Kiev – Infinite Positivity II – EP Review
The sequel to where it all began!
At least for us here at SBS – reviewing Infinite Positivity back early in January of 2017 was my own first experience with the man…if you’re looking real close on the internet though, you’ll find Kiev’s been posting cuts for about seven years or more now. That’s verifiably a veteran in the game by today’s standards, where you’re lucky if an artist or band will make it to their third record in the modern era – props to the man for sticking with it all, consistently evolving his skillset, and pushing forward from day one. The improvement over time has always been noticeable in Kiev’s material, and I’d suspect we’re all in-store for yet another iteration of his elevation with this 2020 record right here, Infinite Positivity II.
Maybe even TWICE today y’all…we’ll be reviewing his even more recent 2021 Time EP later today too.
“Intro” welcomes you in with an official word-up from your host & the star of the show – the chef himself, Kiev at the mic right where the man belongs. Crushin’ it from moment one, he flexes serious swagger & style over a distorted piano melody that sounds like it’s been meltin’ in the sunshine while the beat kicks-in and the bass-lines start bouncin.’ “Spittin’ them skittles” right from the drop, Kiev puts the art of the word on full display right there in the “Intro” – the implications of all this quality right upfront suggests that everything outside of the “Intro” is likely gonna be even stronger – I’m here for it. The jazzy “Intro” is much more than what you typically find in an introduction – and it shows the focus of Kiev right away with the fact that this “Intro” cut literally does set the stage for the rest of this EP to follow if you’re paying attention. Everyone & everything has gotta start somewhere – and the “Intro” is where you establish that if you’re doin’ it right on a record; Kiev gets the verbal heat warmed up quick as he details what this EP is gonna be all about…and just like the rest of you, I’m stoked to take this trip.
So here we are…”Just Another Day” in the life of Kiev, puttin’ out records you can’t help yourself from spinnin,’ and continually leveling-up. You tellin’ me you can’t hear it here? “Just Another Day” is as about as ready to be a hit song as a hit song can possibly be – how in the all hell did this not end up on the radio yo? This is a perfect example of the uphill battle artists & bands face out there…not JUST artists, but quality artists, like Kiev here – by any measurement whatsoever, “Just Another Day” should be a HUGE hit for this homie right here – it’s the kind of cut that you’ll listen to, and then instantly wonder how it’s even possible you haven’t heard it by now! For real…you couldn’t ask for more outta the guy than you’ll find here in terms of accessible sound and a main hook that can’t be denied. Featuring bars from Ra$honn to bring it home, a stellar performance from Kobe that provides what’s essentially the most memorable highlight you’ll be singing along with on this EP, and of course, the chef is right there to make sure this whole cut stays cookin.’ And let me be clear y’all…this is a cut with the balance & strength you so rarely ever hear from all hands on deck, that the quality you’ll find here in the end results is less frequent than a UFO sighting – I’m talking music AND vocals…lead AND guest-stars…there’s not a thing about this I’d even think to remotely change – I’m tellin’ ya straight-up, I will ALWAYS have time for this track, both now & all the way into the future. Go ahead…take the Pepsi challenge y’all…see if you can get even twenty-seconds into “Just Another Day” without your head noddin’ its approval for what you’ll hear – this is as universal as universal can be…to the point where I’d genuinely be shocked to find out anyone DIDN’T love this song. Smooth as smooth can be, this cut comes beaming outta your speakers with Kobe leading the way in the hooks, bringing a refreshing energy to the whole vibe that carries right on through the verses to follow. Really clever use of the auto-tuner in the mix here…it’s as subtle as it gets, and not used on every single part we hear – when it shows up…I mean…it’s just about the finest use of it that I’ve heard…like, ever. The whole laidback atmosphere that “Just Another Day” is so surprisingly chilled-out yet completely captivating…it’s impossible to express just how rare this combination of energies is to pull off correctly – Kiev & his crew have this cut locked down in every conceivable way. But I don’t need to tell them all that – Infinite Positivity II has been out since 2020…there’s no way by now that they don’t all know exactly how incredible this track came out…they should be flooding the airwaves with this track, and it’s only because we’re all in this crazy time of in between in the industry that it’s not – this IS a hit, 100% – hear the proof for yourself below & bump THIS.
