Ky-mani Marley Radio

Ky-mani Marley Radio
Back from a six-year break that saw Bob’s youngest son endear himself to film fans with his role as good-natured gangster Biggs in Shottas, Ky-mani’s new album shows off more of his American street smarts than his Jamaican pedigree. While not as cerebral as brother Stephen’s work, as musically diverse as Ziggy’s or as stunningly zeitgeist-defining as Damian’s best, Radio is a solid hip-hop album nonetheless. What stands out here is Ky-mani’s determination to shed his "privileged kid” stereotype and, with a few street tough tales and aggressive beats, Radio may well earn Ky-mani the designation of the bad-assed Marley. For instance, "I’m Back” (with fellow Shottas alumni Louie Rankin), "The March,” "One Time” and "Ghetto Soldier” all find Ky-mani waxing lyrical about glocks, poverty and inner city life. It’s part character, no doubt, but with lyrics like, "My papa was a legend but let me tell you something about me, I was raised up poor,” Ky-mani is obviously polishing the chip on his shoulder. Elsewhere, Ky-mani has girls (both good and bad) on his mind and turns in a few fairly colourless R&B numbers ("Royal Vibes” and "I Got You”), but manages a charming duet with Tessanne Chin on "The Conversation.”