Late Night Special
Growing up in the shadow of Biggie and Wu-Tang, Brooklyn’s Kirk Knight can’t help but sound gritty. The Pro Era producer has essentially defined Joey Bada$$’s alluring, hypnotic sound and, stepping up as a rapper on his debut LP, he proves to be a potent double threat.
Decidedly East Coast, Knight’s eclectic production calls back to DJ Premier and RZA with Midwestern Dilla and Yeezy flavours added for good measure. The stylistic shifts are occasionally jarring the soulful, R&B heart of Heaven Is For Real transitions straight into the Das EFX-esque menace of Brokeland.
It’s the sound of a young artist making every appealing impression he possibly can to prove he’s a muscle-flexing, sensitive man. With Bada$$ in tow, he goes hard, paraphrasing B.I.G. and O.D.B. on 5 Minutes, before getting thoughtfully existential on The Future.
Mick Jenkins stands out among the ambient glitch of I Know, and ThemPeople co-produce some tracks, but Knight is ultimately responsible for this moody yet dynamic statement full of rich, vivid verses and raw spirit.
Top track: Knight Time