It’s Thursday, and I haven’t done a review all week, but that’s mostly because it’s intersession, and I’m in Jacksonville. If you like heavily jazz influenced hip hop beats, this is for you.
I actually just discovered today’s artist like last week, through Last.fm radio. His name is Kero One, and he’s a Korean MC/Producer out of San Francisco. What’s really impressive though, is the fact that he started up without really anyone else’s help; a true testament to DIY hip hop. In 2003, using his own money, he made 50 copies of his first single and sent it out to various record stores and DJs. A DJ in Tokyo got a hold of one of the singles, and from there, it found it’s way into the hands of a Japanese label executive who supposedly contacted Kero, asking for 3,000 copies of the record.
In 2006, Kero One released his first full length album, entitled Windmills of the Soul. As soon as I heard this album, I immediately fell in love with the beats. Some artists claim to be jazz influenced, and you can hear bits of jazz influence in their music, but there are few in the industry who follow through with the jazz promise the way Kero does. Take “In All the Wrong Places” for example. This track is 7:39 long, featuring breaks for instrumental solos, a basic tenet of jazz music. Now, I’ll be honest, the lyrics aren’t always the greatest in this tune, but I think the instrumental genius makes up for it. “Musical Journey” is a track that’s a great combination of intelligent lyrical content, jazzy beats, and a more radio-friendly time, clocking in at 3:58.
Windmills of the Soul is a decent album, but Plug Label don’t approve of free music. And even after all of that positive feedback I gave. It’s a shame that money controls people. You can still hit up SadSteve, though. Check out the Kero One selection on SadSteve, which is incredibly extensive. Keep listening. Peace.