Indie (September 24, 2013)
Review by LaRosa Johnson
Buy this album: SphereofhiphopStore.com
I’ve been a fan of k-Drama for some time now; nearly a decade if I had to count. In that time I’ve seen him grow as a Christian and as an artist. With each release he has consistently improved and I anticipate hearing what he comes out with next. This album was no different, especially after hearing that he had made the decision to part ways with Cross Movement Records and return to being an independent artist. That being said, I present to you Winds & .Waves, the latest release from the Cincy emcee.
One thing that k-Drama has done consistently over the years is wearing his heart on his sleeve. He isn’t an artist who’s afraid to give you a glimpse into his life and share his struggles and growth with you. Winds & .Waves is no different, except that he has presumably taken that to another level. Essentially this album is all about k-Drama recounting the ups & downs of his life as a Christian emcee, which first began in 1999. Even though he might be a household name for many within the scene, he lets you know that he isn’t living the high life that many would expect a successful artist to have.
The album kicks off with the lead single “FWD,” which is a follow-up to the track “I Anticipate Tomorrow” from his BoomBaptism album (2008). “I can’t say that I can’t wait, but what I can say is that I’m looking forward to it!” That is the slogan & hook for the song. This song serves as a recap of where he’s been the past three years and how God has been moving in his life, essentially living for today while looking forward to what God has in store for him in the future. As much as sharing his life is a theme of this record, this too shows the optimism that he continues to have in the face of life’s many challenges. This is most apparent in the track “Can I Be Honest?” where he gives you the real picture of what his life is as a Christian rapper & preacher. When it comes to his rap career, k-Drama lets us know on the track “Hold My Own” that he’s still here and has been able to hold his own all these years, when other emcees have come & gone during that time. And it doesn’t matter if he’s rapping for a “Hundred or a Thousand,” he’s going to give you the same energy and passion. Despite the serious tone of this album, there are still plenty of upbeat tracks like “Rocket” and “Stadium Praise” that clearly show that he’s still the happy go lucky emcee that we’ve come to love.
Just as important as content might be to the overall appeal of the album, we all know that many listen solely based on the musical quality. Well, k-Drama doesn’t disappoint musically with Winds & .Waves. If you’re familiar with k-Drama’s body of work, this album would best be described as a mix between his last two projects BoomBaptism and We Fit. It’s got that Midwest Cincinnati feel that we’ve come accustomed to and Drama’s distinct flow & delivery. With only three out of sixteen tracks coming in at under four minutes in length, I have to be honest and admit that this album feels a bit long & dry at points (total run time is 1:14:17). There are probably a few tracks that could have been omitted as there were some topics that were discussed on several tracks. With a couple of those tracks omitted, this album probably wouldn’t feel as long & would be more concise. And, it’s not as if any of the songs were bad, you just end up asking yourself from time to time, “Didn’t you already talk about that?”
Even with it’s dry spots, k-Drama shows that he hasn’t gotten rusty in the three years since his last release. If anything, Winds & .Waves shows that he is determined to keep grinding and serving the Lord with his music, even if he’s only playing for small crowds. For it’s heartfelt subject matter, k-Drama still lets his “happy-ness” shine through, which is ultimately what he does best and makes this album memorable.