Alright…so…facts comin’ up here. It’s probably pretty hard to argue that a cut like “Just Another Day” doesn’t take the award early on for serious accessibility & universal vibes – BUT…there’s definitely an argument to be made that “Need Love” might make an even bigger impact on the man’s longtime fans. All-in-all, you’ll find Infinite Positivity II is an extremely personal record…that’s flexed a little bit in the “Intro” as it starts…you get a glimpse on “Just Another Day” as well for sure – but from the point of “Need Love” on-forward, you’ll hear the man go deeper & deeper into the tale of what’s made him into the man & artist he is now today. “Need Love” examines what love is from multiple angles really, and also digs right into the need of love every bit as much…what drives us towards it, makes us wanna keep it, and why we seek it out. “What do I do it for?” he’ll ask as he’s spittin’ rhymes…and in the process of looking internally, Kiev reaches captivating bars that once again connect through the bold reality he paints in the pictures of his words…it’s almost like you’re living his life when you listen to this track. Takin’ the journey with him from the earliest days to the place he is now, examining what his purpose is and what comes next from it – “Need Love” is like G’d up philosophy 101, and Kiev’s teachin’ – now sit down & pay some damn attention! You won’t have an issue doin’ that whatsoever…”Need Love” comes in with immediately serious vibes in the atmosphere that’ll tell ya you’re in-store for some important info. Serenity is in the mix as a featured guest, putting the emphasis onto the hook of the chorus in tandem with Kiev…the music is fully on-point, giving the man another perfectly jazzy beat to hit the bars with…and everything from Kiev’s tone of voice to his pace & phrasing all ring true with authenticity. Ain’t no doubt that “Need Love” is a deep cut for sure, and it’ll take the whole EP down a different path from this point forward…but let’s be entirely real here – you’re about to head into some of Kiev’s best. Not that we haven’t kinda been there already though right? This record is completely fuckin’ EPIC bro!
Kiev! My man. Soundin’ incredible right now – “Frost” meets the middle between the appeal of a track like “Just Another Day” but reaches deep like “Need Love” did just prior as well, striking a balance that’s bound to catch major attention. Rhythmic, slick AF, and incredibly real on the m-i-c, Kiev takes you into the heart of what’s cold on “Frost” and many of the obstacles that have been standing in his way. “These are my real thoughts” as he’ll tell ya – as if you didn’t KNOW by this point! You better y’all. Not just because Kiev’s hittin’ the bars hard with everything he’s got lyrically – but because you can HEAR that connection to his words as he spits’em and rips the microphone a new one. When that bass comes in around the two-minute mark, you gotta dig that too…the swell of the music in the background gives Kiev a platform to be confident he can stand on, and get downright epic with his words. Fearlessly revealing all kinds of details of things he’s been through and issues he’s had to get past – Kiev is realer than real all the way through this record, “Frost” is further confirmation that he holds absolutely nothing back. And nor can you in the pursuit of greatness – Kiev knows that – like I said, LISTEN to this master of the mic at this point y’all…there’s not a single crack in this man’s game now. The roll he goes on through this set of songs is absolutely STELLAR…not only is it incredibly grounded, it’s groundBREAKING – making a record like this, and getting out so much of what Kiev has laid out on the mic is what makes it possible to make more records later on. With all this stuff inside of him, he’d eventually explode…but through music, no matter what genre or style, comes a serious catharsis he can benefit from. He might “not be doin’ too well” – but he’ll rise above it all…the fact that he’s worked so hard over the years, put so much into the art & craft, and come out this strong on the other side to even MAKE tracks like “Frost” that tell the tale? Please y’all – Kiev’s gonna be just fine. This man has been destined for greatness all along.
“Obstacles” is a fantastic example of Trap in its most hybrid form – and the performance from Kiev here, should earn the man a serious award or two if it hasn’t already. Dude’s always had the X-factor, and we’ve always been believers from day one – we’ve literally witnessed Kiev go through the ups & downs over time, and just LISTEN to him now will ya? You cannot get a better performance from an emcee than you’ll hear from this man on the final track of Infinite Positivity II. Now, understand that’s partly because Kiev pretty much always spits from a highly personal place where he’s truly feelin’ the words, but there’s no denying what a master of the craft he’s become when you hear him flip the script of his own style at the end here, and prove that in a whatever dimension of the Rap/Trap/Hip-Hop game you find him in, he’s a massive competitor armed with bulletproof bars and a genuine gift to entertain. Kiev’s just “tryin’ to do the impossible” for now…but this man’s talent & skill has gone nowhere but up; no reason there shouldn’t be a pot of gold waitin’ at the end of this guy’s rainbow for the effort he’s put in. “I gotta be the rhythm to my melody” – there are more insightful lines in this last song than most artists are able to stack onto one record…and Kiev’s speaking up for a lot of people out there that really can’t speak up for themselves just yet, encouraging them to find that voice of theirs and let it be heard. Make no mistake, he’s leading by example with what he’s laying out on “Obstacles,” detailing many of the reasons he’s in this whole Rap thang to begin with…and ultimately, these words of his are easily as impressive as the performance he puts in & deserve just as much recognition as to why this cut hits such a massive home run. I hear a song like “Obstacles” and simply think “damnnnnnnnn” by the end – there’s almost no two ways about it, as much as I’ve enjoyed the rest, this is so righteously addictive that I can’t help but feel that with another week of listening to this record under my belt, it’ll become my favorite from the whole EP soon enough. Kiev’s put the work into Infinite Positivity II – we left him on a highlight with his Ambrosia album back in 2019…and clearly, he’s stayed at the top of his game ever since.
You can find out more about all that when we post up our thoughts on the Time EP later today. Until then – make sure to check out what Kiev’s got goin’ on at Spotify and listen to Infinite Positivity II there at this link here: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3gY4AXKmt61qPI1WwjonZn
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