Kam – Soundcloud Songs – Singles Review
Been a minute or two homie! My how things can change.
This will be the first time I’ve reviewed Kam here at the page – though not the first time I’ve actually reviewed his music. Back in the day, in early 2016, three some-odd years ago, he was going by the name of Quiet Leader…technically that’s where I got my introduction to Kam’s music for the first time. You could hear the material & potential was there in the pre-released singles I was checking out – and like the best of the emcees out there, he was looking to grow, evolve, and continue on refining his skills & sound. I made a few recommendations for the man…and I suppose the story of how these new singles he’s got here today will tell the full tale of whether or not any of that advice was taken. Believe me, Kam was well on his way long before I ever commented on a single song of his…and even though it’s been a significant amount of time since we last heard from him, during which time he even switched up his own moniker, I’m willing to bet that talent like his gets sharper over time – let’s find out if I’m right.
I’m just rolling through these singles in alphabetical order again here…not playing favorites, Kam just happened to start off on all the right notes with “Her Eyes.” The beat is more than enticing – the music has a dreamy vibe that completely draws you in while Kam lays down a love-song in bars, revealing he’s still got that finesse on the m-i-c that we remember from his early days. The production aspect has improved all-around…”Her Eyes” comes out sounding noticeably smooth and sweet in sentiment, almost jazzy in the groove of the electro-beat and melody working its magic. Smart backing vocals contribute, Kam keeps the flow tight and the words malleable, bending them to his will as he raps and strings words together, often breaking up full thoughts between one bar and continuing on in the next. I could have chosen any cut to start out this latest experience with Kam’s music – it was just luck of the alphabetical draw that put “Her Eyes” at the top of the playlist here – but damn, what a great start! Kam’s not shying away from the moment here…he’s looking for love here on “Her Eyes” and he’s not trying to hide that at all…Hip-Hop/Rap can always use more tracks like this about what’s real out there in the world. Essentially, you get Kam’s own personal experience here, but it’s a story you can relate to.
Impressed by the music selection too homie! As “Hush” began with its piano-filled intro, I was already absolutely loving this tune before Kam even had a chance to hit the mic! The mix on this cut is honestly quite unique…as far as I can tell, it’s completely on-point, but it is an adjustment to go from the bright piano melody at the beginning to the filtered low-end that comes in through the main transition as far as the listening experience goes. Ain’t nothing wrong with that…”Hush” becomes almost like a Part 1 & 2 type dealio…different vibes, different parts, it all changes up…the piano remains, but even the direction of that will get twisted up as this single plays on. We’re talking serious action in the lefts & rights with the music & vocals bouncing around all over the place…listening to this track is a straight-up trip. The effect of the way this track is mixed makes a massive impact…probably not an approach I’d recommend taking to every tune of course, but here in this singular experience, it’s pretty damn rad really…like you can truly feel this track bouncing right off your skin. “Love is in the air” once again – Kam embraces his thoughts & feelings and is proud to spit’em into the mic…I got mad respect for that. Part of me is inclined to comment on the vocals being so deep set into the mix & a bit hard to get at as a listener…but again, with the song being called “Hush” & all, the performance fits and the entire cut is genuinely unique when it comes right down to it. Smart to attach these two parts together ultimately – I think that intro invites everyone in with its peaceful sound, and then that main switch into the low-end groove kicks in and you get to hear where Kam really wants to take this track…the end results came out sounding completely Hip-Hop, but innovative in ways I felt like I haven’t heard much, if at all, before.
“I just need some blunts and my phone,” raps Kam on “Meet Again” – I can get behind that. Kam starts wild’n’out lyrically on this cut, revealing that lighter-side of his personality a bit more through the clever lines he’s put into this track and the way he approaches the mic with noticeable verbal enthusiasm. I mean, LISTEN to the man will ya? I’m thinkin’ Kam must’ve had two bowls of Wheaties for breakfast that morning instead of one or something…the dude sounds insanely inspired to hit them bars on this joint. “Meet Again” is a short cut, but make no mistake, Kam’s making the most of its ninety-three seconds. In fact, as far as the vocals go, I think that’s one of my favorite transitions into the verse that I’ve heard in these past couple years…it’s just a wickedly effective spot to like, pull the plug on the music for a moment and introduce Kam on the mic in the song after the hooks have already played – you get a split-second of space, and then all of a sudden this emcee is lighting the place up with personality. For real – supercharged energy on the mic on this cut and you can hear how into this moment Kam is – as I’ve pointed out multiple times here at the homepage, this makes all the difference in the world to listening ears. You’ll be into “Meet Again” because it sounds good for sure – but also because you can genuinely hear that KAM is into it too…it’s the kind of contagious enthusiasm you can’t help but catch.
