Olajide Olatunji, better known as KSI (or KSIOlajideBT) made his name through his YouTube gaming channel, where he developed a reputation as an online personality. Following his newfound fame KSI made the transition into making hip-hop in 2011 with his track Heskey Time, and later signed with Sway's Dcypha label. Keep Up is his debut project, a five track EP where KSI attempts to prove that a background based in the online stratosphere doesn't mean you can't produce quality rap music.
Opening with Keep Up, the title track features a hard hitting, bass driven trap beat with charismatic, confidently delivered vocals from the Watford MC. KSI also recruits Boy Better Know and grime scene veteran JME, who makes a traditionally energised appearance, spitting about his sizeable successes, and the track certainly makes for a good first impression. Smoke N Mirrors is an uptempo track with crossover appeal; the guitar riffs, catchy bassline and crisp drums are a good match for KSI's vocal, and it's dope to see Lunar C (who recently signed with Dcypha) make an appearance, demonstrating his rapid flow and tight multisyllabic rhyme schemes.
Lambo Refuelled (the remix of Lamborghini which featured P Money) is another in-your-face, textured production. Energy and vibes seem to be highest on KSI's list of priorities, and although his verses do sound enthused and interesting, the actual content isn't deep or thought-provoking. Scrufizzer shows up on this cut with a characteristically speedy appearance; it's also a bit of a concern that KSI is often outshined by the guest he invites onto a track with him. If he wants to impress with a full length project that is definitely something he needs to work on.
Overall though the Keep Up EP is a nice collection of songs; the production is consistently dope (the frantic percussion of the closing track Encore is guaranteed to have that screw-face etched across your face), and KSI is at the very least entertaining. His vocal tone takes a little getting used to it, and don't expect lyrical wizardry, but the songs are cool and the features impressive.
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It's nothing like the country vibe we were anticipating.
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