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Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

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Album Review

While K-the-I???'s prior record Broken Love Letter, was a clutter of convoluted poetry aimed at Kiki's significant other turned ex, Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow continues to be an introspective affair, as his abstract rhymes switch from the topics of love and loss to futurism and technology. Entirely produced by Thavius Beck — the man behind the curtain on tracks by Trent Reznor, Nas, and Saul Williams — the industrial sonics are fitting for the underlying theme. Soft synths and drum loops are stretched and pitched with computer plug-ins to the point of stuttering, while the burly bearded rapper shows off his Cambridge credentials by spitting high-brow vocabulary at a mile-a-minute rate, creating run-on lyrics that could be interpreted as insightful if they weren't so terribly cryptic. "Cell-Shaded/Daydreams/Nightmares" starts straight away with "You play laser tag with sudden envelopes and Candid Camera's cantaloupe/frontal lobe microbes until it's dissolved/rework angles to evolve status/cleansing to the riddle of the puzzle solved/My timeframe nameless as it seems with no direction/I recall telephones to teleport your optimized cell-shaded nightmares." Fortunately guest MCs Nocando, Vyle, Subtitle, High Priest, Mestizo, Busdriver, and the producer himself, Thavius Beck, take turns chiming in, each with their unique styles, to reel in the 28-year-old's flow before his rampant trip into his mind's eye becomes more of an exhausting experience than simply a messy one. As it stands, his skills don't quite match up with his peers on the Mush roster yet, which includes Labtekwon and Aesop Rock, but he takes the cake as a unique visionary with a boundless imagination. Fans of esoteric underground rap should take notice. Worth investigating.


Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s

K-the-I??? is an underground rapper affiliated with the label Mush whose style is characterized by electronic, often hard-hitting beats and thoughtful, wordy rhymes. Born Kiki Ceac and originally from Cambridge, MA, he cites science fiction, video games, and psychedelic rock among his influences, along with the experimental rap of Company Flow and Madlib. K-the-I??? made his recording debut in 2002 with "Nova Solar Search," a self-produced contribution to the Beta One compilation released by the...
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Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow, K-the-i???
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