On its announcement, Kilo Kish’s K+ near enough broke the internet. With widespread, positive blog coverage and her homepage serving tremendously slow downloads, forums questioned whether the young Florida-born, Brooklyn-based MC’s latest was really worth the wait.
Oh, so much. The follow-up to 2012’s Homeschool, K+ finds Lakisha Robinson expanding her sonic horizons courtesy of production from the likes of SBTRKT, Star Slinger and Childish Gambino, her rhymes rescued from the remains of a broken relationship.
Across its nine tracks proper – K+ is a spoken intro regarding a complementary art exhibit – this set seems to move through a love affair, from heady beginning to devastating end.
Kish’s past form paints her as an MC with matters of the heart often on her mind. You’re Right, from Homeschool, detailed meeting a recent ex: “We don’t greet one another… And you used to be my lover.”
On K+ she goes deeper, beginning with flirtation, slipping easily into infatuation, and ultimately getting burned when feelings are not fully reciprocated and her man’s affections cool.
Ghost, which features production from SBTRKT, finds her playing romantic scenarios in her head over a belching beat: “When I’m with another guy / You’re the one who haunts my mind.”
Come IOU, sparks have flown and our protagonist appears smitten. It’s a rare party track, its high(ish) BPM a pronounced contrast to surrounding cuts of more sombre design.
Turquoise finds cracks appearing, despite its smooth production; and Scones is the decider. “This routine gets kinda old, kinda soon,” says Kish, home alone with dinner getting cold on the table. “Boy, you never tried.”
But things take a sinister turn on closer Creepwave. An absolute standout, it’s an eerie realisation of what Lana Del Rey might sound like produced by The Weeknd collaborator Illangelo.
Kish is struggling with conflicting emotions: “You’re making me ill… Can never resist when you’re calling me… With the same old s***.” It’s a compelling closer on a highly recommended mixtape.
Kish here recalls both Lauryn Hill’s guard-down emotions, articulated brilliantly on The Miseducation of…, and the solid narrative structure that served Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city so well. Her promise is reaching fruition.
So let that download take its time. Genius should never be rushed.