Kilo Kish’s light raps are just the thing for the summer

27.07.12 Words by: Anthony Walker

Kilo Kish is a recent design graduate from New York, originally from Orlando, Florida, who chanced at making an EP with some friends and released the product, ‘Homeschool’, for free in April. ‘Homeschool’ was largely produced by Odd Future sub-groups The Internet and Jet Age of Tomorrow and is the first real introduction to the artist, whose other work had been scattered guest features and lo-fi video appearances with rapper and producer Smash Simmons on their joint KKK project.

Navy (prod. The Internet) by Kilo Kish

Though nominally a rapper, it’s probably best to forget all that and think of her simply as someone who speaks and sings over jazzy instrumentals. Her voice is distinct: a melodic lilt with crisp Valley Girl intonation that sounds unlike just about anyone else in her circle. Most comparisons with other young female rappers are invalid and its more accurate to align her with Kilo Ali – the rapper whose name she adapted for her own. Kilo Ali had success in 1997 with his album ‘Organized Bass’ and the fantastic lead single Baby, Baby – a song that still sounds like an anomaly today. Like Ali, Kish has a knack for twisting ego-driven stylings into soft and soulful tones.

The main theme on her EP is love and but she’s not at all twee, calling out wastemen on Busboy and measured but menacing on Crosstown. She’s got a sense of humour too, playing the jealous girlfriend on Julienne and upsetting traditional templates by putting the emotional let down before the youthful exuberance on Indigo’s July.

Indigo’s July (prod. Kream Team) by Kilo Kish

Kilo Kish’s music is really more light in its form than its content. She sees her work as an extension of a wider artistic endeavour and this gives her music an openness that other rappers more concerned with the proverbial grind and game can forget. ‘Homeschool’ deliberately highlights the fact that she’s making it up as she goes along and the in-studio skits and mistakes add to not only the intimate, conversational feel of the music but the idea that this is, at core, a spontaneous, creative act by a group of peers. Rap music should aspire to a creative levity and Kilo Kish – the outlier – is, quite frankly, providing some of the clearest and most interesting expressions of ambition and craft within the genre today.

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