An album by Kayos
Review presented by Warren Peace
Listen to “Kayos Theory” by Kayos
Kayos Theory is one of the few albums to be submitted to The Write Reviews without much discussion, if any, between the artist and myself. Instead of another writer on the staff going into this review completely blind, I decided this one would be given a breakdown from the one and only, Warren Peace.
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CHECKS & BALANCES
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1- Blind America
A soft, almost delicate instrumental opens up Kayos Theory for the audience. Moments later Kayos comes through the speakers. He delivers his lines with a spoken word type of feel as he doesn’t really have a rhythm or flow to his lyrics. It’s almost as if he is reading the words off of whatever he has written them on instead of reciting them from memory. The content is excellent, speaking on how the American population in general is in the dark about the country’s leaders and the real motives behind the things that have been happening involving the country. Kayos does implement some multiple syllable rhyme schemes that can easily be heard as he spits his bars, although they don’t fall in line with the music. I feel this is an interesting opening track for Kayos Theory, but I’m not so sure he intentionally delivered his words off beat.
2- Hate To Love, Love To Hate
The melody for “Hate To Love, Love To Hate” has a similar feel to “Blind America”, making for a smooth transition between sounds. This time around Kayos has a little more of a flow to his delivery while he still incorporates multiple syllable rhyme schemes. He is still a little off beat at times, almost as if he is getting ahead of the music, which causes me to think he’s reading the lyrics instead of dropping them from memory. He does bring wordplay to the table several times during the track, of which I am a huge fan. He actually drops four verses on the track, the first person in months to do that in an album I’ve reviewed. He also sticks to the topic at hand throughout the song, and even hits listeners with a pretty catchy hook. “Hate To Love, Love To Hate” definitely displays a huge amount of potential from Kayos.
3- Fuck You
A slower tempo instrumental pushes “Fuck You”, and honestly doesn’t feel like it fits the aggression of Kayos’ bars. Kayos does a good job sticking with the subject at hand. His verses flow pretty well with the music, although there are a couple areas where he is obviously off beat. The hook is completely off beat, and doesn’t even flow evenly within itself. He does have a few good punchlines and some really nice multiple syllable rhyme schemes, but any time an artist’s flow falls out of sync with the music it can be distracting and takes away from the effectiveness of everything else. Also, Kayos is beginning to sound like a certain someone- some of Kayos’ lines are just reworded Eminem lines, which kills the creativity for me.
In many ways, “Nightmare” has the same feeling to it as “Fuck You” did, and many of the same things I said about “Fuck You” could be said for “Nightmare”. I will add, though, that I am wondering if Kayos writes his bars without music, then tries to find beats that somewhat match the rhythm of the lines he’s written. I just feel he has a rhythm to his words but, because he’s trying to match them to the rhythm of the music, it throws off the tempo he had for the words originally.
5- Can’t Turn Back feat. Danny Florio
Kayos goes for another round of pure lyricism; this time with a feature from Danny Florio. The audience is given a pretty equal performance from both artists, with Danny Florio gaining a slight edge due to his ability to maintain a pretty smooth flow on the second verse. Otherwise both emcees throw punches that aren’t hitting as hard as they would like them to and seem to focus on keeping multiple syllable rhyme schemes going instead of providing creative content. The hook is repetitive and the timing in the delivery is off.
“Isolated” features a hook that appears at the beginning, middle, and end of the track. It’s well written but isn’t delivered with much conviction. The verses are a lot similar to the last few tracks, except Kayos provides some pretty creative and original lines this time around while incorporating some wordplay from time to time. I enjoy the fact that Kayos seemed a little more focused on the content this time around.
7- Who I Am
When it comes to shock rap, any artist going with this approach needs to be on top of their game. The punchlines must be jaw-dropping. The wordplay must be fresh and clever. The metaphors need to relate to the content so the audience can catch it on the first listen. Most of all, there needs to be high replay value. On “Who I Am”, the audiencr is given a hook that blends Eminem’s “Just Dont Give A Fuck” and “The Way I Am”, immediately causing older hip hop heads to scoff at the track. Kayos is able to drop some witty, comedic bars during the course of the track and also maintains his flow for the majority of the track. Additionally, Kayos’ delivery sounds more involved emotionally, which always helps the audience get into a song more. Hopefully, for Kayos’ benefit, it’s effective on this track.
8- Dangerous feat. Evil D
This instrumental is a little more fitting for a lyrical barrage than most of the previous beats. Kayos has the first round and delivers a lot of what we have already heard. While he delivers some clever lines, once again, and actually flows on time with the beat better than he has in previous tracks, there’s still an extremely close similarity to some of Eminem’s lines. For some reason these lines are sticking out to me like a sore thumb and it’s really pulling the enjoyment out of Kayos Theory for me. Evil D has the second round on “Dangerous”, which doesn’t include a hook. Evil D does well in the flow department, but isn’t on the same level as Kayos lyrically.
9- All Time Low
We return to a slower style instrumental, in which Kayos takes advantage of by bringing content focused on something other than trying to be a lyrical giant. Unfortunately, Kayos struggles delivering a flow that matches well with the music. I felt like he did a really good job with the subject matter and expressing his emotion in his delivery, but with the timing off it distracts from his presentation of the lyrics. This is more of a step in the right direction in terms of Kayos coming into his own and making a name for himself.
10-If It Makes A Difference
This is more like it! Kayos approaches “If It Makes A Difference” with a spoken word feel to his delivery, which might not go over well with most hip hop fans but when it comes to creating his own presence and finding himself as an emcee, then this is definitely on the right path. The subject matter is relatable for listeners and Kayos does a solid job of involving his emotions behind his lyrics. This is one of the stronger tracks on Kayos Theory.
Here’s a track where the subject matches up nearly perfect with the instrumental. Centered around “Questions”, just as the title suggests, Kayos brings more material that listeners will be able to relate to. The hook on this one might be hard for the average person to enjoy, but I like the fact that Kayos attempted something different to try and bring another layer to the album.
The concluding track for Kayos Theory is “Hostile”, and he decides to use the lyrical approach again in hopes of bringing something that sticks with the audience when the album is over. While there are a few witty lines, I feel the majority of Kayos’ bars aren’t going to connect as hard as he wants. If he’s shooting to make jaws drop and people say “Damn!” then it is more likely to happen on one of the previous tracks he uses the lyrical approach with. There’s no hook for “Hostile” either, and I feel using a hook on the last track is always more beneficial than not because it assists in the chance of having the song stuck in the mind of a listener after the album has finished.
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Blind America and All Time Low
THE WRITE UP
When it comes to Kayos’ intelligence and potential, there is not a doubt in my mind that he could become a real force in hip hop. That being said, he has a lot to learn and develop while finding himself as an emcee. Practicing the many elements of writing and staying away from the molds created by other artists will help, but I believe the most important thing for Kayos to focus on right now is finding a flow to his words that works with the instrumentals he is choosing. Once Kayos does that, I believe the rest will follow suit rather easily and we could see Kayos become a real issue for any emcee who wants to come between Kayos and the microphone.
(1.5 out of 5 stars)
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