Overall, Kam’s really up the whole experience of listening to his music since I’ve last heard it. When you listen to how these cuts like “Hush,” “Meet Again,” and even the chilled out beat of “No Time” afterwards move so slickly and always have dynamics shifting from the lefts to the rights…I mean, it’s like I pointed out earlier, you truly do end up feeling like the hazy vibes could physically move you. I’m not so sure it wouldn’t be a drunken stumble straight over to the couch with the way this hypnotic sound on “No Time” will mess with ya…but DAMN is it entertaining! He’ll “give you Kam if you want more” – and I don’t see why we wouldn’t with the way that “No Time” came out. He’s workin’ the rhythmic Hip-Hop wordsmith style…which might be the best quality or arguably maybe a strike against him for some – you can hear he can string words together like it ain’t no thang when it comes to precision, metering, flow, and tone of voice & all that…but you might wonder what this track is ultimately trying to say, or if that’s even a factor that needs to be considered at all. As I’ve said a million times when getting yet another Rock music track about chicks & cars – not every song needs to always say something super important or try to reinvent the wheel…sometimes a song just feels good to play, sing, perform…there could be a ton of reasons to justify ‘feeling it.’ So while “No Time” may/may not come with a ton of knowledge bombs or insight – it is also once again, still a completely solid cut to listen to. I think part of that is that Kam makes the most of his moment on the mic once again…and truly that does come down to the rhythm & flow on this track, he’s nailed it…and it’s not like there isn’t a whole bunch of clever lines along the way, it’s just harder to link them to an overall concept is all. The other half of the appeal is sincerely the music…he’s really chosen exceptionally wisely with what he wants to work with, and as a result of the smart choices of producers & beats he’s working with, he’s found several different vibes & approaches that have brought a lot of his personality to the surface.
“Sick AF” – ok…wait…did he just spit out, “I be that soup, cause I’m sick as fuck?” – did I hear that right? That’s just straight-up clever right there is what that is – brilliant line…and seriously one of many that you’ll find on this cut & throughout Kam’s music. He’s got some tracks that are more focused thematically like perhaps “Her Eyes” and “Hush” were at the beginning, keeping it cohesive and connected to one overall subject – and others like “Meet Again” and “No Time” that seem to roam a bit more creatively in search of what they really want to say. “Sick AF” has a tighter scope and control over what it wants to get across…the first verse goes for the jugular with lyrics that are “Sick AF,” while the subsequent verses & bars changes the meaning from being explicit content-wise, to be explicitly awesome and “Sick AF” performance-wise – you following me? Personally, I’ve got no issues with the opening verse, most of it had me laughing because Kam’s so damn shockingly direct with umm…let’s just say how he phrases what he wants to say & what he’s sayin’ really…the whole damn thing is probably offensive to the sensitive – but fuck’em, those aren’t the people tracks like this are made for. Haters need not apply here – if you can’t handle an emcee that’s “Sick AF,” you probably wanna stay out of chef Kam’s kitchen. And I’m gonna keep on pointing it out, because it’s seriously relevant and a signature part of what Kam’s got going on that ties these tunes together – the music itself, is once again, incredibly rad to listen to…completely impressed with his precision & finesse on the mic, but definitely noticing just how excellent the selection of sounds spread out over these singles really is as well.
