Kamau First

You might remember Kamau from K-OS’ Exit, as the MC delivering a phoned-in poem on a voice message, but on this EP release he more than proves his eloquent rhymes expand beyond mere small doses. As a member of Toronto’s emerging Pangea Project, Kamau has been slinging his poetics for a while and First is a confirmation of his prodigious talent. Through his insistent delivery and over his own lo-fi jazzy production, Kamau’s intense word weaving finds him questioning everything and sharing his own answers with tangible humility. On "Inspired” he acknowledges his debt to others who have helped him along the way and it comes off as genuine as Kamau sidesteps machismo chest-thumping throughout. While he indulges in stylistic experimentation, starting every new line with the last word of the previous one on "Jacob Two Two,” Kamau is more interested in sharing observations that celebrate the minutiae of everyday life we take for granted on "Glorious Life” or prompt honest self-appraisal on "Old Soul.” Though he’s eager to point out he’s still learning, Kamau’s ability to express himself with such stark clarity makes you wonder what he’ll be capable of once he he’s honed his craft further. (Quiet War Creations)