Review: Kojey Radical – 23Winters EP
Avant-garde London artist Kojey Radical is slowly making a name for himself delivering impassioned largely-spoken-word poetry over gloomy left-field beats. 23Winters is his new EP, a selection of melancholy hip hop songs weaved into a running narrative of his African-born father’s immigration story.
Kojey covers topics of race, class and politics, delivered in his signature erratic style. At times his voice gets loud and frantic to reflect his feelings of anger and despair, as displayed at the end of ‘Bambu’ in which he psychotically wails ‘Can’t see the truth when it’s six feet deep!‘. This makes for both an unsettling but engaging listen.
The beats meanwhile are just as volatile, deliberately produced to sound disjointed, fading ruggedly in and out of one another and bouncing from speaker to speaker. There are harsher moments such as the sliding sub-bass of ‘Rents Due’ and more ambient points such as the jazzy guitar and floating synths of ‘Love’s Intervention’.
Like the recent albums of Kendrick and Kanye, there’s an intentional messiness to it all that can be frustrating as it is atmospheric. Kojey certainly proves himself to be an artist of equal merit although he’s likely to stay underground for a quite while given the experimental nature of his sound. His future looks promising regardless.