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King Kaii | Revived | Album Commentary

Updated: Oct 21, 2021


In the two years since King Kaii’s first DORiS interview we’ve witnessed him mature in sound, style and confidence. Then a self-proclaimed musical novice, thrusted into the rap game by a burgeoning heartbreak; now a sonic savant with several projects under his belt and his sights set on stardom.

Although, Kaii has released multiple projects and videos over the last couple of years, when we caught up with him recently he said that his current offering feels like it’s his debut. His previous works, he continues, were products of his searching for a sound, his sound. That is what he describes this project as, his first that’s all his sound, making it not only a revival, but an arrival. From it’s blaring and boisterous introdution track “King of the Jungle” to the more subdued and vulnerable “Tattoos” this album takes bold tonal departures from his previous works that reflect an artist who has at last begun to settle into their skin.

The shifting tone and mood of the album add a level of surprise differing from his earlier recordings which felt centered around their respective themes whereas this project is centered around the artist himself. The album glides, never dwelling on an emotion or message, but rather presenting a montage of moments that paint a larger picture for the listener. The broad range of sounds on Revival depict a more nuanced view of the Maryland-born MC that fans of his, both old and new will be able to appreciate.

“Welcome to the jungle.” — King Kaii, Revival (SWE, 2020)

I met up with Kaii in the midst of a monthlong City hopping trip across the United States with friend and fellow rapper, Nevin (pictured above), during a brief stint at home. It was the beginning of August in the Year of the Rona, 2020, and King Kaii was finishing up production on his latest studio album, Revival, released on his own El Paso based independent label Stay Winning Entertainment, while staying at a hotel in Cambridge, Maryland, home to 410 Kutt with whom he’d be recording the tenth and final track for the album the next day. It’s always a vibe when we link up

Revival is a re-introduction to a rising artist and his newly discovered self