Review – KB ‘Weight & Glory’
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Reach Records presents KB’s highly anticipated debut album: Weight & Glory. The buzz surrounding KB’s album began at Flavor Fest 2008, when Lecrae publicly praised KB and his HGA crew of their passion for Christ. After touring with Lecrae, KB was officially announced as an official Reach Records artist. Earlier this year Lecrae added that KB will be an important figure in the genre comparable the with The Ambassador. In addition to music, KB became the spokesman for the ‘Man Up’ series. KB later released his mixtape, ‘Who Is KB?’ Even though his features and singles overshadowed the mixtape, I was left wondering will KB be able to lift the weight of expectations through his music?
KB’s behind the music promo video allowed me to see Kevin Burgess as a person. KB seeks to communicate that our faith muscle should be strengthened by the weight of God’s glory. “Weight Music” sparks the album with soft piano play, hesitation drums and light synth produced by Dirty Rice and Coko Korinne. KB starts out proclaiming:
“Jesus the Son of God / I’m on that dot / He should be on top of our little eyes”
Jenny Norlin adds her melodic vocals on the hook. The arrangement of the choir background vocals reminded me of vintage Mariah Carey. I love this song for the production and lyrics but primarily because it was an unexpected first song. When I first heard the lead single “Zone Out”, the Black Knight produced cut was what I anticipated to hear from from KB. The sample of Thi’sl in the bridge added extra energy added combined with Chris Lee’s smooth vocals on the hook. However, I was left wondering will this be the only style that he delivers. “Anomaly” produced by Andre Atkinson, Mark Mims, and Maurice Tonia, sonically remains in the category as the lead single with KB adding,
“I feel for rappers who blaspheme when they spit / I call a spade a spade cause you don’t’ know who you’re dealing with”
KB has several songs comparing the biblical worldview versus a secular worldview. One of my favorites is “Don’t Mean Much” produced by Street Symphony. Over acoustic drums, mini guitar stabs and smooth synth progressive KB starts with:
“They be like KB you got it going on / In 20 years they’ll forget me like Kevin in Home Alone / My whole click are Christ lovers / my outfit may be plain but I’m fly with the right brothers”
With Sho Baraka adding his creative touch and a Linkin Park style hook, KB proclaims what the world offers is nothing compared to a relationship with Christ. “Church Clap” featuring Lecrae produced by Cheesebeats starts off with showing respect to the old school church. Then KB adds that:
“the church has been clapping to weak sermons / leaving the weak hurting / no ones changed by Sunday service.”
I love what the song is communicating. However, the song could’ve continued in the vein of the first verse of showing respect to the elders before us. Instead the song ended with rebuking bad preaching. The hook is one of excitement and crowd participation, which is perfect for a live show. It would have be great if the content ended with more positivity that lined up with the hook. “Go Off” featuring Andy Mineo and Tedashii was first heard from the first promo video. When I heard it, though it was a snippet and I loved it. Produced by Alex Medina and Geeda, you walk away from this song feeling like you want to go off. Over a repetitive synth hit, stutter kicks, popping snare and crunching sound effects KB says:
“I go by ‘K’ to the ‘second letter’ / But my name is a second matter / Give me a second, I’ll bring you from Cain to the Second Adam”
Tedashii hits hard with his double time flow while Andy Mineo adds his catchy vocals to the bridge and hook. Flame appears on the Black Knight produced “Angles.” The production features computerized effects, hard-hitting kicks and snappy snares while sampling from Trip Lee. Even though I enjoyed the double-time rap that Flame displayed, the content was tackled in previous songs. KB diversifies the album by becoming more transparent and touching on hot button topics. “Open Letter” produced by Dirty Rice and Joseph Prielozny is a heartfelt song addressing issues of same-sex attraction, engaged couples trying to fight off the temptation of premarital sex, porn and loneliness. KB and Swoope read letters with Trip Lee praying for everyone. Conceptually the song is great and was executed very well by providing a solution to the problems at hand.
“Hello” produced by Alex Medina is one of the album highlights of the album. Over acoustic guitar strings and light drums KB expounds on the need to glorify God because his grace is renewed daily. Suzy Rock’s hook takes the song to new heights. In story mode “Heart Song” features the silky voice of Jasmine Le’Shea. With production by Joseph Prielozny and Cheesebeats; KB tackles various situations where people have rejected God. KB encourages with:
“just because you don’t know the answer / doesn’t mean there isn’t one.”
I love the diversity of the album. Several songs contained the same themes but were presented in different forms. It would’ve been great for KB to tackle a few new issues. The production is incredible and compliments KB’s style. I personally enjoyed the rock/rap fusion that was sprinkled throughout the album.
Weight & Glory is an impressive debut album. Even though there are a couple songs I didn’t particularly vibe with, the overall presentation is great. Many start their careers with lackluster debuts, but KB hit this out of the park. What remains to be seen is how KB further develops his sound. I heard splashes of KB’s testimony but look forward to hearing more of his life story in light of the Gospel.
Release Date: July 17, 2012
Label: Reach Records
1. Weight Music – Produced by Dirty Rice and Coko Korinne.
2. Zone Out feat. Chris Lee Cobbins – Produced by Black Knight of Black Knight Creationz
3. Anomaly – Produced by Andre Atkinson, Mark Mims, and Maurice Tonia
4. Don’t Mean Much feat. Sho Baraka – Produced by Street Symphony
5. Go Off feat. Andy Mineo and Tedashii – Produced by Alex Medina, Co-produced by Geeda
6. Mr. Pretender – Produced by Dirty Rice
7. Open Letter (Battlefield) feat. Swoope, Trip Lee and Jai – Produced by Dirty Rice and Joseph Prielozny
8. Heart Song feat. Jasmine Le’Shea – Produced by Joseph Prielozny and Cheesebeats aka Tha Kracken for LateBloom Productions
9. Angels feat. Flame – Produced by Black Knight of Black Knight Creationz
10. Tear It Down – Produced by Halo for ATP
11. Church Clap feat. Lecrae – Produced by Cheesebeats aka Tha Kracken
12. Hello feat. Suzy Rock – Produced by Alex Medina
13. Here We Go feat. PK Oneday – Produced by PK for PKALLDAY.com
14. Bonus Track: Zone Out (Amped Remix) – Produced by Joseph Prielozny, Co-Produced by Black Knight of Black Knight Creationz and Karac