new with every replaying.It takes a certain kind of person to survive the mean streets of Flint, Chicago and Philly — all in one lifetime. But Gilbere Forte survived more than the pull of the streets — and the grim statistics facing young black men in the inner cities. Instead, he used his creative intellect to write about his highs, lows and all the in-betweens. He steered clear of the typical themes of drugs, partying and cars, and presented listeners with a fresh picture and a new type of music.

Pray is a magnificent blend of tracks, and each one has a different tale to tell. “Nolita” describes a deceitful love that many would fear to speak of. “The Awakening” strikes a haunting, almost Hitchcockian note, and it features Forte rapping about becoming an artist and the struggles that come with it. And the title track, “Pray,” is by far Forte’s toughest piece of work. He holds back nothing and the visual for the track is amazing. Filmed deep inside the jungle, the scenery is beautiful, mysterious and illuminating. Which could be said of the 26-year-old Forte’s music as a whole.

“Pray” is at once a bold command and tender request — from an artist who has seen the depths and is now soaring the heights. 


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