Monday, June 05, 2006

earCandy: K-Os - Joyful Rebellion (2004) 5/5

K-Os is a fantastically talented and progressive rapper/singer/producer based out of Toronto, Canada. His first album, 2003's Exit, revealed a new entity on the hip-hop scene who was as comfortable singing as he was rapping, whose lyrics were both conscious and cutting, and whose productions covered a wide gamut of different styles and instrumentation. His sophomore release, Joyful Rebellion, shows his abilities continuing their growth with its thirteen songs providing some of the best listening from the genre (if he indeed fits in "the genre" at all) in recent years.

The first single, B-Boy Stance, is actually one of the weaker tunes, harkening back to legitimate roots but whose repetitiveness seems a little out of place in such an otherwise rich album. Crabbuckit was probably the next single and had a much broader appeal - the vamp from "Hit The Road Jack" forms a swingin basis and the addition of horns and contrasting rapping and singing work wonderfully. The second song, Crucial, is a a great reggae-infused cut and mashes together rock and other elements, like many of the tunes here. Following this is the Man I Used To Be - pretty much pure Michael Jackson with a couple of raps interspersed. Love Song and the rocking Dirty Water (with Sam Roberts) are other great cuts, and the album ender, Papercutz explodes with fabulous live fretless bass, blazing horns, and some effective scratching.

K-Os is probably Canada's biggest representative on the hip hop scene and, with such a unique "voice" and a couple of superlative albums under his belt, I'm glad he's on our side :-) .

PS: I can't really heap as much praise on his website, though, as I have a professional distaste for sites with absolutely no navigation :-) (although it does have some good content, allowing you to listen to songs and view videos).
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6/05/2006 07:31:00 PM  

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