Words By Ashan
He really hasn’t made much noise since the first half of 2013, besides some key features on Alex Wiley’s Village Party, but ‘Go rapper Kembe X decided to sucker punch the Internet between Monday and today by dropping two new tracks: “Caged Bird” with Isaiah Rashad and “As I Unfold” with Ab-Soul along with the aforementioned Wiley.
On “Caged Bird” Kembe literally pulls a page out of Rashad’s Cilvia Demo intro, employing Rashad’s lyrics from the original track as the hook, casting an overall aura of gloom on Kembe’s final version. Rashad sticks to the chorus as Kembe spits two verses over a dark, sedated beat, allowing his words to be delivered in a way comes off thoughtful and contemplative.
“As I Unfold” on the other hand, unfolds rather conversely (pun intended?). In what sounds like a cut that could’ve been left of Village Party, Alex Wiley grabs the hook to influence the track with that sonic-resonance vibe that VP fans became all too familiar with. Meanwhile, Kembe and Soulo trade bars going verse for verse respectively with X showing he has what it takes to hang with respected lyricists. While Soul’s verse falls in line with most of his work- gathered yet erratic at the same time – Kembe is able to step up his game up, creating a similar spastic nature to his piece.
Between the two tracks, there’s been a clear growth in Kembe since his work on Soundtrack II Armageddon from early 2013. The same can be said for Wiley as well, who enlisted a slew of stars for his debut tape Club Wiley but chose keep his records mostly between him and Kembe on Village Party. The two Chicago emcees appear to find themselves on the cusp of breaking out a larger scale with each progressive step.
Kembe’s turn comes next when his Scion AV Presents: Kembe X EP releases on Tuesday, August 19