K.A.A.N. is a 32 year old MC/producer from Maryland who’s already made himself well established in less than a decade by delivering standouts in his ever-growing discography like the Dem Jointz-produced Black Blood, the Ski Beatz-produced Requiem for a Dream Deferred & the Big Ghost Ltd.-produced All Praise is Due & more recently Mission Hillz. But to celebrate hip hop’s 50th birthday, former Strange Music in-house producer Seven is being enlisted behind the boards throughout K.A.A.N.’s 23rd album.

After the “Foreword from Soul Brother #1” intro, “The Spark” is truly what gets the album going with it’s organ-laced boom bap instrumental asking how one in this industry gets it all whereas “The Glow Up” goes into more sample-based territory talking about how they done see him blow up. “The Fame” gives off an eerier atmosphere with some kicks & snares worked in explaining that some live & would kill for clout prior to “The Life Imitating The Art” hooks up a crooning loop advising not to be scared of your reflection.

“The Politics” dives into wavy boom bap turf explaining that politicians & magicians are basically the same thing just before “The Image” hops on top of these strings, kicks & snares explaining the way to truly make a name for yourself in hip hop. “The Drugs” psychedelically confesses that he did too much & now he’s fucked up as a result leading into “The Self Hate” somberly airs out everything he dislikes about himself.

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Beginning the final leg of the album, “The Cavities” discusses all the stale things in like that he likes to refer to as a cavity in a metaphoric sense with a syrupy, delicate beat while “The Fall Off”’s bluesy guitar passages fit with the subject matter of one artist’s demise in success. Eventually, the title track closes out the album manically gives us a glimpse into how our protagonist’s life unfortunately ends.

I’ve publicly stated numerous times that we were in for one of K.A.A.N.’s best albums to date & that’s exactly what we got here. Seven cooks up production that provokes the emotions each individual joint offers the cohesively-told concept is so well thought out, really a tragic tale of how the industry can genuinely be sometimes.

Score: 9/10