PG County, MD rapper, Kayote, shows on his “SHAMBA” album that he is set to be rapidly on the rise in the rap game. The 20 year-old, managed to produce eclectic but catchy beats across the 8 songs, complementing those with his incredible technical ability, from flows to rhymes to inflection. The album has plenty to offer in terms of quick-witted rhymes, profound storytelling and intricate production. It’s rare that an up-and-coming artist impresses me the way Kayote did here. Not only did Kayote provide some stark commentary and whip-smart bars on “SHAMBA”, he displays himself as one the more interesting rappers in modern hip-hop.
I say ‘rapper’ with a specific intention here. Many of the new wave artists are superb performers and entertainers in the hip-hop world, but calling them ‘rappers’ is a mere heresy, as many of them are only capable of stringing together some catchy sing-song rhymes that ignite a cool vibe and are great to listen to. But rapping is a whole different skill – Kayote’s flow, wordplay and overall technical ability is on a higher level.
Best of all Kayote is not even trying to impress with forced speed-rapping and over complex rhyme schemes. He’s just applying the core values of the game, with great nuanced storytelling, and plenty of substance – with the emphasis on substance and interesting concepts. “SHAMBA” shows that Kayote can spit his heart out with some of the most nuanced flows.
Throw all the above in, with a few really interesting voice changes and more than a handful of brilliant beats and you’ve got a fantastic release from the PG County rapper. Opening with the fantastic organic and nature vibe of “Flowers”, Kayote sets the bar for the album very high indeed. Flow-wise “FaceTime” is even better, with Kayote turning the dial up on his rhyming skills.
There’s no doubt that Kayote can spit, and at this point, he doesn’t really have to show us, but wisely, he makes sure everybody gets the picture, and on “Finance” and “Faithful” – where he drops the tone of his voice down low – he continues to impress with his storytelling and grounded vibe. “Foldable” is off the charts, and one of my favorite tracks on the album. Here Kayote forges a kind of lazy swagger and groove that is nothing short of infectious.
Another highlight comes from “Fighters”, with its twinkling vintage piano and slapping snare drum underscoring Kayote’s confident bars. All throughout, Kayote gets real in “SHAMBA”, bringing some powerful tracks that leave quite a mark.
What’s most charming about the album is that you can tell this comes from his heart. Kayote again brings his best on “Fireplace”, the insistent beat delivering some awesome and unique vibes itself. Quick-fire bars with much appreciated wordplay is the name of the game here.
“SHAMBA” really doesn’t stop delivering, not until the final track is over. Beats and bars continue to shine throughout the record, while the closer “Forecast”, brings a soulful R&B vibe, with a retro cinematic backdrop. Kayote again drops his vocals down a couple of notches here, which lends a resonating impact to the track.
The music on “SHAMBA” is entertaining and a great sound, in a world dominated by trap. Perhaps this’ll be the new trend, because this is what really works…well if you’re a real rapper like Kayote, that is!
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