Without any guest appearances, Kai Jones releases one of the most outstanding projects you’ll hear from an emerging act this year.
We have been blessed with some excellent hip-hop albums this year such as Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly and Vince Staples’ Summertime ’06. There’s a rise in the amount of emerging acts coming out of the UK, a small percentage of those artists are of the highest quality. One of those artists is Kai Jones – the 21 year-old rapper-singer from South East London recently released her project This Is Not A Mixtape.
This Is Not A Mixtape (or TINAM for short) features a blend of different genres but however it’s an unapologetic hip-hop album reminiscent of the often highly regarded Lauryn Hill, due to it’s mixture of both rapping and singing over auspicious production.
Unlike most hip-hop albums TINAM is vulnerable as it touches on personal themes such as paranoia, love, fear and hopelessness – we get to know Kai Jones as she opens up to the audience and pours her heart out. It gets very deep on the standout track “Underwater”, she sings over Damien Cooke’s eclectic production that blends both dubstep and hip-hop well.
As a rapper Kai goes in attack mode with a razor sharp flow, a consistent delivery and potent lyrics on tracks such as “No Love”, “Anything” and “Preach”. She also impresses those who have never heard her sing before with a soulful voice that leaves us wanting to hear more.
Overall This Is Not A Mixtape is a triumphant project that deals with personal content but the underlying message here is positive – chase your dreams and do what you love.