With unlimited excitement around the Hip hop community, the verdict is out that 2019 has been one of the greatest years for new Hip hop that we've witnessed in a long while. Graced with new albums from the likes of Nas, Madlib & Freddie Gibbs, Benny the Butcher, Blu, Tyler the Creator, Little Brother, YBN Cordae, Rapsody, Logic and Murs & 9th Wonder to highlight a sample, these critically acclaimed projects created ongoing suspense that dope music is no longer few and far between if you're a fan of rap music. With one quarter remaining in the year, the ever reliable and prolific K.A.A.N. saved a surprise collaboration of his own to stun Hip Hop fans awaiting "the next great thing". Here it is! K.A.A.N. presents a whole album produced by the legendary Ski Beatz.
Ski needs no introduction, but to refresh, his resume includes producing Jay-Z's Reasonable Doubt, Camp Lo's debut album which included the classic "Luchini", being an honorary member of Mobb Deep as their tour DJ, collaborating with heavyweights like Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Nas, Big Pun, Curren$y, Murs, Smoke DZA, Jay Electronica and many more. When Ski isn't behind the boards for artists, he travels the globe as an educator in hip hop beat production and technology. With over 30 years in the game, Ski Beatz is ever relevant in today's culture. With a fraction of Ski's experience and just under a decade in the business, K.A.A.N. still bears a resume that peers old and young dream of. The Maryland MC has shared the studio with Dr. Dre and Busta Rhymes to modestly name a few. Collaborations with Dem Jointz, K-Def, and The 45 King continue to solidify his rapidly growing catalog. Coincidentally, The 45 King like Ski also produced for Jay-Z on of his definitive single, Hard Knock Life.
It's safe to say K.A.A.N. works with and is endorsed by the best of the best. Keeping such company in addition to his distinct personality on record says volumes about K.A.A.N.'s talent and reputation in comparison to his peers. Just take it from Ski Beatz who when asked about their creative venture stated, "It was definitely a refreshing experience. What stood out to me about K.A.A.N. was his confidence and creativity. He really created some amazing work over my beats! Everything that happens organically is always going to sound right. I was glad that I was able to provide him with what he needed to get it done. Perfect fit."
At 13 tracks, there's no denying the serious chemistry between K.A.A.N.'s entertaining performances and Ski's diverse collection of productions considering they originally planned to do just a handful of songs. When questioned about his process and overall vibe of the beats, Ski explained, "The beats we used for this project were definitely a cross between "traditional boom bap" with a mixture of lo-fi that meshed well with his vocals. Win win!" Being a rapper himself in the early days of his career, Ski feels that he has a good understanding of what moves K.A.A.N. Engage with the album and you'll be taken through the depths of K.A.A.N.'s mind, heart and soul.
From start to finish, there's no filler in his content. Every line has a purpose and every rhyme is delivered through an array of schemes, tempos and emotions. Most importantly, every track has a concept. Hence the album's title, "Requiem for a Dream Deferred" is an extension of wordplay from a lyric in their song Entertainment (track 11). K.A.A.N. raps, "Never let that light inside you die! Nothing worse than a dream that's been deferred. I concur. I agree. I relate. True indeed. God Speed. Hope you find the right direction before you take the wrong turn." Taking great pride his lyricist craft, K.A.A.N. outperforms himself from intro to finale making "Requiem for a Dream Deferred" a conceptual work that is easy to return to.
With so much potency in the subject matter ranging from ambition, self doubt and self worth in our current world, it's incredible feat that the MC and producer accomplished this in 38 minutes. As great as 2019 has been for the culture, it wasn't without tragedy. The untimely loss of the one and only Nipsey Hussle wreaked a devastating blow to the entire globe. His legacy isn't unsung. Hussle being the leading voice for pursuing one's passion and dreams is very alive as K.A.A.N. embodies Nipsey's spirit in the sentiment of his lyrics.
"Requiem for a Dream Deferred" is call to action for all of us to live beyond our potential no matter our circumstances. That universal message also happens to be packaged in top notch musical form. Dreams are meant to be pursued not deferred and greatness is how K.A.A.N. and Ski Beatz will be referred.
Available courtesy of KAAN & Redefinition Records.
released September 20, 2019
Written & Performed by K.A.A.N.
Music Produced by Ski Beatz
supported by 8 fans who also own “Requiem For A Dream Deferred”
This is the type of art that I'm always looking for. Honest. Story presented as a sort of folding of previous classic technique and still coming out fresh. To be moved forward with great work. Ben "Angrycrow" Nix-Bradley