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Ka - Nothing Is
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Aug 11, 2013
Total plays:
32 times
Why do we like this?
Ka's sophomore album Grief Pedigree showed us that a truly special piece of work can still rise above the noise of everyday mediocrity. Self-released and self-shipped, Ka's follow up to Iron Works brought listeners into his somber and resilient world, where its author was able to invigorate rap tropes with earnestness, detail, and experience that created a truly enriching experience. Songs rewarded repeated listens and achieved something only truly great pieces of music can -- it allowed you to feel close to the artist without having to meet him.

The Night's Gambit is Ka's third solo LP and the follow-up to the project that turned eyes and ears towards the Brownsville spitter. I had high expectations, I couldn't help it. I ordered the vinyl and told myself I'd wait until it arrived to listen. I failed and got my bootleg on within a few days. I was met with a continuation of the tone set in Grief Pedigree, though I dare say even a bit more cerebral. This is a thinker's album, dense and rich both sonically and lyrically.

My favorite track changes daily and today it's "Nothing Is." The song is triumphant but subdued. It's the stern acknowledgement of achievement by someone mature enough to realize its cost. I think I spent about 20 minutes rewinding this couplet:

"Unstable thoroughbreds, bucking wild/ just to think we'd all link, tryna cuff a thou/ believe me, wasn't greedy, just enough to smile/ what was important as a child means nothing now."

The album begins with a quote from Enter The Dragon, when Bruce Lee is told his "skills are now at the point of spiritual insight," before the beat drops on "You Know What It's About." Ka's government is Kaseem but I think of the link between his name and the Kemetic term for mind/spirit, Ka. I think Ka's art is able to transcend, the ultimate test of an artist's worth.
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