Monday, 24 June 2013

#MixtapeMonday - Klevah: The W8

Lyrics & Delivery: 3.5/5.0
Production: 3.7/5.0
Overall Score: 3.6/5.0

Review by MrReesh - Because words are pretty, and I'm a gyalist like that - @MrReesh

I know what you’re thinking – KLEVAH - CLEVER? PFFT. HOW DARE A RAPPER NAME THEMSELVES A FREEGIN’ ADJECTIVE (I’m assuming you think in capitals), WE USE ADJECTIVES TO DESCRIBE THEM! Well hold on guys she’s cool, and Klevah may actually be a fitting name.

The W8, by Gr8 ThinkaZ collective rap heroine Klevah is a 13 song mixtape with some impressive flows layered against equally as impressive beats, with lyrical content that’s top notch in some places, though admittedly meh in others.

It starts off well enough with a quick opening including a medly of rap songs I admit I had never heard of, alongside a masterful monologue where Klevah gives us an introduction to her life as well as the events that led to The W8’s inception. I always like these types of things as they ease you in to the mixtape instead of being like “HERE’S RAP MUSIC. BLERGHHHH.” This one was no exception, with great wordplay and an interesting narrative that feels relatable.

"It's 9pm fam hop in the whip."
The mixtape then however starts to swerve (no Big Sean) between good and lukewarm pasta starting with 84s which though it sounds okay initially, fails to leave an impression in the long run. I mean, a good bit of escapist bravado is a good thing and I can appreciate it, but the lyrics here aren’t particularly fun to escape with, and would probably be the type of lyrics that would try take you home by 9pm. Additionally I really didn’t see the point in the end of song breakdown here. It just felt like filler especially when compared with the breakdown at the end of Koexist Breathe which actually adds a new dimension to the song. Pretty Ninja also suffers from similar issues, though being the mixtape’s principal hype tune (it even has a sprinkle of dubstep in it, yay) it also suffers from the fact that not much is really being said, plus that it’s not all that catchy.

However one of the major issues with the mixtape in general is that it all feels like something you’ve heard before. Little feels very unique about The W8, as though Klevah is good at what she does but what she does it what other people already do. So if you’re looking for fresh brand new stand out music The W8 is not for you, though if you’re looking for good music in general, then listen on.

First time anyone made me like this song without
the video playing in front of it
Despite those songfarts, there are some truly epic moments within The W8, where Klevah really does make good on her namesake. For example in the aforementioned Koexist Breathe where she talks about a love which seems to be in all senses some Disney sh!t despite its foundation in the sexy time. This is represented in the chorus and instrumental itself, which is a soft melodic harmony of voices, juxtaposed with a sample of Khia’s My Neck, My Back. Genius. On top of that throughout the entire mixtape Klevah’s flow is nothing short of Nileworthy, and while it doesn’t always happen, when lyric quality fully matches flow quality something truly beautiful is created, example being the Bars skit-songs which are monologues which magnetise your eardrum and guess what: it’s set to ATTRACT. Other songs like Scars, Lovely and Already Been Told also expose Klevah’s true talent to create and depict emotional stories with a flow that makes it difficult to hear much else.

So w8 – should your mp3 player gain weight in the form of The W8? Well let’s be honest; there are rappers with more original flows and a higher quality of lyric than Klevah & The W8, but don’t let that discourage you. The mixtape is decent and has sheer moments of brilliance even if it’s a little shaky at times. It’s at least worth a listen (as it’s free and free is good) even if it’s only to hear the top 3, which are definitely worth hearing.

My Top 3:
1) Bars & Bars II (as they're both kind of short skit like songs)
2) Koexist Breathe
3) Scars

You can download The W8 via her bandcamp here.


Photo credits:
9PM Whip "Super Soccer Mom Mobile" by Brett L
Girl in water spray is a still from the "My Neck My Back (explicit)" music video

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