Album: K-Os, Yes! (Last Gang)

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The Independent Culture

Trinidad-born Canadian rapper/ producer Kevin Brereton, aka k-os, is in the line of old-school conscious hip-hop that stretches from the likes of A Tribe Called Quest and The Pharcyde through to Jurassic 5 and Common (his stage name, for instance, is code for "knowledge of self").

On this fourth album of what he terms "audio cinema", his beats and grooves are infectious and occasionally ingenious, featuring fruitful collisions of timbales, smeary strings, brassy stabs and staccato keyboard figures ("Astronaut") and twangy guitar and sombre chorale ("Zambony"), with the odd incursion of indie-rock. But the relentlessly retrospective nature of his raps, constantly fretting over how the hip-hop landscape has changed for the worse, can become wearisome.

Download this: Zambony; Astronaut; The Aviator; I Wish I Knew Natalie Portman