Review Summary: You'd have to be a jackass not to like this project
The internet is an extremely sensational place, and even that's an understatement. The internet is a place where we can socialize, make connections, and number one above all find great music. The latest artist to find their way through the jungle of the internet birthed artist is Khirey Akeem. Khirey Akeem, a local rapper hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, has definitely been a interesting case to watch. And in case I mean one tweet at a time. His twitter has been one long memoir with constant rants reminiscent of Azealia Banks, outburst against other artist (also like Azealia Banks), social commentary & most importantly mixtape teases. Khirey has been teasing his first solo effort since the breakup of the moderately successful thrash punk band I Really Hate Mondays, even going as far to say he was the most important piece of the band. Arguably it's true but on the other hand it also takes a village to raise a child or in this case build a brand and every piece of IRHM was critical to there limited run. Back to the matter at hand, not only did Khirey become a solo artist but he's also shifted genre's. The genre you ask? None other than the hottest one in the mainstream for multiple years... Rap. Has the genre shift benefited or is he another struggling mc? Let's begin.
Of course Khirey would shift to rap it's only fitting for one who has as much of a mouth as he. And the first lines on his new solo project are the last ones from I Really Hate Mondays second and final studio album, "When I die will I take you with me" on the intro track ***. It's plain to see where his mind is at the very beginning of the project he wants to remind people who he was and where he's going and boy where he's headed seems bright in addition to the fact he claims his music is "punk rap", whatever that may be. After 29 seconds of what would seem to be a twitter rant recorded it leads into the actual first track, kobe featuring underground LA sensation cloud rapper Cam the Chef. Cam kicks the song off with a devilishly smooth vocal approach to the noisy bass added on top of the dusty boom bap drums. The production on the track is very similar to any song from any prominent New York rapper in the early 90's. Then the moment we all were waiting on, Khirey comes out of nowhere and steals the show with ease and when I say ease I MEAN EASE. He aggressively shouts his lyrics claiming, "week after week another weak MC speaks" as well as bending words and rhyme structures with the cleverly put lines "Any N-Words envy need to meet ends meet for this lyrical battle". It's obvious as day he's studied legend (Oh say le Rakim anyone?) and has been crating this project for some time now to make it precise. The first track is outstanding as with the second track charlie but the one that gets stuck in your head is the second shortest track shortie. Khirey's vocal tone throughout the project at this point had been excessively aggressive to the point of shouting but this track is smooth and very minimal. It's just a bass and a drum kick. But what makes this a little more noteworthy than the other good songs on the project is that the rhymes are higher than ever. Seriously how clever is a line like, "Many men feel like Minnie men/ when the semi spins"? And that's within the first ten seconds of the track.
Certainly this project has exceeded expectations by extreme measures, seeing as though he's been one to brag more than usual. But with the aggressive tone in the first half then interlude kicks off the next half and we're met with smoother vocals as well as production. Note the production was quite noteworthy throughout this whole EP with production coming from Khirey Akeem himself, D.O.P.E. & Nugget. Very unknown names but it's the unknown names that become known. Then a personal favorite jaguar comes on. This sample is heavenly, the drums are crisp and of course which has been a main focus for the whole project, the rhyme patterns and rhymes are a B +. In addition to the rhymes throughout this EP Khirey's flow has played a major benefit as he has a keen sense for melody and sound. Guess all the punk rock in his musical catalogue has been much more beneficial than we as fans have been known o give him credit for. cheetah comes in after, then it's the only decent to bad track venus, which rounds off with bill and finally EP closer *** 2 with a special bonus track at the very end of the 18 seconds of silence. This EP has multiple forms of hip-hop. Hell it could be game changing if it gets the right push, but with all the positives this project is far from perfect whatsoever.
On the other hand its mixing is quite disruptive. At times the vocals are overbearing the beat, sometimes the beat is more lucrative than the vocals and other times both sound somewhat amateurish at best. It's hard to find great music without it having some sort of loophole. But it is labeled "Noise Hop" which shouldn't be a problem for those who like Tyler, the Creator's recent album or any Death Grips album in particular. There aren't very many negatives if not any at all except for the ones mentioned before, but this project is the most enjoyable listen I've had since listening to Vince Staples debut. And that my friend says a lot. How many forms of hip-hop can you cram into a ten track EP, well Khirey jammed them all into this project and it is an exciting listen. It's potential is overwhelming and crying for more attention because this kid could be the next anyone because you can't pin-point a significant style for him. It's not perfect or exceptional in any case but it is good. Very good to say the least and the maximum capabilities of what he could learn from this one to work on the next just leaves you wondering how special it could be. And I can say it's one I look forward to in the near future.
In conclusion, I've learned that Khirey is a prominent MC. One who's name can easily be mentioned with some of the best new comers coming up or about to come around. It may be a good question to ask is Khirey Akeem the new wave of the next breed of special MC's who are about to burst unto the hip-hop circuit or was this just a fluke? Only time will tell and since this is his first solo project we just have to wait until the next one. Or watch him constantly spit in our faces on his twitter and tease us about the possibility of the next if there is one at all.