Expectation: The latest EP from DC rapper/singer Kamau, and the first available on streaming platforms. I happened upon a mention of this guy’s name online and listened to him on a whim, but was blown away by his unique style that established a strong sense of artistic identity in just 6 tracks. I highly recommend listening to this project immediately without letting me spoil the surprises, but if you aren’t convinced then read on.
- Jambo – An incredibly gripping opener, starting off with a simple beat constructed from beat boxing and some background chants reminiscent of Kanye West’s “Power”. Kamau launches into an intricate sing-songy flow that sounds equally like Chance the Rapper and Big Sean, though with a distinct 3stacks influence in how he connects his lines. The hook is basically some strangely catchy chanting, but it doesn’t last long as Kamau almost immediately launches back into an even more complex flow, this time altering his voice and intonation throughout the verse to make his vocals even more dynamic. Then the hook comes back with some swelling synths underneath before the big finish, and you notice that the whole song was less than 2 minutes long.
- Justfayu – Starting off with something that sounds weirdly similar to the intro to Youtube clips of Key & Peele, Kamau shows off his ability to craft an infectious hook that still fits his distinct style. The second verse is another rapid fire diatribe for the first half, followed by singing in the second. Kamau introduces new ideas so fast that the moment you start to get a handle on what he’s doing, he’s already moved on.
- Gaims – I still think its only a matter of time before this song takes off; the hook is just too much fun. Show this song to anyone and they will be humming it all day. Despite this instantly infectious melody, the song still feels like something only Kamau could have written.
Overall: The first three tracks alone make this project one that you absolutely have to check out, and the back half of the six track project is nothing to sleep on either. Kamau’s style is unique but immediate and fun, and his versatility leads me to believe he could easily make an engaging full length project. Kamau shows huge potential and I cannot wait to see what he does next.