Introduction:

KB started out as a local rapper with a couple of friends in Florida. The HGA movement grew to light the world of underground Christian rap on fire. In 2009, he was scouted by Lecrae and signed to Reach Records. In 2011, he released his EP 100. In 2013, he released his debut album Weight & Glory, which includes his notable single “Church Clap,” featuring Lecrae. In 2015, he released Tommorow We Live, which exploded on the rap charts. Now comes his latest effort: Today We Rebel. Seeing as I will be seeing KB and Trip Lee on their Hometeam Tour this Wednesday, I figured today would be a great time to review the latest effort from KB on this week’s #MusicMonday.

1. DNOU

KB Jumps right into his long awaited return with no hesitation. It’s a jam that has a really cool strings and organ sample. DNOU (Don’t Nobody Own Us) is a banger than gets the audience in the right mood to go on a new journey with KB. The third single from his third studio album talks about freedom and gets us reacquainted with him by showcasing his flow style, which has greatly improved, along with his wordplay.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A

2. Tempo

The first single for the album came out a full year before the album and it still kills. Starting out slow with an old folk style song sampled in the beginning, KB chucks a curveball by giving us an epic, ominous beat that he rides with precision and skill. It’s even better than the last track with a hook that boasts true talent. It’s truly an incredible rap display.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A+

3. Monster (feat. Aha Gazelle)

The second single is a brilliant track that is just pure fun and continues the pattern of incredible lyricism and rap power. Aha’s verse is great, with explosive lyricism. It’s my favorite song on the album so far. Every track just keeps getting better.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

4. Primetime (feat. Ty Brassel)

This one starts kind of weird but the beat is cool. Ty’s hook is different. KB’s verse is strong though, he slides right in and slingshots all around the track. He’s good, but the song as a whole is a step down from the first three tracks. The hook is reminiscent of Justin Timberlake’s SexyBack, but KB is able to transform it into a pretty good song.

Track Rating: 7/10

Grade: B+

5. Get Through (feat. Lecrae)

KB is not ashamed of his 116 clique brethren, in fact, he shows them off on his album, with three of the clique dropping in. The King of the Clique himself shows up on this one. Starting out slow, the vocals come in sleek and Gospel-esqe. Lecrae comes in and absolutely sets the tone. The beat warps to fit his flow pattern and hits the ground running. KB comes in and affirms the sheer prowess displayed by Lecrae earlier. It’s a beautiful one, with KB’s singing vocals being absolutely spectacular as the song wraps.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A

6. Art of Drifting

The track comes out very critical and aggressive as he stands accused of hating the church and not caring. This track is aggressive in its beat and production as he goes off on the idea of drifting away from God and in his relationship. This is the best production of any song on the album yet. He is painting the picture of a Christian artist who cheated on his wife. It’s an emotional song that is really beautiful and features incredible lyricism and storytelling from KB.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

7. Art of Hope

The song flows right in from the last and serves as the hopeful sequel to the last song. Really it’s just one long track that tells a great story. Where the last one ends with him standing in the ashes, this one builds and creates an intense sense of hope and uplifts the fallen. These two songs together paint the most remarkable story and creates a wonderful allegory for life that is impossible to listen to with dry eyes. KB and an uncredited woman sing “Be Thou My Vision” as the violins and choir carry us out of this emotional, two-song arc.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

8. Not Today Satan (feat. Andy Mineo)

The horn sample is absolutely epic and elevates the song. It serves as a triumphant epilogue to the emotional story we just heard. Utilizing the Magic & Bird style of rapping, KB creates a party that you must attend. Andy Mineo gets on the track as if he never left and kills it with every bar he spits. It’s an jovial tune that is positively spectacular.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

9. I Am Not the One

The barking piano and strings creates a suspenseful build into the song with an ominous tone. KB is really killing it, jumping in on the idea of racial bullying and stereotyping. He evokes what is essentially a reprise of Tempo through the production, but the song is different in subject matter. This track features some incredible displays of lyricism and wordplay. It’s an incredible track, with KB’s stellar vocals taking it home.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A+

10. New Portrait

After a couple fast jams, it’s time to slow things down. It’s an incredibly introspective track that explores the politics surrounding Christianity and the racial politics surround it as well. It’s a really hopeful song that asks some hard hitting questions that are answered in some way. It’s a really pretty song, with gorgeous production.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

11. Bring You War

Opening with some of these most beautiful vocals I’ve ever heard in a rap song, the song is truly inspirational and hopeful, which comes from the Gospel and Pop Vocal inspirations. It’s a song that once more explores the ideas of race and religion and the interconnectedness of those two ideas. It’s gorgeous.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

12. Sing to You (feat. Casey J)

This is a really beautiful song about praising Jesus in the hard time. The vocals is really sweet and the production is gorgeous. It’s a really peppy song for the subject matter it covers. The vocals by Casey J are stellar and very complementary of KB’s. It’s a really nice song to build up to the finale.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A

13. Rebel Intro (feat. Sarah Reeves)

Besides sharing a name with the hit song from Lecrae’s 2008 Album Rebel, KB’s prefaces the finale with ominous keyboards and synthesizers. Sarah Reeves’s haunting vocals set up an exteremly chilling preface, which is serving as a rallying cry to rebel, which is fitting, considering the album is called Today We Rebel. After a haunting piece from Sarah Reeves, we transition over to the explosive finale.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A+

14. Rebel Rebel 88

KB’s explosive finale is the angry actions spurned from the haunting previous track. The track is explosive, but it lacks the pizzazz that was teased with the intro that prefaced it. His wordplay and verbal acrobatics are really stellar, but overall, it’s just a rather underwhelming end to what, thus far, has been an incredible effort from KB.

Track Rating: 7/10

Grade: B

Conclusion:

This album is quite possibly the best release from KB yet. Evoking every emotion from joy to depression to rage to fear to peace, and covers topics from race and religion to some of the hardest topics in the Christian faith. This is a much more free and lively album than some of the other rap releases this year. This is easily in my top three rap albums of the year and in my top ten albums of the year.

Album Rating: 9/10

Grade: A+

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