Despite the fact that I pretty much despise everything MTV stands for these days, I’ve gotta give props to the network formerly known as “music television” for introducing me to a handful of artists over time. One such artist is K-os. I was watching the Sucker Free countdown on MTV2 a few years back when I saw the video for “Superstarr Pt. Zero”. Struck by how much the track reminded me of the true-school hip-hop that I love, I purchased k-os’s album “Exit” and quickly became a fan.
I’ve also bought each of his subsequent albums and seen him live opening for Handsome Boy Modeling School. I can safely say that I had no reason to stick around for the headliner, as K-os absolutely stole the show. The energetic, heartfelt performance was the polar opposite of the video-heavy, listless performance the crowd received from HBMS.
One of the biggest head-scratchers in recent musical history is why this guy isn’t a bigger star in America. Initially, I thought it was because he was Canadian, but the recent success of Drake has proven that there’s a spot in American hip-hop culture for our neighbors to the north. While K-os’s music may be a little beyond the intellectual scope of what the average modern-day hip-hop listener enjoys (and yes, that is an insult), you’d think that at least he’d have a solid audience among backpackers, the neo-soul set and the indie kids. Folks who listen to the likes of Wyclef Jean and K’naan (and I gotta say, if you put these three brothers along with will.i.am next to one another in a police lineup, you’d run into trouble figuring out which is which) should be all over this dude.
Anyway, all this to say that I’d heard rumors about a new k-os album for a while, and I was looking for something or other on the internet, and was excited to see an upcoming release date for “Yes!”, his fifth American release (four studio albums and a compilation). Then I got REALLY confused. I hit Amazon, iTunes, K-os’s wikipedia page and cduniverse, and they all said the album was out already, with release dates ranging back to April of last year. I was all set to buy it on iTunes when I got my weekly newsletter from Newbury Comics announcing “Yes!” as one of this week’s new releases.
Since I’m still a person who appreciates owning music in tangible form, I will be heading out to the store later this week and picking “Yes!” up. Considering the roll that music has been on so far in 2010, I’m anticipating that I will be very happy with my purchase. Folks, if you’re interested in real emotion and real musicianship in hip-hop (although K-os is a hip-hop artist in much the same vein that artists like Lauryn Hill are considered hip-hop; meaning that he doesn’t rap ALL the time), I strongly suggest that you give this guy a listen.
Check out his video for “I Wish I Knew Natalie Portman”
Other albums worth mentioning that come out today: another installment of the “American” series from Johnny Cash, and the debut release from Aussie soul singer Daniel Merriweather, that my girl JayVee hipped me to some time ago.
Get a full list of this week’s new releases here.