Kiev – Time – EP Review
“Kiev is like the Kobe of his generation.”
Houston…we have a…second record in review today? Word up to that – if it’s more Kiev, I’m into it.
Now…I wouldn’t go as far as to pull the legendary Apollo 13 quote up on the guy, but there is a little bit of a problem at the beginning of Time in terms of red-linin’ that mix jussssssst a lil’ bit. I get it, I get it – dude couldn’t just bring it at a regular human level after dropping Infinite Positivity II last year – he was gonna have to go big to somehow exceed the standard he just hit, but it seems to get away from him for a minute or two as the “Champion Intro” featuring DB flares up with such enormously massive sound. I mean…he just left us with literally zero to pick on before on that last record…I gotta take what few opportunities Kiev leaves us with now to point out any potential improvements to be found. Chances are, he was likely goin’ for that overdriven vibe to start this up on the “Champion Intro” – and good lord, even if he wasn’t, it would have taken serious studio muscle to wrestle this beast under the red-line anyhow. All that being said – performance-wise, Kiev’s still firing it up at the top of his game, flexing dynamic skills on the mic, and livin’ up to all the good-good things guest-star DB has to say about him.
Understand though…there are nearly two different Kievs on our pages today here when it comes to the personality & purpose behind each record. Infinite Positivity II, that we reviewed here earlier today, was about as serious as a set of songs can get – and when it comes to Time here, there’s a much looser lineup of tracks goin’ on throughout this EP, and Kiev’s wild’n’out with no apologies as he spits this set. “Run Up On You” is a full force reminder that you probably don’t exactly wanna be fuckin’ around & findin’ out, you feel me? Kiev’s packin’ HEAT. If he doesn’t knock you over through the strength of his words, he might verifiably bust a cap or seven in your ass – consider yourselves warned yo! “Run Up On You” features JACK&RENZ for the first time of two appearances in this lineup and helps assist in ensuring a solid victory is hard through the fierce commitment & fire being spit through the mic. What a beat too – you feel this right from moment one – and Kiev literally throws you…WAIT, what is THAT homie? Did Kiev just drop a verbal PUMP FAKE on us before he even starts hittin’ them bars for real? I believe that’s genuinely the case. Large & in-charge, Kiev makes mincemeat outta his opportunity here, verbally slicin’ & dicin’ & cuttin’ this up with the supercharged energy you wanna hear from him to back up the confidence & conviction he’s puttin’ through the mic. JACK&RENZ comes in to do the SAME THING to us – what in the ALL HELL now? How come no one ‘round here just wants to let some rhymes rip without givin’ us the business in the process yo? I’m kiddin’ – I’m LOVING what they’ve done here – and it takes mere moments for them all to jump “right back on the beat” just like JACK&RENZ will tell ya. “Run Up On You” is a savagely entertaining cut with the chef cookin’ it up right from the kitchen, special order for that ass – come get served, this whole crew keeps this track completely hot & fresh for you to feast on.
I meannnnnnnnnn…come on now y’all…emcees should be packin’ their lunches and heading back to their sad-ass 9-5s after hearing how Kiev takes it to “Stunt” – this is how to put emphasis into words – and as a result, there’s almost no doubt that people out there will notice just how HUGE this cut really IS. Kiev sounds fuckin’ fifty-feet tall here on “Stunt” – and he raps with a masterful grip on the mic. From the main bars of the verses to the explosive way he throws down verbally in the chorus like he’s landin’ Tyson punches up on ya – “Stunt” is a highlight example of going all-in when the studio lights come on and it’s time to record – Kiev is CRUSHIN’ it here without question. “Stunt” is fucking GIGANTIC when it comes right down to it…like…damn. You really just don’t know until you hear it. Then you do, and you’re just like…damn. If words could literally punch you, we’d all be HURTIN’ right now, believe that. Absolutely, without question, one of my favorite performances that I’ve EVER heard from Kiev.
