Album Review: Kilo Kish – k+




In addition to being a rapper and a singer, Brooklyn’s Latisha Robinson is also a designer and a model. k+, her second mixtape as Kilo Kish, is littered with references to texting, Instagram, hashtags, and some of her favorite local destinations. Taking these things into account, it shouldn’t be any big surprise that the 30-minute tape does an unfortunately good job of pointing out that there’s a fine line between taking advantage of trends and being overly invested in them.

“When you spill your guts, who’s there to mop it up?” asks Flatbush Zombies’ Meech during his appearance on closing track “Creepwave”. One of k+’s most hazardous deficiencies is that, while Robinson writes about rocky relationships and unrequited crushes so much that they clearly dominate her mind, she sings without much emotional spillage at all, instead opting for a whine that almost strikes as sarcastic or ironic. Decent hooks pop up on “Goldmine” and “Better”, but her voice is indifferent and close to affectless more often than not. This is not something that should be happening on a release that approximates R&B – a genre as loved for its vocal calisthenics as its danceability, if not more so.

Musically, k+ strikes a resemblance to a lot of the astral neo-soul sprawl we’ve heard from Erykah Badu, but it also flashes things like trap hi-hats (on the Earl Sweatshirt-produced “Trappin”, of course) to keep things fresh. Couple that with the guest features here – Childish Gambino, A$AP Ferg, Flatbush Zombies – and it’s clearer still that this is a very of-the-moment project. Problem is, it winds up so exemplary of some fads in music circa now – and gets so little out of them – that it’s all too easy to imagine it blending in with everything else that sounds similar and going obsolete within a year or two.

Essential Tracks: “Better”