Review of Kero One's album 'Early Believers'.
Kero One is a success from the start in my opinion, not being lucky enough to have a privileged background to help him on his way, this San-Francisco rapper/producer/DJ etc etc the list goes on, has done this all himself which I admire without even listening to his breakthrough album.
Until now his success has been mainly in Japan but he has been picking up his reputation over the past couple of years working with the likes of Talib Kweli and also touring with hip hop legends KRS-One and EPMD. He has also been likened to artists such as Kanye West, Common and Q-Tip. This album is aimed for commercial success without the big powers that be influencing him and good luck I say!
Kero One has developed a style of his own and he's very talented but personally I think his talent shines through this album more from the arrangements which could make him a successful producer in his own right and also it wont do any harm to his guests on this album especially Ben Westbeech and Tuomo that help him along the way.
My first impression of Kero One's style on the opening track 'Welcome to the Bay' reminded me of Del the Funky Homosapien but as we move on I hear Kanye West on 'Keep Pushin'. There is also a bit of Will Smith in there on 'When The Sunshine Comes' to give it that more mainstream approach and perhaps this is the 'Summertime' for the noughties.
This album has summer written all over it, be it in your car with the windows down, having a BBQ with friends or even just chilling in the summer sun and is definitely aimed at a younger Hip Hop generation but will appeal equally to the older music lovers too with its 70's acid jazz funk tinge.
The music is blissful with sun drenched guitars and great rhythms throughout and he really shines in the instrumental track 'A Song for Sabrina' with its latino beats and soulful sax dripping through it.
I also feel that where some artists sample old soul funk records, Kero One has created these 'samples' himself which makes it all more impressive and you wouldn't know the difference and gets you thinking I want to hear the original, but here it is!!
This album is a must for this summer and for summers to come!