“Used to eatin’ breadcrumbs, now I got a bread truck” – hellz yeah he does, and hellz YES he SHOULD – Kiev eats the lunches of other emcees when he’s in the mode you’ll find him on “Miss My Dog” – there’s so much in this cut to love. When an artist or band flips the script and changes up their style this dramatically, usually you’ll hear the trepidation and the cautious steps taken into the unknown…and there ain’t NONE of that here. Kiev is so on-point throughout this cut it’ll blow your mind – and it’s a million miles removed from the more signature style he busts so confidently these days. To hear him break outta his comfort zone and commit THIS hard to the approach here? Bloody brilliant, full-stop. The hook he’s created here…I mean…I don’t even know what to say y’all – you’ll hear this for yourself, and if you come to any different conclusion other than that the man has created an undeniable hit here, then see me after class. Kiev’s teachin’ y’all how to get it DONE here on “Miss My Dog” – this is how to load up a cut with so much personality and charisma that no matter what you do, or how wild it gets, that commitment leads straight to victory, every time – it’s a literal recipe for success. It takes cojones though folks, don’t get it twisted – you don’t find performances this into the moment every day by just anyone out there – it’s the fact that Kiev’s gone balls-out here without hesitation into one of his wildest ideas. As a result, in my opinion, Kiev’s quite likely got a hit with “Miss My Dog” that’ll exceed even his own expectations when it comes to the positive reaction from the fans & the people out there listening. Don’t get me wrong…it’s a SAD ASS track when you listen to the lyrics up close, but it’s not entirely without hope either…it’s sincere…dude misses his friends, his homies, his DOGS yo! And I hear all that – but it’s also fuckin’ great to listen to. #facts
Sometimes you just wanna spit rhymes for good times – Kiev went super personal on his last record, and this time he’s put all the weight on simply delivering bar-for-bar, beat-for-beat, an EP that’s lined with cuts that prove he’s got the skills to flex his talent verbally up against any other out there. “Sky” is where you’ll get yourselves a serious reminder of just how good Kiev really is when he wants to go full speed atcha…and chances are, he’s still takin’ it easy on us. “Sky” has the man flyin’ first class through the bars with his melody, tone, and energy on-point…at least for the vast majority…you can argue that he’s dippin’ a bit towards the end, but you can tell its purposeful. After all that work he just put in? You kiddin’ me? The man deserves a moment to slink back into his recliner, be high, and drift off into a well-earned nap…which is pretty much what it sounds like he does right at the end of this cut. Really well put together, stylistic, skilled…production is stellar, beat is tight, Kiev is firing off lines that have him sounding at the top of his game – the chef’s got “the secret recipe” & he’s using it to his full advantage.
“Hater Life” comes swinging with swagger outta your speakers, listing off the details on the important rules to being a real hater y’all. I’ll put it to ya this way homies…you’re just tryin’ to start hatin’ – I’ve been waitin’ to use my “degree in haternomics” for years yo…in my world, we LIVE this list right here. I grew up on Ice-T…and he’s a self-admitted BORN hater! I keep my hate’n runnin’ so hard & so strong that I rival the legendary Silky Johnson, and I plan on takin’ the top honors at The Playa Haters’ Ball this year – come fight me. Alright…I probably can’t fool any of you…there are DEFINITELY a whole bunch of people out there that would have no problem at all tellin’ me to eat bags full of several dicks – but for the most part, I’m a fairly nice guy with a face made for radio, that literally has no clue what “Hater Life” would even be like if it wasn’t for the Chappelle Show. Thankfully – I got Kiev to lay out the real rules for hatin’ properly here in the details he’s so generously listed for us throughout “Hater Life” – best believe I’m studyin’ up! Alright…all jokes aside here now…I mean…how can I complain about this – how could anyone? From the smooth & fluid flow of JACK&RENZ back in the mix, to the shine on the hooks, and the killer lyricism that you’ll find both in the lead AND the background if you’re paying close attention – like…”Hater Life” is oddly gonna bring a grin to your mug whether it’s the words or the freakin’ quality! It’s just a truly focused cut that delivers from start to finish, that’s the facts, that’s what’s real…and there’s literally no disputing that as far as I can tell. You might not expect that to be the case when it comes to a song called “Hater Life,” but here we are & that’s the way it is – it’s a genuinely solid cut.
“Tell Him (KievMix)” works extremely well for him…it’s still got the same loose vibes & tight rhymes that have made this new record completely solid to listen to – but also lightens up the atmosphere to give this particular EP one last twist in sound before it’s all over. Kiev barely takes a breath until about three minutes in…then all of a sudden it’s like he had no choice but to get some oxygen with his quick exit from the mic. Lettin’ the vibe work its magic on ya and the backing vocals send you off dreamin’ as “Tell Him (KievMix)” leaves you with a highly memorable conclusion – I don’t know if I’d say he’s necessarily saved THE best tracks for both these records of Kiev’s here in review today, but it’s at least very arguable if he hasn’t. I know by the end of Infinite Positivity II I was pretty much convinced the final cut was the one that would hold up with me personally the longest over time…but that was like splitting hairs…every cut on that record left such an incredible impact through how gritty, real, and raw it was. Here on the Time EP, the material’s so radically different than the record beforehand that it’s almost like a reset…just in direction, not in his skill or focus, that’s all still completely on-point & no worries there. But yeah…if it wasn’t for the absolutely killer personality & character & uniqueness this dude put into “Miss My Dog” earlier on…or how enormous “Stunt” is…”Tell Him (KievMix)” might have a clear path to #1 without any obstacles. Low-key Kiev really hits the mark on “Tell Him (KievMix)” as he puts a love-song spin of sorts into this final cut’s vibe, and keeps the lyrics flexible to bring in a range of complex thoughts & emotions to complement & suit the delicate atmosphere & stellar backing vocals in the main hooks. It makes for another perfect conclusion to the records this guy’s been making as of late, even with his abrupt exit outta this particular cut, you’ll find it still fits…almost like he realized he had nothing more to say this time around…and we get to chill with the harmonies while he starts preppin’ his next move. Kiev will be back soon enough with another record, you’ll see – the man’s always got something in his bag and music more than worth checking out in-full – he’s been all aces for quite some Time now – we’ve been tellin’ ya for years – now pay attention & go put in a listen to Kiev’s music like ya should be!
Listen to more music by Kiev at the chef’s page at Soundcloud right here: https://soundcloud.com/chefboyarkiev
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