As we still swim in the streams of jazz rap and lo-fi hip hop with Loyle Carner, we move to a fellow Londoner and a fellow underground hip-hop rapper with Kofi Stone.
“Life’s already harder when your skin’s a little darker.” ___
From Stories in Pyjamas to Diamonds in the Water…Kofi’s weaving flows are just as suave and smooth as he started out.
Tailor-made creativity with an introspective point-of-view, Kofi Stone is very much entangled within the music of 90’s New York as much as it is lapped in soulful grime from that of the UK.
But remove the punctuated British accent and Kofi can very well be an artist immersed within the skylines of 90’s New York amongst the boom-bap New York style of hip-hop as he shares a supporting slot every Saturday at Parkside Lounge.
I’ve become an avid fanatic for well-versed lo-fi hip-hop rappers. First, it started out with Loyle Carner and now it’s spreading to the likes of Kofi Stone and even 2nd Exit, as I begin to learn more so of this wonderful sub-genre.
It is masterful as they paint a rather disfigured portrait of their journey so far, offering insightful anecdotes and immersive stories as they deliver a raw expression of rap. It is less so included now, with the favoured trap style of rap paving the path in mainstream but the likes of Dave are still driving the momentum of a different kind of grime. A more reflective and raw energy within music … as opposed to just telling us how much money they have in the bank.
This has never been more true than Kofi’s Nobody Cares Till Everybody Does. A narrative-driven rap flow reflecting how we are as a destructive society, the album is a beautiful tragedy of Kofi’s struggles as a black man in Birmingham (Same Old), mental health (It’s Ok To Cry) and lost contact (Talk About Us) aswell as the importance of staying true to yourself with integrity.
With his debut project reaching profound heights as onlookers wondered what all the fuss was about, we soon became aware to one of the most exciting rappers in the UK right now. On the cusp of greatness, Kofi Stone doesn’t validation from those who don’t understand him, he just wants us to listen to what he has to say.
___ “A young man in Levi jeans and a Northface puffer jacket
Stood on the main road in Birmingham City Centre
With a boombox and a microphone
It was his third day busking
Temperatures were below minus
And it wasn’t too pleasant
Many onlookers passed by disinterested by what the young man was doing
Nevertheless he was resilient
After hours of rapping to nobody
A women who looked to be middle aged stopped
And was intrigued by what the young man was doing
She was then joined by a group of four younger women who
Also wanted to see what all the fuss was all about
Five turned into ten
Ten turned into twenty
Twenty turned into forty
And forty turned into eighty
Before he knew it the young man had a crowd
He was in disbelief and fairly overwhelmed
Passersby were intrigued as to why
There was such a crowd
We’d prompt to them to stay
And see what all the fuss was all about
It was at that moment he knew
He knew it was true
Nobody cares till everybody does.”____