Music Opinion

Review: Kayo Lewiz Releases Two Albums In Three Months

Rapper and Little Rock native, Kayo Lewiz released two albums, "Freedom From Concern" and "Antistar" in a three month span.

Kayo Lewiz has been on my radar for a few months now. I heard a few tracks and his flow stood out to me. He kicked off the new year with an album titled Freedom From Concern, which was released on January 7, 2018. The grind didn’t stop there. He followed that album up three months later with Antistar on April 17, 2018.

Freedom From Concern begins with Feel For You. I like that he began the project with this particular track due to the vulnerability, emotion and motivation. It’s a great opener to what you experience next through his lyrics. Track two, Element keeps the momentum going. He tells a story about putting in work and grinding for the music. The mood shifts with I Belong and Slow Down. Kayo reflects on life with If I Die. He touches on his relationships with friends and family. I get the vibe that he is fed up on Let It Breathe from hearing what he should and shouldn’t do to the lack of consistent support from the city. Broken is another vulnerable track, but more focused on his emotions, understanding who he is and where he is in life. He’s back on his grind with On Go and doesn’t have time for anything that’s not aiding in his success on All We Knew. He shares experiences from seeing loved ones in jail and some who have lost lives. Ultimately, he’s stating that you can’t fall into a repetitive cycle of unproductivity, losing lives, etc. solely because it’s “all you know”. The project ends with Everything. From all that he laid out up to this point, it’s as if a weight is lifted off of his shoulders. You even get a different feel through the beat and his flow. He overcame the obstacles, the naysayers and the negativity around him.

Kayo explains his intent with Freedom From Concern:

Basically freedom from caring about basic shit. I watch a lot of Jim Carrey videos and he speaks a lot about how people get worked up over stuff that don’t matter. As you go through the tape you ‘gon hear me talk about experiences with shit that coulda’ been and things that shoulda’ kept me from going forward with life, but it didn’t and because of that I found “Freedom From Concern”.

After breaking down his first album, I moved on to his newest release, Antistar. I wanted to understand his first project to see if there was a connection to this album. I’m anticipating the message and overall growth moving forward.

Antistar is an eleven track album, Save Me listed as number one. Kayo immediately sets the naysayers and foes straight. Track two, I Can’t Go samples the infamous Luniz beat and puts a creative touch on it with his flow. My takeaway from this track is that he “can’t go” meaning he can’t risk his life to death or prison. With track three, On My Homies, the keys of the piano are consistent from the previous tracks. There  is a shift with track four, Karma in terms of the beat and him speaking on his hardships with love. He raps about not switching up and flexing on, LWRW. Track six, On Me is somewhat of a motivational track considering the things he touched on in the previous tracks. Dead To Me, lets listeners know that he is unapologetic for the things he has said and done and is fed up with the people who have done him wrong. There is another shift with track eight, 4 Me & Mine. We get a balance with the guitar strings and bass. We jump back to a relationship he has, which makes me wonder if there is a correlation and continuation to Karma. Definition Of Da Real is self explanatory and Conquer gives off island vibes. This is something new from anything I’ve listened to, which shows his versatility. He rides the beat smoothly with his flow. As for the message, he speaks about loneliness and how others expect for him to make it out when all he has known is adversity. The title of the track lets us know that he will conquer anything thrown his way. We’re coming to an end on Antistar with track eleven. As the beat fades in, he shares what his grandma told him about his fear of leaving Little Rock and going to an environment he’s unfamiliar with, which was to not to get caught up. Kayo releases a lot of emotion on this specific track, speaking on his vices, enemies and pitfalls. We gain a better understanding of his journey of finding himself. His fear of the unknown is expressed and revealed to us. Durkio Krazy/Who Run It (Freestyle) is the final track. Kayo goes in with a G. Herbo inspired freestyle.

Freedom From Concern and Antistar are similar, but I feel that Antistar is more experimental in his approach with the beats and flow. Freedom From Concern focused on Kayo’s experiences with the things and people who tried to stop him from moving forward in life. As a whole, Antistar was not as heavy emotionally in comparison to the first album, but still stuck with messages of overcoming adversity. I think it’s safe to say that Freedom From Concern is the beginning of his journey and Antistar is a continuation of Kayo finding himself and trying to make sense of the world around him.

Stay updated with the sounds of Kayo Lewiz via Soundcloud.

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