Preaching To The Converted: Kenyan rapper Trabolee releases his fourth project.
The project comes after a long wait and teasers that would have you lust for that unexploited musical excellence from Kenya, finally it is here.
The artist whose consistency and unrestricted approach to music and rhyme-schemes has seen him earn respect among peers, put together the 9-track project, described as ‘soundscape that explores the journey of the artist as he blends melodies and spacious cadence to convey the stumbling blocks and stepping stones that present themselves in the search for purpose’.
The artist calls this release as simply, ‘project’; it creatively transcends between different modules and packaged in its own wholesome, in traditional definition, it’s not an album, neither is it an EP nor an LP, its unique, in finding purpose, it satisfies the abstract that defines an artist and their journey; the Cycle of 9.
Trabolee cooks up a chef-d’oeuvre; that boldly weaves through different sounds, accordingly it was created through a series of spontaneous sessions that eventually led to a middle ground that is now Telos. The artist makes his best statement of intent yet.
The project has ingredients of a classic. Sonically, the project brands sharp percussions, lazily tempered horns, chipmunk soul inclinations and overall satisfying, rough-hewn for that authentic gesture.
A conflicted Trabolee kicks off his preaching with ‘Coinflickedhead’ a high-tempo, offering that has the artist in wonder, psychic state of life, the track gives focus to his approach to this project, dreams of the future, stability and the personal realities. ‘My Mine’ finds the earnest rapper in the mirror, introspectively journeying through his soul-searching experiences; mirroring difference in existence, the rapper’s expressions are concise and scattered over his singing, which he continues to present on the confronting ‘Way Out’ in doubt he finds substitutes in other forms.
Trabolee raps of his encounter with religion on ‘Sisyphus’, the astonishing stories from the bible and his quest for truth which had him read the likes of Malcom X, and the subsequent ‘confusion’ of what the definition of life is and how ‘lost’ he would be perceived, as he makes impressive use of double-negatives on this project, this is among the few moments that Trabolee comes up in his rawest form and one of the most captivating moments on the album.
As the Telos flow goes heavy at this point in the project, the rapper takes you to a state of trance on ‘Wavelength’ he propulsive-ly lets his flow grip on the wavy beat. The project trudges on ‘Kingdoms’ a track featuring, in Telos form, co-authored by, Romi Swahili, a beautifully produced jam, some jazz aesthetics brought to life by the horns and a pulsating bassline, the duo don’t mince words; ‘the rap nirvana, trap hapana’ Trabolee expressively emphasizes in reference to Buddhism. In retrospect, Romi Swahili makes an impressive presence with enchanting metaphors.
Telos is a searching project, through life, spirituality, truth, purpose and freedom of thought.