Everyone loves a good story, and August Alsina has quite one to tell. The singer’s rag-to-riches tale is captivating but, as documented on his debut album, Testimony, he could’ve been just another statistic. Luckily for Alsina, rather than ending up six-feet under or behind bars in the mean streets of New Orleans, he ended up at the top of the charts, now being mentioned in the same breath as Chris Brown and Trey Songz.
But what’s so fascinating about Alsina is not just his story, but the complex duality of his artistry. Musically he sits comfortably in both the R&B and hip-hop genres without abandoning one for the other, while on a personal tip he seems to struggle between his roots in the ‘hood and his new uprising in the music industry.
That binary theme is heavily constant on the appropriately titled Testimony, a 14-track confessional of sorts that wheels into vivid, personal accounts of Alsina’s rocky road to fame and, in true male R&B style, endearing odes to the ladies. But most of all, the 21-year-old newbie is honest and wears his rugged heart on his sleeve.