LC Reviews: Kwoli Black solidifies his sound on ‘IMAGINE.FREE.’ EP
London raised lyricist Kwoli Black has been hard at work crafting his sound and sourcing inspiration. Following a buzz last year with his Breathe (Interlude) number, the Hackney wordsmith is back with his official debut project titled IMAGINE.FREE. EP. Taking executive producer JSTRINGS along for the ride, does the set deliver?
Kwoli instantly ignites a sense of vulnerability on the projects launch track We Gone. Across the soft, but bass heavy backing, the spoken word artist is centre-stage as he let loose about the fears of his come up and naysayers who doubt his vision. As the song progresses, an overwhelming sense of confidence and self-assurance is felt as Kwoli calls out the haters and sets the record straight about what his journey is about.
“Now I don’t do this for the figures no // I figure that I do this for my nigga’s though”
Kwoli Black has arrived and with him is a glowing sense of authenticity, a refreshing start to the IMAGINE.FREE. EP. After reaching the sweet-spot of honesty, Kwoli continues on this path into the sets second offering Pass Me By. Introduced by the soothing vocals of Jessica Akinbodunshe, Pass Me By now shifts the conversation to career aspirations.
“I just wanna make these tunes for the kids that cry and they feeling low // I just wanna be so cool that you can pass me by ‘cos the music’s dope”
The spoken-word artist clearly has huge goals, however he’s well on the way to achieving them as the record is strong, relentless and in places is reminiscent to the work of Chance The Rapper. After a familiar record from Kwoli‘s discography, Stay Afloat – the set’s penultimate track, gives the listener a change in pace. Here, the multifaceted artist embodies the elements of Jazz and Funk in every single way. From the free-flowing and euphoric soundscape, to the fast-paced, confident lyricism, Kwoli unlocks his sweet-spot and finally lets loose.
After the dust has settled, and the games have been played, IMAGINE.FREE. reaches its pacific ending. Through an anecdote of romance, Kwoli once again lets his heart do the talking.
“Place a kiss on my cheek // and had me weak to my knees // and now I’m weak on my knees // and begging you please – lean on me”
The rapper is clearly conflicted throughout Falling, unsure about the emotions he’s feeling. Furthermore, the story-telling elements of the number are very J.Cole, however Kwoli finds his own method of this approach and makes it work successfully, a poetic end to an already powerful set.
IMAGINE.FREE. is Kwoli‘s rude awakening. From the stellar production, to the relentless sense of direction it is clear that Kwoli is ready for the masses. A quality and sonically seamless production.
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