Album Review | Ka – Honor Killed The Samurai

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This album was released on August 13th this year. I’ve been meaning to check it out for a while. I’ve heard one song from this album, and that’s actually the only Ka song I’ve ever heard before. The first time I heard of this guy was in a YouTube comment section. Some guy was talking about underrated rappers, and he mentioned Ka. I’m a stupid asshole, so I was like “WHO THE FUCK IS KA?” I thought it was a typo. Like, I thought he just didn’t finish typing out the rappers name. Ka seems like such a… I don’t know… It’s just two letters. It’s not an acronym like T.I. It’s just Ka. I mean, I don’t personally have a problem with his name. I just don’t think I’d wanna have a name like that because it just doesn’t really stand out that much. It’s not a big deal tho. As you can probably already tell, I’m super unfamiliar with this guy’s music. I’ve heard great things about this album tho, so I’m expecting it to be great. I think every song is self produced. There are also no features. So yeah. He did this all by himself.

Track 1: Conflicted

Alright, here we go. Okay, this is really cool. This sounds like some Wu-Tang shit. Except it’s a little cleaner. It sounds like there are samples from old Japanese movies. Oh shit… Yes. YES. This is DOPE. He’s rapping with barely any percussion. This is awesome. Goddamn, this is so fucking cool. This production really sounds like… I don’t even know. It makes me think of samurais tho. This is so fuckin’ gangsta. He actually kinda sounds like MF DOOM. God fucking damnit. This is so fucking awesome. The hook is dope af. “Mommy told me be a good boy / Need you alive, please survive, you my hood joy / Pops told me stay strapped son / You need the shotty, be a body or catch one.” Fuck yes. I’m so glad I didn’t skip this album. I definitely fuck with this shit. Every single thing about this track is dope af to me. 5/5

Track 2: Just

This is the only Ka song I’d ever heard prior to this review. It was around the time that this album was released tho, so I don’t really remember it very well. I also think one of the reasons I don’t remember it is because I was focusing more on the music video than the actual song itself. It’s starting now. Yessss. I love this guys flow. He really sounds like a grittier MF DOOM. The percussion is really minimal on this track too. The beat’s dope. The first verse was great. This is just really dark, grimy hood shit. He’s not glorifying it at all tho. If anything he’s doing the opposite of that by exposing how nightmarish it can be living in such a dangerous environment. “Trying to find a reason I’m still alive breathin’ / I wanna heal my inner child, it’s been a while grievin’ / Ones dropped from cocked semis and clapped with the fours / Can’t remember none of my members gone from natural cause.” This is a really slow paced track. It’s really dope tho. He killed this shit. I fuck with this track. I wasn’t super impressed by the production, but it wasn’t bad at all. This is dope. The music video is great too by the way. 4/5

Track 3: That Cold & Lonely

Yes. God this is so cool. This beat is dope af. So I guess there’s gonna be little to no percussion on this entire album. That’s really cool. He sounds great over this slow, dark, gritty production. The first verse was fantastic. “Crooked in the town with a crew of raw people / That’ll put you in the ground for the root of all evil / Kill in the building, the proof is in the bricks / We revel in the present like the future don’t exist.” I love this hook too. This is definitely my favorite song so far. This shit is so dark. This might be the grittiest Hip Hop release of 2016. I don’t even know what else to say about this track in particular. I love the dark production, and Ka’s poetic lyricism is fantastic. This is dope af to me. 5/5

Track 4: Mourn At Night

Oh shit… Fuck man… This shit just keeps getting better and better. Man. This is so fucking dope. Shit… Lmao… I can’t believe I almost missed out on this album. I am loving this shit. This beat is dope af. God fucking damn. He is rippin’ this verse apart. “No one’s mixing words, vicious verbs emerge from being this disturbed / As a kid observed on curbs where they twist the herb / Was rapping the present years before the gift was heard / My quarters wasn’t in calm waters the ships perturbed.” Yesss. God. This is amazing. He killed this shit. It’s just one great verse and a hook. It’s so fucking good. That’s all I’ve got to say. It’s dark lyricism about growing up in the hood over a fantastic beat with no drums. More rappers should rap without percussion. It always sounds really dope when they do that. This is dope af. 5/5

