Rapper, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist, Citizen Kay migrated from Ghana to Australia at six-years-old, and has made it his life’s mission to make music that blends traditional hip-hop with the soothing sounds of soul, jazz, blues and rock. His new album Belly of the Beast takes off with the second track ‘Early’, following an instrumental opening which has you on the edge of your yearning for more from the rapper. His tracks successfully combine hip-hop with sounds of soul and rock – an album that you could play on an easy drive into town.
Songs like ‘These Kicks’ puts Citizen Kay at the forefront of hip-hop with the beats, big headed lyrics, raps and backing girl vocals, revealing an underlying attitude to the track. You would have heard this one on rotation on triple j and getting good spins on FBi, 4ZZZ & Edge. There’s an array of emotional peaks and hard hitting lyrics in ‘Isn’t it love’ but the relaxed performance makes it work together well. With deft rhymes and a bombastic attitude which is clearly communicated through music, Citizen Kay has the fresh take on rap and passion that will see him go places.
Belly of the Beast is a personal record, incorporating themes of introspection and reflection, as well as the fine line between ego and confidence – and one which communicates to the listeners. Be sure to give this one a spin. It’s perfect for your next road trip where you wanna fist pump to the world.
Reviewed by Lenny Cartel