Album Review: Everything- Kota The Friend
Written by Logan Rosengard
Making it big in the music industry as an unsigned artist is difficult and takes a lot of patience to do. It took Chance The Rapper quite a bit to make it to where he is in the hip-hop scene today. Despite the challenges, it doesn’t make it impossible to make it, as Kota The Friend is trying to do.
On May 22, 2020 Kota dropped his second album titled ‘Everything”. His real-life approach to his music, as well as his calmer beats is what separates the New York rapper from others in the industry.
The album itself is a pretty short listen, coming in at just over 37 minutes in run time. Don’t let this fool you, however, as each song packs a punch of sound and a vibe that’s extremely unique. At the top of the record with his song ‘Summerhouse’, he sets the album up with a reflective verse on his recent success. There are similar sentiments of gratitude and appreciation for his position in life. In terms of song production almost every song has a mellow, almost lo-fi beat to it mixed with the common 808s and drum hits that are common in the genre. Even for some of the more hyped-up songs on the record, like ‘Mi Casa’ and ‘Morocco’, you could sit back and relax to it without being bombarded with base and upbeat vocals.
Kota is known for his honest and life-oriented lyrics to his music. Whether he’s talking about his insecurities going into a relationship like on his song from FOTO, Bagels, or on the track ‘B.Q.E’ from Everything, there’s a sense of reality and genuinity that resonates from the songs. Speaking of B.Q.E, the rapper is highly proud of his hometown, sporting the Brooklyn native label proudly. On the albums most popular song, ‘B.Q.E’, he collaborates on the love letter to his hometown city with New York products Joey Bada$$ and Bas, who both add another level of that authenticity that fans and listeners can gain from listening.
In terms of his flow, he can spit bars like rap veterans. On the track ‘Volvo’ he showcases his ability to bring up his tempo with an upbeat song about his average yet blessed lifestyle. His ability to slow it down is present too, on a song like ‘Away Park’. Regardless of the song, however, each song gives the listener a feel-good vibe and reflection on the rappers life and accomplishments.
The features on the album are amazing in their own way. As was previously mentioned, he teamed up with role models and fellow New York rappers Bas and Joey Bada$$ on ‘B.Q.E’, and came together with frequent collaborator Hello O’shay. What sets this album apart from others is his use of other indie artists. Promoted on his Instagram page after dropping the album, Kota brought a wide array of indie vocalists, rappers, and musicians on the project. Each feature is better than the last, and each listen of them adds to the experience of the album.
If this is your first time hearing a Kota The Friend project you’ll be pleased with the good vibes and feel good message that comes along with listening to it. If you are a casual or devoted fan of his, this will be another project to add to his small but amazing list of musical accomplishments and get you more hooked on his music. The indie artist is just getting started and has the drive to be better each time he gets behind the mic, so be on the lookout for his music in the future.