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K-OS|Joyful Rebellion

Joyful Rebellion

k-os

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Anyone familiar with the frazzled beats and rhymes of k-os' 2003 debut should have expected an even more ambitious next step. Fittingly, Joyful Rebellion adds further colors to the Toronto-based artist's palette of both rapping and singing, and emphasizes musical flourishes that were only sketches on Exit. He begins the album as a man given the manual with which to save hip-hop. Is it from God? Angels? Aliens? Unclear. But k-os' philosophy allows for the force to be both one and three -- a brand new trinity -- as long as that mandate serves to enrich the minds of the world and its MCs. Heady stuff. But it's brought with engaging passion from k-os, and his hybridized musical backgrounds point the rap form in intriguing directions. "Emcee Murdah" laments artistic stagnation and crass commercialization over acoustic guitars and a chorus break straight out of Arthur Lee and Love; the wiry reggae of "Crucial" examines similar themes, and suggests that contemporary hip-hop's populist plateau has separated from its once-vibrant root system. One of k-os' most interesting positions on Rebellion is how conscious he is of keeping hip-hop pure even as he experiments. The clattering snare loop of "B-Boy Stance" is straight out of New York City at the dawn of the 1980s. But there's restlessness even as k-os embraces hip-hop's birthing elements. "It's so hard to remain authentic," he muses over the cut-up intro, which makes his B-boy stance as much comforting haven as it is throwback. Likewise, his collaboration with en vogue Canadian indie songwriter Sam Roberts is qualified. "[I] don't want it to be the 'rock song'," he says in the liners for "Dirty Water." Maybe it is -- Roberts' warm electric guitar wraps around the jumpy electronic percussion, and the vocals cross fluidly between singing and rapping. But k-os' hand-wringing isn't necessary, as "Water" is one of Rebellion's most succinct moments. Other highlights on the record include the pulsing, hoo-hooing nod to vintage Michael Jackson (the unfortunately titled "Man I Used to Be") and the crackling beats and swirling strings of "Love Song" ("Chaotical ambiotical fluid/The rap druid that's fluid..."). K-os doesn't necessarily pursue Rebellion's themes far enough. But give him a break -- it's only the cat's second album. His genre meshes and organic raps do keep the conversation about hip-hop's revitalization open, and that's what's really crucial.
© Johnny Loftus /TiVo

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Joyful Rebellion

K-OS

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1
EMCEE Murdah
00:03:30

Tom Coyne, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Roger Swan, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - K-OS, Producer, MainArtist - K. Brereton, Composer - Russell Klyne, Composer, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ray Garraway, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Toby Peter, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Chris Gestrin, Keyboards, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Kristina Ardron, Assistant Mixer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bill Coon, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Santosh Naidu-Tabla, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Vancouver String Orchestra, Strings, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 2004 EMI Music Canada ℗ 2004 EMI Music Canada

2
Crucial
00:03:25

Tom Coyne, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - K-OS, Producer, MainArtist - K. Brereton, Composer - Greg O'Shea, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Zach Blackstone, Assistant Mixer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Russell Klyne, Composer, Electric Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Ray Garraway, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Toby Peter, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Chris Gestrin, Hammond B3, AssociatedPerformer - Santosh Naidu-Tabla, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Santosh Naidu, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 2004 EMI Music Canada ℗ 2004 EMI Music Canada

3
Man I Used To Be
00:05:04

Dave Williams, Keyboards, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Michael Olsen, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Coyne, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - K-OS, Producer, Keyboards, Assistant Mixer, Drum Programming, Asst. Recording Engineer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - K. Brereton, Composer - Greg O'Shea, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Colin Robinson, Conga, AssociatedPerformer - Kathleen Kajioka, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Mike Olsen, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Nelson Milley, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Jeewon Kim, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Karen Graves, Violin, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 2004 EMI Music Canada ℗ 2004 EMI Music Canada

4
Crabbuckit
00:03:47

Kevin Brereton, ComposerLyricist - k-klass, Drum Programming, AssociatedPerformer - K-OS, Producer, Guitar, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Greg O'Shea, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Christopher Plock, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Colin Robinson, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Maury Lafoy, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 2004 EMI Music Canada ℗ 2004 EMI Music Canada

5
B-Boy Stance
00:03:59

Dave Williams, Keyboards, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer - JAMES BROWN, Composer - K-OS, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Acoustic Guitar, Programmer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Phil Demetro, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - K. Brereton, Composer - Tyson Kuteyi, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Malik Worthy, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Jauhara, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 2004 EMI Music Canada ℗ 2004 EMI Music Canada

6
Commandante
00:03:45

Tom Coyne, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Roger Swan, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - K-OS, Producer, MainArtist - K. Brereton, Composer - Sarah McElcheran, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Russell Klyne, Composer, Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Ray Garraway, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Toby Peter, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Chris Gestrin, Keyboards, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Santosh Naidu-Tabla, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 2004 EMI Music Canada ℗ 2004 EMI Music Canada

