Released the first day of 2021, E.G.O. is packed with skits from famous voices like Obama and Stephen Curry, but this blog feature is to shine a light on Leo Mercer, the artist who brought it all together.

Leo Mercer is a community activist and rap member of Mercer Brotherhood. Mercer’s music has always had this one consistent component to them: he speaks his truth. He shares so much of himself in his music, you can’t help but feel connected to his honesty. Leo will let you know (and does in “Egotism Affirmations (Skit)) that he creates music simply for himself and not for you!

This 2021 album pulled me in by its mesmerizingly trippy album art and its title: E.G.O which is an acronym for Emotional Guard of Oppression, the official title of the album.

The Oxford dictionary defines the ego as: “a person’s sense of self-esteem or self importance.”

Most recently my friends and I have been discussing “ego death”. Ego death is the process of complete surrender of your self-identity. Deepak Chopra, author and alternative-medicine advocate, twits: “[The] ego identity fears death. The gateway to immortality is to discover your true self beyond ego”. Leo brings his side of the conversation about the ego and other perspectives on terms like narcissism and egotism on his 2021 album.       

Mercer goes in on the good + bad of narcissism on his “Positive Narcissism (skit)”, which I found refreshing. To the general public, being labeled a narcissist is seen as an insult. Leo turns this on its head by taking the side of devil’s advocate, exposing both terms to share a positive practical use in our everyday life and achievements.

Leo faces the ego in his second track by the same title. The track encourages the listener to explore all sides of the ego, “the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful”. Featured artist, Infamous Taz, greets the track with fast paced raps and introspective lyrics about his ego. Both Leo and Taz personify the ego on this track. Giving the ego names, along with human characteristics and traits.

The rest of the album is a mix of organic lyrics that reflect Leo’s narrative and introspective reflections. I’d see fit that this album be enjoyed in a safe space at home or in your favorite mama earth spot. This project is totally heavy on reflection, but there are definitely still tracks to jam to: “Nostalgia”, “Gettin’ It In”, “Sun Orange”, “Our Way”, just to name a few!

Keep up with Leo Mercer’s other singles and projects past, present, and future through your favorite streaming service below: