Kota The Friend neatly represents what I love about the 2020 hip hop landscape. In the 90’s it felt like a savage game of the king of the hill, at times. The artists vying for top position savaged each other either openly or behind the scenes while the artists coming up felt pressure to express that they were fighting up that hill as well.
Kota starts by clarifying that will not be the case on his new album Everything. At the end of the first song Summerhouse it is stated ‘life is too short to stew in negativity and love is everything’. This opens vistas to follow up to warm beats like B.Q.E. with horns and tight loops where he gets to rap at his highest capacity without worrying about where it places in the marketplace. If he didn’t say he was from New York you wouldn’t know but you wouldn’t wonder where he was from. That’s not the most important thing.
This is a coming together of three vitally important underground names and it never feels like any of them aim to ‘kill’ each other on the track. Everyone is stepping up to paint with their colors. As great as Joey’s middle verse is I love Bas on this one. He says “I’m from Queens where they line you up with a cold smile.” He is definitely a name to watch on Dreamville. I love how big this hook is, I love that while Everything specializes in chill it never slumbers. Mi Casa, Long Beach, B.Q.E. all groove hard. If you liked Noname’s last album (Room 25) this is for you.
The internet is growing a tribe of Kota loyalists who are going to be Bernie supporter serious. I can’t argue against it.