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k-os: The Hip-Hop Polyglot

Yes!, the affirmatively titled fourth release from Trindadian-Canadian MC k-os, is a head-bopping mix of musical styles strung together by clever, insightful lyricism. Above all, the man known to his mother as Kevin Brereton integrates ideas and sounds not often heard in hip-hop. In fact, he opens Yes! with a sample of a woman yelling, "Do you have any idea of the chaos that you have caused around here? Nobody knows what you're doing!" That's exactly the way he likes it.

During our conversation in WFUV's Studio A, k-os joked about how musicians (himself included) can get proprietary when it comes to the sounds they create; they don't like to divulge what new instrument they've recently acquired for fear that someone else will steal their idea. But he was more than happy to share his experiences about creating the music and videos for Yes! My overall impression of k-os was that he's a funny guy who's influenced by everything from The Fugees and Star Wars to, of all people, Gordon Lightfoot. All of this can be gleaned from his music, but it comes across that much more clearly in the conversation heard here.

Copyright 2010 WFUV

Alisa Ali
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