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Album Review

Kay-Ara – Still Underground Mixtape

Right from the start Kay-Ara wastes no time and straight introduces the listener to his world,showing his outspoken and carefree character from the very first word he utters. On the Intro Ara goes in hard over Kid Ziggy’s Flip of the classic Alhaji K. Frimpong track Kyenkyenbi and writes a lyrical “Myself” in pidgin english […]

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Right from the start Kay-Ara wastes no time and straight introduces the listener to his world,showing his outspoken and carefree character from the very first word he utters. On the Intro Ara goes in hard over Kid Ziggy’s Flip of the classic Alhaji K. Frimpong track Kyenkyenbi and writes a lyrical “Myself” in pidgin english and manages to pull off the concept quite well.

Then he launches into a punchline party over a crazy production by Klumonsta(who produced and mixed most of the tracks on the tape) titled “Listen” and commands his listener to get past his voice and listen to the knowledge he has to share. This track sets the right mood for the whole mixtape and is arguably the best track on it. Then hes on to the next one with “Latecomer” produced by Klumonsta. Here the rapper showcases his storytelling abilities as he tells a story of a girl who is delaying though they already are late for a show. He paints a vivid picture and draws the listener into the song with humor then climaxes wit an unexpected but hilarious ending. The Introduction of a female voice on it is also genius.

The next track opens with the sound of a racing car and is titled “Speeding”. Once again he tells a story of an unfaithful lover and a tiresome relationship. He manages to pull it off with crazy punchlines like “After the chick comot me from her body tes3 Feather” and his frustration,pain and anger can be felt right from the start to the end…… this is one that will touch your soul if you can relate (makes you want to light a blunt lol). “Traffic Light” which was the second single off the tape does not measure up. Though it has a brilliant concept which was executed perfectly, it lacks that ‘newness’ since Bra Kevin who produced it already released a freestyle off the same beat plus it sounds too Skillionish. With the help of Klumonstas synths and strings on “Wat dey go Do” Kay-Ara invites Ko-Jo to the party as they sound a warning to the competitors. With crazy punchlines Ara shows why hes here to stay and wont take no prisoners. Ko-Jo though not his best performance doesnt dissapoint either.

Right after the threats Ara sets on a journey of soul cleansing as he implores the heavenly father to “Forgive Me”. Over a nice instrumental and superb backing vocals by Klu, he goes to confession and bares his soul to his God proving that hard rocks worship God too. Then he gets personal on The Game’s “Better Days”. Where he talks about his trials and tribulations and still manages to sound hopeful instead of hurt and angry. Then he turns Lil Waynes Single into “Abi Chisel” and goes in a bit too hard on the golddigers and lets them know hes not tricking even if he got it. Another highlight of the mixtape,this track is complete with witty metaphors,clever wordplay,a simple rhyme scheme and profanity(hes mister tell it as it is).

BETTER DAYS

On “Get Up” he enlists the help of former group member Lethal Lyrix, the nu gal on the block Felly and Kenzi to keep hope alive. The track fails miserably though as the rappers fail to become one with the hot beat courtesy Klumonsta. Though lyrically each brought his A-game,the chemistry and cohesion crucial on collabos is lost. So instead of a great song they end up with 4 hot verses and a hot beat all going thier different directions. Before you fall asleep though you are woken up by a short spoken word which precedes “I wanna b an Afrikan”. Over Klu’s congas and percs Ara paints a vivid picture of the continent as it now is. Blasts us for our ignorance and goes at the white men for robbing us(in a kinda racist way). In the end he says nothing but the truth though. Then he brings it to a grand closing with his outro over Jay-Z’s Thank You instru where he thanks everybody who helped him get here and leaves us with a last verse summarizing the whole mixtape which will keep us company till his next offering.

I WANNA BE AN AFRICAN

In the end, the question is not whether he did it but whether he can do it again, we will just have to wait and see……ALLS WELL THAT ENDS WELL – K. Kani.

Overall rating(out of 5) – 4

Best Cut – Speedin

Worst Cut – Get Up

Best Concept – Latecomer

Worst Concept – Myself

Features – Tsuki, Ko-Jo, Klu, Lethal lyrix, Felly and Kenzi.

http://sribuo.com/2010/08/28/music/kay-ara-still-underground-mixtape

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