That uniqueness is audibly on display, front & center as the music starts up on “Snakes Pt. 2” – and Kam definitely makes mincemeat out of the mic with his quick rollin’ flow through this particular track. Mix-wise…not 100% sure of where I’m at with it…it’s tougher to examine a set of singles in that sense sometimes. When you’re playing them back to back, and they’re all coming from different sessions or even places of inspiration, different energies etc. – it becomes harder to judge, because on an album you’d end up striving to get’em all in-line volume-wise and normalized and all that. So…hmm…I mean, my gut still tells me there’s a few obstacles that stand in the way of “Snakes Pt. 2” being universally loved, despite how brilliantly unique this music & beat really is. Part of that’s at the beginning, the intro is decidedly louder than the rest to follow, which kinda ends up hampering the vocals when they come in after the break and the ability for them to make as much of an impact as maybe they should. I think part of that might be due to the recording method as well…or a conscious commitment to a stylistic choice…to me it sounds like we’ve got a track on the left & the right alternating, but likely none set in the middle. Now don’t get me wrong, for a single cut, there ain’t nothing wrong with that – again, it provides an additional uniqueness that has its own appeal – and stylistically, there are a few artists that go this route and a lot of listeners that dig it to be fair…it’s got that live effect somewhat. In removing that centered vocal though, you’re also removing a constant from the song to lean on…and the results can often feel a bit more unstable in sound or nearly motion-sickness inducing at times. All that being said, I don’t think Kam is looking to necessarily fit into any one box or type of style; he’s switched it up plenty so far throughout these singles and he does another solid job on the mic here. If anything, it’s probably just the first verifiable signs that I’m getting old…I always just want to hear him more clearly. Because this man has BARS…he’s got incredible lines – and a ton in here that’ll make you recognize the skill just as much as make you chuckle from the humor you’ll find on “Snakes Pt. 2” as well. Or at least, it can come across as funny…he could be serious about being an “ass eater” too – no shame in that game homie, I’m all about it, I hear ya.
In terms of hooks & universal accessibility, “Stupid Love” has probably got the most going for it when it comes to what will get the people movin’ out there. Dig how Kam always makes time for the music to shine as well somewhere along the way, in this case, it’s in the brightness of the intro piano keys again – and it sounds excellent once again. Post-that…we get into those shifty left & right movements – no lie, “Stupid Love” was the cut that had me switching up tracks to see if my speakers were cutting out or if it was the song itself…because it’s definitely got a few tripped-out moments where you’ll noticeably hear things come & go and likely the effect of mad compression added to the cut to keep it all contained. Is it worth coming back to and smoothing out? I’d probably go with a huge YES in support of that – I get that it’s a somewhat signature style at this point, but there’s no harm in changing up the approach in that respect every once in a while as well – because at its core, there’s an idea, sound, & vibe that really connects on “Stupid Love” that the people out there would definitely dig on. It does give this cut an authentic Hip-Hop mix-tape feel in a way…but I look at it this way; when you’ve got an ultra-smooth cut designed to stay chill and spread love, you want to get as many ears on it as possible – and sometimes in that scenario, it’s best to keep things as straight-ahead as you can when it comes to those single-worthy tunes like “Stupid Love” could potentially be. Kam is crushin’ it in the verses of this track, and honestly, I think the flow & writing of the chorus end up handling its business perfectly…a real natural & verbally jazzy idea found in this song. I say clean’er up there homie – I think this track is worth the extra effort.
“Vibez” is one beastly animal to mix…and props to Kam and his crew for getting this one as close as humanly possible when it comes to containing that low-end. We’re talking DEEP bass here dear readers, dear friends – “Vibez” sounds as gigantic as it does chilled-out. Kam ain’t rollin’ fast here, but he is rollin’ hard – you feel me? Everything about this cut gets much more serious from the atmosphere to the lyricism on this final cut in review…it’s another track that suits Kam well, even if we end up missing a bit of that wild personality a lil’ bit in the trade-off for a bit more focus on the tone & theme here. He’s still got plenty of lines to get you raisin’ up an eyebrow or two – much of “Vibez” is about fuckin’ for sure – and if you’re familiar with Kam by now, you know that if it’s on his mind, he’s willing to say it – so don’t go actin’ surprised when he gets X-rated at moments throughout this single. Music is still on-point, I love the surface melody/deep bass combo, the ideas are great there and really give Kam a different set of dynamics & longer cut to work with. I like that he raps entirely differently than he has on any of the other tunes, completely switching up his style once more at the end of this set and slowing it down in favor of creating a chilled-out cut that’s still got epic moments you can’t help but notice. Kam’s locked-in on “Vibez” though – I dig that you can really hear the man focused and in this moment, delivering in a tone & style that suits and serves the song bang-on. Good notes to go out on for this review and plenty of positives in this entire set that have me looking forward to the next time we hear from Kam…the man’s still on his way up for sure and definitely has a ton of rhythm & swagger on the mic that sets him apart from the rest of the emcees out there.
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