Review: Kapwon Artist ‘The Emerald’ EP

Hip-Hop has changed. There is no doubt or arguing that the artists most people would list if asked to name Hip-Hop acts are so far removed from the ori­gin­al eth­os of the move­ment that they should be cat­egor­ized under another gen­re entirely. It’s a shame that main­stream Hip-Hop today fails to live up to it’s poten­tial to be a voice for the unheard, a vehicle for truth and know­ledge and a form of expres­sion for more than just the artists favour­ite train­ers or sexu­al fantas­ies.

There are of course artists that DO still carry the flame of true hip-hop, albeit under­ground, one such artist being Kapwon (of Guer­il­la Repub­lik), whos latest offer­ing is ‘The Emer­ald Tab­let EP’.

The EP opens with an east­ern-mys­ti­cism influ­enced intro. Dis­tant chimes, pan pipes and whispered vocals set the scene before the beat kicks in. Kapwon tells us ‘in the fol­low­ing EP I will reveal some of the mys­ter­ies, which as yet have only been touched on lightly’. From the start we know Kapwon is about to deliv­er some­thing of much more import­ance than your aver­age chart ‘hip-hop’ record.

From here on I am not going to focus on the sub­ject mat­ter of each track, but rather the pro­duc­tion, flow and over­all sound. I think you, as a listen­er, will have a much bet­ter exper­i­ence if I leave it to you to dis­cov­er the sub­ject mat­ters for your­self.

Track 2, ‘Seers of the Truth – Kapwon & Kalki ft Deepak Chop­ra’ employs a bold beat, sampled Indi­an vocals and piano riff (heard that com­bin­a­tion any­where else this year??) and is a per­fect fol­low­er to the scene set­ting intro. The sampled Deepak Chop­ra speech sets fur­nishes the listen­er with extremely thought pro­vok­ing con­cepts and Kapwon & Kalki deliv­er vocals with per­fect flow, stretch­ing and short­en­ing syl­lables expertly to wrap around the track beau­ti­fully. ‘Heav­en and Earth – M00k­datruth & Kapwon’ fol­lows as track 3 and is a high point of the album. There’s no ramp­ing here, the vocals are delivered aggress­ively whil­st main­tain­ing mean­ing and rhythm (a tech­nique often attemp­ted but sel­dom pulled off). There are so many golden rhym­ing couplets here that any poet would be proud to have thought up in such a con­text, I would go as far as to say that some are pure geni­us.

Track 4, ‘Meso­pot­amia Music – Kalki & Kapwon’ show­cases some ima­gin­at­ive rhymes over a drag­ging Asi­an-influ­enced beat. Just when the track seems to be run­ning on low gas a doc­u­ment­ary-style nar­rat­ive over the beat throws us into the second half, which pick the track back up and ride the listen­er to the end with fault­less flow.

The style is switched up per­fectly for track 5, ‘Tab­let 1’. A slower beat and par­layed vocal really show­cas­ing Kapwon’s true tal­ent as a writer, rhym­ing in prose without sac­ri­fi­cing mean­ing, and deliv­er­ing in a way that encour­ages interest mag­ni­fi­cently.

‘Om Kara’ is track 6 and goes in from the start with yet more know­ledge-fur­nish­ing rhymes. The flow pitches itself some­where between the laid back style of ‘Tab­let 1’ and the more aggress­ive style employed earli­er in the E.P and sits per­fectly at this point. Once again there are some major rhym­ing coups in this one!

Bonus track ‘Starchild Free­style’ closes the E.P. and takes the oppor­tun­ity to affirm the tal­ent of Kapwon dis­played through­out and runs with it. It’s a sim­ple track, and that’s per­fect, focus here is rightly drawn to the vocals, which are delivered with the kind of expert tim­ing that any hip-hop fan should be blown away by.

Buy this E.P., not just for the on-point flow, gold-stand­ard poetry and banging beats, but for the know­ledge passed onto the listen­er through all of this. This record shows that Hip-Hop has the oppor­tun­ity still to do what it used to do, to edu­cate, to teach and to encour­age growth, it’s a real shame that more artists don’t take that oppor­tun­ity.

Click here to check out the EP for your­self!

Micky Roots

Micky Roots

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Micky Roots

Micky Roots

Micky roots is one of the edit­ors of I am hip hop magazine, a pure hip hop head and visu­al artist he brings his strong know­ledge of hip hop, social con­scious­ness & polit­ic­al con­cern to No Bounds.

About Micky Roots

Micky Roots
Micky roots is one of the editors of I am hip hop magazine, a pure hip hop head and visual artist he brings his strong knowledge of hip hop, social consciousness & political concern to No Bounds.

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