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Kota the Friend - EVERYTHING (Album Review)

I know this album came out a few weeks ago, but I only just got around to listening to it for the first time. This was actually an introductioon to Kota's music for me, I had no idea what I expected going in and I didn't exactly leave a massive fan, but I am interested enough to see what he does next.

Production wise, this project was very mellow, light and summery as shown on the albums opener 'Summerhouse', with it's light guitar strings and 808s he talks on what he's been doing since is last drop and sets the tone for a vibey and catchy/casual listen. The main elements are rattling hi-hats, 808s that are heavy and mellow guitar strings - it's good but nothing groundbreaking. The beat on 'Long Beach' is great however, with it's catchy drum pattern and bass guitar, as Kota raps about a girl he likes with a great hook and a very catchy energy to the song. However, the beat on 'Volvo' is a bland, lifeless trap/guitar inspired beat and he delivers his vocals so lazily like he didn't want to be perform the song. Without a doubt 'Volvo' is the only song I outright dislike on the project.

Kota lyrically isn't great but also isn't very generic - he sits in that alright to decent kind of range. His bars are good at times, such as on 'B.Q.E': "Y'all playin’ easy to get, I'm playin' Russian Roulette // Y'all sellin' out for the check", but the main attraction of his lyrics probably comes from their relatability which is perfectly captured on the song already mentioned 'Long Beach', "I be dumb if I pass it up, those eyes said I had to jump // And her mind said I had to // One, two, three, I'm inspired by your energy . However, the content of his lyrics and the depth especially get kind of tiring as the album progresses, and losing focus towards the back end is definitely possible due to this. Kota's delivery on this album is very lowkey, and melodically performed in a way which matches with the summery feel of the album. He can also give us some pretty basic punchlines at times, such as on the track 'Always', "My n***** hungry like it's Ramadan // Shooters like it's Columbine". I mean, despite that and the lack of energy in the first verse, this song is still good and as for Kota the third verse he really picked up the energy.

The features are all good as well on the album and fit the atmosphere as well as clashing with Kota in a positive way. Bas and Joey Bada$$ join Kota on 'B.Q.E', as Joey talks on the government and racism with a smooth flow, great delivery and some decent bars while Bas also has a great flow, delivery and a solid verse with a darker tone and some great lines, for example: "Born in a ditch and you die in a box // But I'm on a mission, a man of ambition // My latest addition, retire my Pops". The beat is jazz influenced with trap elements, and provides yet another catchy hook on this project making it a great track and a standout one at that. tobi lou's feature on 'Morocco' was good as well, his melodic delivery was similar to Kota's and worked well over the track with twinkling yet heavy 808s as the rappers talk on money and enjoying life. By this point however, I've heard it all before and it starts to sound a bit repetitive with this track in particular having a lack of distinction from others. As previously mentioned, 'Always' is a decent track but that's really helped by KYLE's feature, as his verse comes with such great energy (especially compared to Kota's first), with a fun delivery and flow making it an enjoyable listen.

The interlude titled 'Lupita's Interlude' see's Kota talk on letting things go in life and how good it feels over these jazz elements and an acoustic guitar. It's a decent interlude, I can't say I won't skip it every tome but for a passage between songs it works well thematically. The interlude 'Seven (Interlude)' see's Kota provide us with a nice verse about family and his child over an acoustic guitar with trap elements, and for an interlude it is pretty enjoyable. 'Lakeith's Interlude' is also short but sweet with a low-fi acoustic guitar, it's pretty inspiring and the backing music helps out as well for a smooth listen.

Content wise the majority of tracks are all about his success, current life and how much he's enjoying it, showcased on the second track, 'Mi Casa'. The song pretty much just talks on his chilled life with a catchy hook, catchy drum pattern and light guitar strings. It's a nice, laid back song - nothing too crazy or ground breaking but enjoyable nevertheless. Love is also a common theme, heard on tracks such as 'Long Beach' and 'Away Park'. The latter however, just sounds like a watered down version of 'Long Beach', with rattling hi-hats and a light guitar, it just comes off with a lot less energy. It's listenable but nothing new, and not done better than the previous songs. The outro and title track 'Everything' talks on how he wants everything in life, over this light but quick paced beat. The 808s kick so hard on this track but thematically it's nothing new, though it does sound alright and is a fitting end to the album - but it presents no new ideas and doesn't stand out in the track listing.

To conclude, this album is something I can imagine sitting down and listening to during summer. It's proper relaxing, with mellow yet summery vibes - I don't think it's amazing but it's calm. It's not the most gripping project of 2020, though it is an easy listen and does has its own stand out songs.

FAVOURITE TRACKS: Summerhouse, Mi Casa, B.Q.E, Long Beach, Always


OVERALL RATING: Solid 6.5/10

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