Sunday, October 30, 2011
'Next Of Kin'- The Last Kinection, Album Overview
For the past few years, a DJ and two siblings have dominated the Indigenous Hip Hop scene. Known for their explosive upfront lyrics and slick production, The Last Kinection are back with a brand new album ‘Next Of Kin’...
It’s been a long time in between albums from the trio, who have spent a good part of the last 2 years touring and performing their award winning first studio album ‘Nutches’. The group have worked tirelessly travelling to Regional parts of Australia as well as metro areas lifting crowds both black and white while winning the hearts of critics with their thought provoking, edgy music.
If I have to be honest, I woke up on Friday 28th October, the day of release for ‘Next Of Kin’, opened my eyes, reached across for my I-Phone and began to purchase the album. I remember working in Radio in Townsville when female Mc ‘Nay’ first sent me a copy of the Nutches album to listen too and I walked into our back studio and sat and listened to it from start to finish without skipping a track. Since then, I went on to KILL their entire Nutches album on my breakfast show, seen them perform their hits live many times, both in QLD and in Sydney, as well as see them stand on the stage of the Opera House and win several music awards for it. The build up for the new album for me and Ozzie Hip Hop fans alike, has been well worth the wait.
Track one off ‘Next Of Kin’ is something we’ve come to expect from TLK, using powerful speech with a message about black issues, mixed with an anticipating beat behind it. It sets up track 2 on the album perfectly, the stand out track ‘Find a Way’ with Lyrics like ‘I’m so tired of being a victim, we gotta find a way or make one’, with language and the use of clap sticks, it gives me a sense of empowerment every time I’ve listened to it.
TLK are known for sending strong messages with their music and track number 3 ‘Together’ feels like it has the potential to come alive and punch pollies in the face. Nay and Weno tell it how it is, speaking about cultural difference within our communities and touch on the Australian Refugee debacle... ‘I was born team human, every day I will stay’.
The overall sound of this album has touches of the ‘Nutches’ album with a few similarities in tracks like ‘Millions of people’ with the same unique sound that TLK have now been know for, but on the other hand it has a rock element to it which I've only seen in their live shows. I love the bridges and the chorus mixed with Nay’s incredible voice but I also love that the trio has stepped out of their boundaries by adding more of a rock element to this album, as well as keeping their TLK energised hip hop beats they are known for. Track 11, ‘Prove them wrong’ has probably one of the most individual sounds with what I would describe as a ‘Transformer’ like sound about it. It’s so banging it’s not even funny and the best part is it’s mixed with lyrics that hit home; ‘Next of Kin’s sound has it all, it’s refreshing, entertaining and it’s engaging.
I’ve also found myself bumpin to the classic hip hop snares featured on track number 7, ‘1995’. When TLK rap about what they were all doing in 1995, it brought me back to my age then, a 10 year old girl growing up in a black house hold and environment discovering and loving the hip hop industry just as much as they did. Guest MC ‘Ozi Batla’s’ verse is fierce and the whole track resonates reliability with mad lyrics and flow. The classic hop hip beat of ‘1995’ has the energy of a young ‘Naughty By Nature’ and requires a special mention to DJ Jaytee on this one, who is exceptionally talented in the art of turn table-ism; his dedication to every scratch is nothing short of remarkable throughout this track and the entire ‘Next Of Kin’ album.
Guest MC’s like Indigenous Hip Hop straight teller ‘Briggs’ makes an appearance with his raw input on the song, ‘Burning Bridges' as well as Rival Mc from Brisbane Based ‘Impossible Odds’ adding his smoothness to track number 8, ‘Strong remain’. These Mc’s and others on the album bring a united love of their art and lend their talents to some of the heaviest and most powerful tracks on the ‘Next Of Kin’ album.
The first video release off ‘Next Of Kin’ comes in the form of ‘’Are we there yet’, shot in the Wenitong’s home town of Cairns, Far North Queensland. Nay’s former ‘Shakaya’ colleague ‘Simone Stacey’ lends her vocals to this song with a story about our past and how we plan to get to where we want to go as Indigenous people in the future. The video also tells the story of Joel and Nay Wenitong’s grandfather who was black birded to work on the cane farms in his earlier years.
The thing the Last Kinection does so well and what puts them in a whole other category to a lot of others is their individuality. In my eyes, they are one of many setting the standard for high quality Indigenous Hip Hop and are role models for up and coming MC’s. I love introducing people both black and white to the Last Kinection’s music because they’re so universal and have the ability to literally challenge and change stereotypes of Indigenous issues and the Hip Hop industry as a whole. Their music is raw and upfront, but at the same time, it’s entertaining, professional and something that the Ozzie Hip Hop industry should be proud of; I know I am...
‘Next of Kin’ by the Last Kinection is now available nationally in all good music stores as well as online at www.elefanttracks.com and through I-Tunes.