Chicago’s Kembe X is smooth. Smooth enough to to have his new mixtape “Kembe X EP” be the highlight in a week the boasted new jams from Nocando, Milo,Busdriver, and Run the motherfucking Jewels. The 18-year-old raps through the tape’s 5-song run without hesitation, turning beats to baby food with his bullet delivery. He’s got an absolute monster of a flow, but it goes down like cold beer – and to that I say run it, young man, run it.
The obvious highlight on the tape is the previously leaked “As I Unfold,” which features Kendrick Lamar understudy Ab-Soul and fellow Chicago rhymer Alex Wiley. It’s an absolute banger, and the entire tape is essentially built around the promo of Soul’s feature, which isn’t necessarily fair to the uber-skilled Kembe X, who could be a marquee feature in his own right with some more spotlight.
Take, for example, “Poker Face,” Kembe X’s other single off the EP. It’s an infectious relaxation incantation. Listen to it in your car and you’ll find yourself reclining the chair and nodding your head to the jangling bells and melodic chorus. Given that the homie is the sole proprietor of that track as well as “The Prey” and “Self Appreciation,” I think it’s pretty clear that Kembe X is a rare talent with that mainstream potential but the skills and sensibility of the underground.
Sponsored by Scion A/V, the album is free for stream and download, which is the first time that company has done anything admirable. For real, fuck Scion. Those cars are made of shit and look like they were designed by a Stanley Kubrick fanboy scuzzed up on cock meds. Real edgy move editing all the curse words out of the tape. Great way to get folks to buy into your edgy lifestyle/automobile brand, guys.
P.S. You missed a “shit” in the refrain of the first fucking song.