On his 2nd album now, Kota the Friend has zeroed in on a sound and message that’s wholly his own. “Everything” has seemed to mixed the relaxed surfer vibe; beach guitar, laid back drum sets and positive lyrics, with flowing beats that have trap sounds but doesn’t feel like a trap song with imagery that have a positivity that is infectious and resonating.
Throughout the album, it sounds like he’s rapping outside on a lawn chair in the sand over a palm tree looking at the NY skyline. The album title “EVERYTHING” plays the overall theme as he explores different people’s idea of what the concept of everything means to them. With tracks like “Long Beach” he raps with a tight flow that’s easy to follow allowing the delivery of good vibrations, love and uplifting lyrics to reach the listener, all while throwing quick jabs at haters who might try to interrupt the flow.
Even on the star studded “B.Q.E” (The Brooklyn-Queens Expressway) Kota the Friend held his own handling the catchy hook, speaking on people who “sell out for the check” as Brooklyn’s own Joey Bada$$ and the Queens mc better known as Dreamville’s Bas, spit heat about their love for the city. As someone who’s driven “90 on the BQE” it only happens around 4-5 am, other than that? Gridlock- it’s a wonder of the city.
Having Lupita Nyong’o and Lakeith Stanfield, two prominent actors who remain grounded and what everything means to them is a love letter to the listener to snap out of it and realize what might be “everything” to them. With quotables scattered throughout this album is so full of affection, love and understanding with short lyrics that inspire without lecture, tackling internal struggles with relationships and money, it’s refreshing.
An authentic sound coming out of NYC. As a born and bred New yorker, the NYC sound has been scattered for years post Desiigner, Joey Bada$$ and the “Escape from New York” posse album. This album captures the NYC essence, the calm beauty in the concrete jungle in the spring and summer in years and it may be the sound to look to.