Calgary hip-hop artist A.Y.E. shows that family matters with his superbly nourishing new release Soul Food the Autobiography of …

“Family and music is the go-about for me right now.”

That’s how Jahimba Hutson responds to the simple question of what’s going on in his world these days.

It’s ostensibly in reference to the fact that the Calgary hip-hop artist known under his MC moniker A.Y.E. became a father for the first time this past January, a proud pop of a bouncing baby boy.

But it’s also a pretty good entry into the reason behind this particular conversation, that being the release of Soul Food the Autobiography of … the third album from someone who’s fast, deservedly, becoming the face and voice of the local rap scene.

It is a disarmingly personal and assured statement of, as he says, “who I’m becoming, who I am as an artist.”

Positive, fluid, warm, friendly, jazzy, dreamy and consciously elevated, it sets the high-water mark for hip-hop in this city, building off of his remarkable 2014 debut 90 Now and its 2016 followup Nox.

It finds Hutson laying it all out there, not fronting, not seemingly caring while opening a lyrical vein to deliver, not unintentionally, the contents of his mind and soul in a way that goes down smooth, easy and beautifully.

“It was all about putting my life in the music and trying to tell this story of love and nourishment and spirituality … It was natural to write, nothing forced,” he says of the recurring themes throughout the album.

“My music is my life, I’m finding my life is my music so with this project I was trying to be as transparent and a little bit more vulnerable, just to reveal all of myself.

“I feel like in the hip-hop spectrum a lot of that is lacking.”

While it would be easy to say that it was his impending fatherhood that steered the direction of the album, he notes that he actually began work on it last March, with the baby on the way partway through.

It was more his mindset, more of where he was at, looking back on his journey as a man and an artist and wanting to express his appreciation for all that got him here.

Again, a lot of that has to do with his family, a mother and father who brought him up in a way that nourishment — on all levels — was lovingly, unconditionally provided.

From bright, bouncy opener Sun Days to the sweet-to-the-slow-beats Family Affairs, which features heart-burstingly supportive voicemail messages from his parents, Hutson pays tribute to the people closest to him, those who made him. He gives thanks in a way that moves, should move, to the listener, to those who are hearing it.

And have those that matter heard it the way they should?

“My mom is always a hard egg to crack, but she seems to be enjoying it,” he says, before turning to his father, Iwango Jahfire, the frontman behind Calgary reggae staples Strugglah, in which Hutson cut his musical teeth. “My dad’s more vocal for sure just because we’ve been in the music and he’s been with me from the beginning …

“So we did this listening party and my dad was in tears.”

No surprise, considering how heartfelt a tribute the record as a whole actually is.

Hutson admits he’s eager to hear how his fans, those who’ve also followed him from the beginning will react and relate when he releases it properly Friday, Aug. 9 with a show at the HiFi Club with his exceptional backing band The Extraordinary Gentlemen.

And even more when the album makes its way across the world, thanks to a release on Makebelieve Records, the label of local hip-hop godfathers Dragon Fli Empire.

In that regards, once again the subject turns to family, with Hutson offering nothing but good thoughts about the duo — Teekay and DJ Cosm — who he says have been supportive on every level, treating him as if he was their little brother.

“I’m very fortunate for that,” he says of the relationship, the confidence that being part of the Dragon Fli family has given him.

“It’s reassuring for sure.”

A.Y.E. releases his new album Soul Food the Autobiography of … Friday, Aug. 9 at the HiFi Club.