[Early Believers]-Kero One/Album Review
I was on myspace last week and came across a blog posted by Bomani (of read a book, read a book, read a mutha-fu%#ing book fame) that posed the question, "Can hip hop grow up?" I subscribe to the theory that it can. And if you'd like proof, I'd like submit exhibit A... [Early Believers] by Kero One. A mature hip hop album. I know, it's almost oxymoron-ish to say but that's what it is. From the production, to the themes, to the actual lyrical content. Hoo-ray for hip hop!
The two tracks with Ben Westbeech (When the Sunshine Comes/track 1 & Goodbye Forever/track 10) got flavor for days and both have "something to say" if you actually listen to the words. And even the songs without words are worth a listen. Remember when songs with no words could become hits? Check out "A Song for Sabrina"/track 7 & "On and On"/track 11...it still may be possible. "Let's Just Be Friends" feat. Tuomo/track 3 has a "euro-feel" to it that reminded me of "80's music" (in a good way;-). And the other Tuomo collabo "Love and Happiness"/track 5 is a classic groove. It's about what you think it would be about but it's a nice modern day take on the theme.
The only draw back (which is more of a personal bias than a draw back) is his "flow". Although it is very intelligent, it's also very predictable. You might not know what he's about to say next but you do get a feeling of how & where the rhyme will fall. Not many "verbal gymnastics" on this one. It's a personal bias, I know but compared to Andre 3000, Mos Def, or Talib Kweli, his flow is "good" at best.
To end on a high note, the production quality and sound of this project is top shelf. Musically original and grooving. Put this one in and ride to it, work out, walk the dog, etc. You can definitely let this one play through and not look for the "skip" button.Over all I give Early Believers by Kero One 6 out of 7 Head Nods*.
I'm Thed Weller and I approve this review.
*Head Nod Scale
1=Don't waste your time like I did mine.
2=Waste your time like I did mine but I dare you to disagree.
3=Well, there was the single.
4=If it were a hand in spades there's "two and a possible".
5=It's a "good" album. Meaning at least 3 or 4 solid songs.
6=Really Good Project. Has the "Rewind Factor" more than once.
7=The number of completion. Great Album. Instant Classic.