Columns

The Week in Reviews (14-21 Jan, 2016)

Ka

Ka is back with a brilliant new track
The year is young, but I’m already willing to admit I made a glaring oversight in my 2015 best-of list: Ka and Preservation’s album Days With Dr. Yet Lo definitely deserved a spot. Fortunately, Ka (pictured above) is back with a new single, ‘30 Keys,’ so now I have the opportunity to throw some praise his way. On this latest video Roc Marciano offers soothing production to complement Ka’s typically intricate and understated rapping (“Every trip I’m like ‘this one is the last’ / Two weeks later I’m dipping in my stash”) somewhat juxtaposed against the blaxploitation clips that introduce the video, making for a gripping combination.

Yasiin Bey is Out of Africa
While the arrest of Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) in South Africa for providing an unrecognised ‘International Passport’ to immigration officials when trying to leave the country originally read as #content published for the sake of #content (and something that would sort itself out fairly quickly), the narrative has gotten increasingly dramatic and problematic over the last couple of days. Dramatic in that the ‘No More Parties in SA Freestyle‘ is playing over at kanyewest.com and alleges that the aforementioned passport has been accepted by South African authorities in the past, and that Yasiin is set to retire from music and film after the release of his forthcoming album. What makes all this problematic is the fact that Yasiin did, at least according to this article, overstay a tourist visa, which as far as immigration authorities are concerned seems pretty cut and dry. Hopefully Yasiin is onto something I’m not, as he usually is.

R. Kelly opened up to GQ
There’s too much going on in this interview for us to summarise without turning this round-up into something just as long as the article itself. While he is clammy about certain topics (Aaliyah), it’s balanced by some profound revelations regarding his childhood that I would argue account for the more sensationalist press around R. Kelly’s apparent ‘defence of Bill Cosby.’ Daniel Smyth’s article for Vibe in 1994 on Kells was remarkably prescient.

A Big Bash CD exists, and it’s exactly what you think
To my cricket-loving friends: the Big Bash competition might be finishing this weekend, but do not despair—you can purchase a two-disc companion soundtrack to the event, which combines the best modern pop (Robbie Williams, Jessica Mauboy, Justice Crew), rock (Poison, Thin Lizzy, Kiss) and worldwide smash-hits (Pitbull) in one confusing mix. Warney is yet to endorse it, so perhaps wait for that before ordering.

To Think That I Once Loved You
Opting for atmosphere over the angularity of 2015’s ‘Taman Shud,’ The Drones’ first single of 2016, ‘To Think That I Once Loved You‘, is a salty and grim funeral dirge for a failed relationship that I cannot stop listening to.

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