7
The Love Song
00:04:18

Dave Williams, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Coyne, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - K-OS, Producer, String Arranger, Programmer, Asst. Recording Engineer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Sarah Slean, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - K. Brereton, Composer - Greg O'Shea, Engineer, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Colin Robinson, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Maury Lafoy, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Kathleen Kajioka, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Nick Murray, Drum Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Noel "Gadget" Campbell, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jeewon Kim, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Karen Graves, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Laura May, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Micheal Owen, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Lil Jazz - DJ, AssociatedPerformer, Turntablist

(C) 2004 EMI Music Canada ℗ 2004 EMI Music Canada

8
Hallelujah
00:04:17

Dave Williams, Keyboards, Piano, Hammond B3, AssociatedPerformer - Kobe James, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Michael Olsen, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Coyne, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - K-OS, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Assistant Mixer, Asst. Recording Engineer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - K. Brereton, Composer - Greg O'Shea, Mixer, Engineer, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Colin Robinson, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Maury Lafoy, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Nelson Milley, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 2004 EMI Music Canada ℗ 2004 EMI Music Canada

9
Clap Ur Handz
00:01:20

Tom Coyne, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - K-OS, Producer, Assistant Mixer, Drum Programming, Asst. Recording Engineer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - K. Brereton, Composer - Greg O'Shea, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Maury Lafoy, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Burke Carrol, Pedal Steel, AssociatedPerformer - The Whitby Quartet, Clapping, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 2004 EMI Music Canada ℗ 2004 EMI Music Canada

10
Dirty Water
00:04:14

Tom Coyne, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - K-OS, Producer, Electric Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - K. Brereton, Composer - Sam Roberts, Composer, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - L. Stu Young, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Noel "Gadget" Campbell, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Kenny Neal Jr., Producer, Drums, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal)

(C) 2004 EMI Music Canada ℗ 2004 EMI Music Canada

11
One Blood (Jiggy Homicide)
00:03:28

Tom Coyne, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Roger Swan, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - K-OS, Producer, MainArtist - K. Brereton, Composer - Russell Klyne, Composer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Ray Garraway, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Toby Peter, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Chris Gestrin, Keyboards, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Kristina Ardron, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Santosh Naidu-Tabla, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 2004 EMI Music Canada ℗ 2004 EMI Music Canada

12
Papercutz/The Mirror
00:15:27

Tom Coyne, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Non Music Work, ComposerLyricist - K-OS, Producer, Piano, Vocals, Assistant Mixer, Asst. Recording Engineer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - K. Brereton, Composer - Greg O'Shea, Mixer, Engineer, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Christopher Plock, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Colin Robinson, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Maury Lafoy, Upright Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Sarah McElcheran, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - I. Prieto McTair, Composer - Kamau, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Solitair, Drum Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Lil Jazz - DJ, AssociatedPerformer, Turntablist - Jim Gawne, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 2004 EMI Music Canada ℗ 2004 EMI Music Canada

Album Description

Anyone familiar with the frazzled beats and rhymes of k-os' 2003 debut should have expected an even more ambitious next step. Fittingly, Joyful Rebellion adds further colors to the Toronto-based artist's palette of both rapping and singing, and emphasizes musical flourishes that were only sketches on Exit. He begins the album as a man given the manual with which to save hip-hop. Is it from God? Angels? Aliens? Unclear. But k-os' philosophy allows for the force to be both one and three -- a brand new trinity -- as long as that mandate serves to enrich the minds of the world and its MCs. Heady stuff. But it's brought with engaging passion from k-os, and his hybridized musical backgrounds point the rap form in intriguing directions. "Emcee Murdah" laments artistic stagnation and crass commercialization over acoustic guitars and a chorus break straight out of Arthur Lee and Love; the wiry reggae of "Crucial" examines similar themes, and suggests that contemporary hip-hop's populist plateau has separated from its once-vibrant root system. One of k-os' most interesting positions on Rebellion is how conscious he is of keeping hip-hop pure even as he experiments. The clattering snare loop of "B-Boy Stance" is straight out of New York City at the dawn of the 1980s. But there's restlessness even as k-os embraces hip-hop's birthing elements. "It's so hard to remain authentic," he muses over the cut-up intro, which makes his B-boy stance as much comforting haven as it is throwback. Likewise, his collaboration with en vogue Canadian indie songwriter Sam Roberts is qualified. "[I] don't want it to be the 'rock song'," he says in the liners for "Dirty Water." Maybe it is -- Roberts' warm electric guitar wraps around the jumpy electronic percussion, and the vocals cross fluidly between singing and rapping. But k-os' hand-wringing isn't necessary, as "Water" is one of Rebellion's most succinct moments. Other highlights on the record include the pulsing, hoo-hooing nod to vintage Michael Jackson (the unfortunately titled "Man I Used to Be") and the crackling beats and swirling strings of "Love Song" ("Chaotical ambiotical fluid/The rap druid that's fluid..."). K-os doesn't necessarily pursue Rebellion's themes far enough. But give him a break -- it's only the cat's second album. His genre meshes and organic raps do keep the conversation about hip-hop's revitalization open, and that's what's really crucial.
© Johnny Loftus /TiVo

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