“The Lord blesses the work of your hands, the same way he blesses the thoughts of your mind / and in time you will rise and start to shine / and after you cultivate / you don’t wait / you get the grapes / and be great” – The grapes
K.r.y.t.i.c is a local rapper who has been getting a lot of buzz lately. During the past couple of weeks’ social media was all the rage about his latest album. I had heard of him but hadn’t really paid much attention to his music, so I didn’t feed into the hype. One Sunday evening I was listening to a Hiphop show on one of the local radio stations. They played a song called ‘Roses on your feet’. After the first verse I was hooked, I had to shazam the song to find out who it was by, and lo and behold it was none other than K.r.y.t.i.c !!! That song blew my mind, it was then that I knew that I had been overlooking, potentially, Zambia’s greatest lyricist.
Imiti Ikula is K.r.y.t.i.c’s third album ( ‘Best before forever’ and ‘Art. Is. Tic’ being its predecessors). It was released exclusively to online streaming site Audiomack. The title is from the Bemba proverb ‘Imiti ikula ,empanga’ which translates to “The trees that grow make up the forest”. In the context of the album it could mean that he is telling the young listeners that as they grow individually there is more power in coming together as a collective.
What stands out from the onset is the amazing production, which was handled by Roc Beats, J Hun and others. K.r.y.t.i.c is a very talented and creative wordsmith, the album is filled with strong lyrical content.
This album is a great introduction to K.r.y.t.i.c. This is the first complete body of work I have listed to by him. Imiti Ikula could be described as a conscious album as he touches on some deep subject matter and also discusses some details about himself, his personal battles and what he stands for. An example of this is in the song ‘Singing my song’ where he talks about his tough upbringing and how music was his outlet.
“I kept on singing my song/ I kept on writing these verses/ I was writing rhymes before I was writing in cursive” – singing my song
Great North Road flows is another introspective song in which he tackles topics such as his falling out with a local radio station, and also the death of South African hip hop legend HHP among other subjects. “…tell your telemarketing prophets I see the damn lies/ and I don’t hear what you be saying when you evangelize, ever since I heard you rape women what a damn surprise / tell these old n****r’s to go back to their damn wives / cause now its marriages verses Instagram lives / and Instagram lives matters / I took Jarabies beat and made it 5 times fatter / my flow bring the lights, so the night might scatter / apologies for the blood that my mic might scatter”
Dear Theodore – this song is dedicated to his nephew. He gives him a number of life lessons, fatherly advice. “…if you having sex condomise / treat a woman right and do right in your mama’s eyes / try not to live your life like its dramatized / don’t fake a mental condition if you ain’t traumatized, just to fit in with other guys…”
The album is not all deep talk; he also has tracks that are celebrations of life (e.g. Birthday Boy). On songs such as ‘Free’ and ‘The Grapes’ he really flexes his lyrical muscle. “I speak the language of the ancient kings / shallow minds get split quicker than Asian twins / that’s why I bounce flows like I used to play with springs / the words cut deep / I’m not just saying things” he spits on the latter. On ‘Free’ he is basically challenging anyone to out rap him.
The Grapes is my favorite track on the album. Everything from the beat, to the flow, to the subject matter is top notch. “This year I’m getting paper cuts from counting stacks / I’m here to cause a racket / Mr. Nadal’s back / I see the US open / now watch me make a move / not only did I inspire you, I’m your maker too / sometimes i feel for you, wish I could play for you / but the cameras on / welcome to pay-per-view” he raps.
Imiti Ikula is an album the Zambian Hiphop scene needs right now. It feels fresh, in an environment where most artist are using similar sounds and subject matter, K.r.y.t.i.c goes against the grain. This shows that one can be successful doing what they love, and that one does not have to follow trends. He has found his niche, core audience of like-minded fans. His core fan base is growing bigger and bigger every day.
“…it’s funny how my fear of heights probably made me a pilot” – 07 Buzzing
K.r.y.t.i.c has stated that his goal is to be the best lyricist in Africa, from what I have heard from him so far, he is well on his way to achieving that goal.
“As the sun fly by my face / I’m just a grain in this world trying to find my place / but thank God I’m safe / cause I done a lot of dumb things in my space / and now the light I chase / these are the grapes”
Rating 8 out of 10
BY KAPA KAUMBA