It’s been a while since I’ve written anything in regards to music, I mean like a full blown article of my feelings towards a certain album or mixtape. Usually, I’m able to handle my schedule and get extremely involved in what’s new in the underground scene but I guess I’ve let a lot of things get to me the past few months.
On Saturday I attended our first official band practice. This is an idea that KON has had in the back of his mind since we first met, and that was to start a band of our own. Being that I’m a part of his team, as well as an up and coming artist myself, he decided to make me one of the vocalists in the band. Exciting, no? 🙂
Not to be confused, this article isn’t about me whatsoever. In fact, it’s about KON, or as some of you know him, “Knowledge Over Nonsense”. My reason for the brief introduction is because most of the songs we rehearsed during band practice came from his latest mixtape released in March 2011, “Like It Or Love It”.
I should have had an article written months ago, because it is in fact one of my favorite mixtapes of all time, and yes, you can quote me “of all time”. Very rarely do I come across artists that can rap over industry beats and still manage to grasp my attention. Most of them seem so cliché, rapping over the latest Kanye West or Drake beats, and even when they bring it back a few years and rap over Hi-Tek or Dilla instrumentals, they still don’t seem to catch my attention. It’s a variety of things; they lack creativity, substance, and most important, the love.
I’ve had the privilege of experiencing the entire making of KON’s “Like It Or Love It” mixtape, from the music, artwork, distribution, basically, all of it. Mostly every song was either recorded or written in front of me, and if I wasn’t around, he’d call me to spit his latest verse over the phone. Other times, I’d just get the email previewing the rough’s. Not gonna lie, I’d be hyped as hell listening to his joints! I knew this mixtape would be a success cuz every song on there was a banger. He doesn’t know this, but I saved all the un-mixed versions on my phone. I guess the secrets out, oh well. How do you think I was able to memorize every song before anyone else?
“Like It Or Love It” differs from hip-hop that’s out right now, it pretty much has a story behind it, unlike artists nowadays who just rap to…well, rap. KON put his present life into this mixtape, talking about the good, the bad, relationships, and most of all, his love for hip-hop. He mentions his appreciation towards his listeners, tells short stories, I mean it’s truly a one of a kind type of mixtape.
Some artists, when trying to experiment, would mix genres or go off topics. Not in his case, he planned everything to perfection, and with every song I hear, more and more I am convinced he is a musical perfectionist who continues to exceed his abilities as an artist.
What I love most about “Like It Or Love It” is the way KON set it off with a J Dilla introduction where he’s talking about how it’s hard for an artist to be noted as an emcee when the audience is already used to you being a producer. Before KON came out with his EP in August 2010, he was known as a producer and engineer out of Queens, NY so when he came out with his first EP, “Above The Clouds”, he shocked his fans as well as surrounding artists. Within a few months, after much dedication, he has become notably recognized and respected as a musician all around, not only as a producer.
Allow me to point out a few of my favorite tracks. For one, the intro itself is ridiculous, titled, obviously, “Like It Or Love It” produced by M-Phazes. KON pretty much let’s people know, this is it, this is how the mixtape is gonna be…you either “Like It or Love It” cuz you really have no choice but to. He has an incredible mix from Hi-Tek to Dilla, Ayatollah to Kanye West and more. “Don’t Go Away” featuring G-Martin, is a song dedicated to his fans and how much he appreciates the love and support whereas “Hustlin” talks about how he hustles to get his music out to the listeners. “Let’s Ride” by Q-Tip (produced by J Dilla) is pretty dope to vibe where he pays homage to Q-Tip and “Light Works” featuring Daniel Joseph is just a ridiculously crazy song over the Dilla “Light Works” beat.
“Like It or Love It” features some of the best that surrounds New York/New Jersey’s underground music scene. Varying from unique sounds and styles from different artist such as Hasan Salaam, Silent Knight, PremRock, Otis Clapp, Kalil Kash and Daphya and ranging into a magnificent R&B sound which features Tenille and the funky vibes of producer/singer Akwarian Sea Rebel as well. To top it all off, it was mixed by no other than the remarkable DJ Dyllemma giving it that real old school kind of mixtape sound.
I can go on about how awesome this mixtape is because I literally have it embedded in my brain but it would be more dope if you checked it out for yourself. So here it is, free of charge and you can preview it before you download it if you wish. If you like it, or love it, feel free to pass it on. And nonetheless, be prepared to expect much more greatness from KON. This is only the beginning.
Peace, Mad Love & Melodies,