Track 5: $

This beat is dope. This is probably the most uptempo track so far. Ka’s goin’ in about how he doesn’t want money to change him. Damn. Now he’s goin’ in on rappers who just brag about having money to blow. “With bars of greed, I plead, how many cars you need? / When fathers bleed to fill ribs of kids that hardly read / Fuck your little rhymes, and the new finds you purchased / If you ain’t buyin’ no soup for them soup lines and churches.” I love the structure of this track. He’s just rapping his ass off. There’s no hook or anything. “I need money, not to bling, self-boast or greed reasons / But to bring health to the most diseased regions / In God We Trust could bring silver lining to ill environment / I’m finding if you really grindin’, that’s the real assignment.” Fuck. Should I give this a 4 or a 5? I wasn’t super impressed by the production, but I loved the actual verse. Damn… You know what? Fuck it; I’m gonna flip a coin. Heads is a 5. Tails is a 4. Alright here we go… lol. Nice. Honestly, I shouldn’t have even had to flip a coin. This shit is dope af. It’s not my favorite track, but it’s still really fucking great. 5/5

Track 6: Destined

Fuuuuck yes. This beat is awesome. Good lord. Hahaha. I feel like this album was made specifically for me. This is amazing. I need to check out more of this guys work. “Rule the streets faceless, dodgin’ police bracelets / Draw weapons before jettin’, the shells don’t leave traces / Had the trigger right by the abs and liver / Youngins can find some of my guns, they drag the river.” I love the hook too. Man, it’s gonna be real hard to choose a favorite song. He killed this shit. I love the beat and both of the verses are dope af. “Amongst the dark vermin while the hearts yearnin’ / Too tense to pay attention in class, it was hard learnin’ / Don’t discard what I carve, I don’t whittle nothing little / All my niggas pump for big chunks, fuck the kibble.” I fuckin’ love this song. 5/5

Track 7: Ours

Wooooaaaah. This beat is crazy. This is definitely some of the most grandiose production on the album so far. God this whole album is so awesome to me. The lyrics are so dark. I love it. He’s rapping about how rough his childhood was. “In and out the lab bouts was bad, so habits grew / The steel cold; you don’t grow real old actin’ new / And you can count from all my accounts, the stats is true / To think some was tickled pink when we was beat black and blue.” Everything is on point. The beat is dope af. The bars are fantastic. I love his slow paced flow and delivery. It doesn’t even sound like he’s rapping. It just sounds like some old ass dude who’s seen some fucked up shit telling me stories about his past, and it just so happens to rhyme. Some people may view that as a bad thing, but I love it. “Framed a shattered life, the forfeits and the pain / All the saddest sights, the coffins and the stains / On days wish I could save the children that we was / We didn’t spare they eyes from all the killings and the drugs.” He killed this shit. This is dope af to me. 5/5

Track 8: Illicit Fields

This beat is nice. The first verse was great. “Food determined my mood, never expected a meal / In the hustle muscles played out, respect’s in steel / The larger the caliber the harder the traveler / Place merch on your earth, one part inhabited.” He’s rapping about his criminal past. The second verse was dope. The hook’s not bad. I enjoyed this track, but it didn’t blow me away like most of the other songs have. This is probably my least favorite track so far, but it’s still really good. I fuck with this. It’s dope. 4/5

Track 9: Finer Things / Tamahagene

Goddamn. At the rate this album is going… Well, I better not jump the gun. I don’t wanna jinx this shit. Not that I even believe in shit like that, but you know what I mean. Finer Things is starting now. Wow. Okay, this is definitely the hardest, grittiest track on the album so far. “Got beef? You ain’t coming with none if you ain’t come with a gun / Ay young, you ain’t come with a gun if you ain’t come with a drum / For a friend of me, I’m public enemy, you come with a ton.” This is fucking awesome. The first verse was dope af. God fucking damn. He’s rippin’ this second verse apart too. “This is coke and herb spoken word / What you folks observe is what brokenness spurred / Illest notes emerge, still the most preferred / Get poked and purged where the cope was merged / All focused on them hopeless curbs / Got bread? We pull the heat; toast is served / Want it last? Never flash cash, show reserve / In front of them triggers figures get exposed as herbs.” He is rapping his fucking ass off right now. He killed this shit. Yes. Yes. Finer Things is dope af. I love this shit. Alright, Tamahagene is starting now. Oh shit. Damn. Okay. Tamahagene just ended. Lol. It’s dope. It’s just one verse. I understand why he wanted to kinda separate it from Finer Things while leaving it in the same track. It compliments Finer Things really nicely. In Finer Things he focused on how he used to be a violent criminal who was focused on money, and then on Tamahagene he rapped about how he changed his life and became “right with God.” I definitely fuck with this track. It’s dope af. 5/5

Track 10: I Wish (Death Poem)

This beat is dope af. Okay, this is gonna be a sad track. “I wish we ain’t have to live like this.” Yesss. He’s rapping his ass off right now. I love this shit. This was the perfect way to end this album. It’s just one fantastic verse. The opening line is so fucking sad too. I love it. “Wished for a new life when I blew out them candles.” That’s so fucked up. Lmao. Imagine being at a birthday party, and saying “MAKE A WISH” before the person blows the candles out on the cake, and then when you ask them what they wished for, they’re like “a new life.” HA. That’s awesome. Anyway, this track is dope af. It’s just a great verse over some emotional sounding production. I definitely fuck with this shit. 5/5

Final Thoughts:

Wow. Well… That really caught me by surprise lol. I can’t believe I almost didn’t get to this project. This shit is fucking incredible. This is honestly a damn near perfect album to me. This is actually the first Hip Hop release from this year that I’ve legitimately been amazed by. So yeah. This is my album of the year. I’m writing this on December 19th. This probably won’t go up until the 21st. There’s maybe a 2% chance that this’ll end up being replaced by some other album. I… I just can’t believe this happened. Lmao. I really didn’t see this coming. It’s amazing to me tho. This is my first time listening to this guy, and I’m blown away. He’s a super talented lyricist. His delivery and flow kinda remind me of a Doris era Earl Sweatshirt mixed with MF DOOM. He sounded so good over this production too. The beats are really fucking cool. This isn’t an album you can dab too. I’m sure most of the people who read my shit won’t like this album nearly as much as I do. Not that I think my audience is comprised of people who dab regularly, but still. If you put lyricism first, this album is for you. The percussion is virtually nonexistent. I didn’t want this shit to end tho. Every time a song ended I would be super curious to see what the next beat would sound like. The concept behind this album is brilliant too. I didn’t really talk about this while I was listening to it, but at the beginning or end of each track there’s some narration from a woman about the lifestyle of a samurai. Each intro from this woman would determine what each song was about. He would relate the life of a samurai to the life of someone living in the hood. How the fuck do rappers think of this shit? This is the best 2016 release I’ve heard in my opinion. It’s absolutely dope af.

Favorite Song: Finer Things

Least Favorite Song: Illicit Fields

Verdict:

96%

96-100

Tell me if I’m trippin’ in the comments below

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4 comments

  1. Hey man, been really enjoying your reviews. I get a lot more from your track by track visceral reactions than from any music website I’ve been reading from. I’ve been enjoying this album the past few months; it made me think of my favorite poem, your final thoughts are right in line with that. Thought I’d post this poem by Robert Pinsky:

    Samurai Song

    When I had no roof I made
    Audacity my roof. When I had
    No supper my eyes dined.

    When I had no eyes I listened.
    When I had no ears I thought.
    When I had no thought I waited.

    When I had no father I made
    Care my father. When I had
    No mother I embraced order.

    When I had no friend I made
    Quiet my friend. When I had no
    Enemy I opposed my body.

    When I had no temple I made
    My voice my temple. I have
    No priest, my tongue is my choir.

    When I have no means fortune
    Is my means. When I have
    Nothing, death will be my fortune.

    Need is my tactic, detachment
    Is my strategy. When I had
    No lover I courted my sleep.

  2. There was an African Samurai in the 1500’s by the name of Yasuke, legend says he was the servant of an Italian missionary and overtime became a great warrior under the Emperor Nobunaga. Point of this is there are a lot of “concious” bruthas tend to identify with this Yasuke vato.

    As far as this project I fux with this cat after listening to this joint.

    Good review kid

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