Kris Kasanova "24K" Album Review
Kris Kasanova is an emcee from Brooklyn known for his collaborative chemistry with producer/DJ Ibe, whom he has exclusively worked with on every one of his projects up until now. On his latest album 24K, Kasanova has enlisted the help of not only Ibe, but other producers such as Kendrick Lamar associates Canei Finch, THC, DJ Dahi and J Kits along with vocal contributions from Flatbush Zombies, Skeme, Tennille, Jarv Dee, World's Fair and SZA.
To the average/new listener, Kasanova will come off as a sonic middle ground between J. Cole and Meek Mill. Possessing the smooth and aggressive qualities of the former and latter respectively, he can make easier shifts between writing braggadocio and introspective tracks.
Simply put, 24K is a representation of Kasanova's age, his initials, and according to his press release, an homage to the “Golden Era” of Hip Hop. The sounds of the album definitely do not reflect that era and are more modern than nostalgic. Anybody anticipating some kind of throwback sound will be left feeling misled. With no real purpose or concept other than just to put out an album, there's not much of an established draw for people other than Kasanova's following. The album artwork and accompanied visuals are up to par but don't have anything distinct to differentiate from the masses of rap media being released nowadays.
Kasanova doesn't really have a distinct style of songwriting. He can go from fundemental to multisyllabic rhyming in an instant, which he uses to complement his transitions from calm to intense. Majority of the tracks are standard 3 verse 3 chorus set ups with no manipulations. The featured vocalists added more energy to their respective tracks and the most effective contribution was by singer SZA with her smooth style on “Tomorrow”.
The fairly large cast of producers all provide a big booming sound that matches well with Kasanova's aggressive delivery except on one track, the gritty “Donski”, which ended up being one of the highlights of the album. Produced by J Kits, “Donski” is the only track that feels like the “Golden Era” that was specifically referenced for the album title. The high energy gets exhausting in the 13 track duration and could've benefitted from more smooth tracks.
There are a few spots in this album that connect to each other such as the tales of infidelity, “Unfaithful” and “Friends”, which are paired up side-by-side. Other than that, 24K is mainly a barrage of high energy tracks with few breaks in between. The celebratory closer “Kasanova” works but could've also been a great intro. Overall, the album track sequence could be interchangeable.
To the average/new listener, Kasanova will come off as a sonic middle ground between J. Cole and Meek Mill. Possessing the smooth and aggressive qualities of the former and latter respectively, he can make easier shifts between writing braggadocio and introspective tracks. However, what could have been a distinct quality is rarely used in this album. Aside from tracks such as the aforementioned “Unfaithful” and “Friends” along with the bleak yet hopeful reality track “Tomorrow”, the album is padded by songs about having sex, partying and getting money.
Kasanova's greatest quality is his confidence. He is 100% comfortable on the mic and knows how to match his energy to the instrumentals. The moments of yelling can be grating to the ears at times, but in a live performance setting, expect cuts from this album to shut the house down.