If “Pick Up The Phone Bitch” is any indication of where KAMI has been — or what he’s avoiding — do not disturb his process.
Within voicemail interludes like “Wya???” and “Kene” (which introduces his latest’s album’s narrative), it’s clear that the Chicago artist experiences a metamorphosis on It’s OK Loverrr — a genreless 12-track mosaic of his foray into the unknown. While fully tapping into alt-sounds spread throughout his discography (hear Just Like The Movies), KAMI seems to have broken free of the comfort he once held — spreading his wings and soaring for the better.
Whether it was previous efforts with Chance The Rapper, Joey Purp, Valee and other city icons that enticed you, KAMI has certainly crafted a new mold for himself on It’s OK Loverrr. The record illicits a sensory flush of emotions that slowly seep in, as dancey, electro vibes waft between sauntering vocals on “Outside!” and the Knox Forture-assisted (naturally) “Calling You.” Both proving to be emphatically catchy and illustrative of KAMI’s breadth of talent beyond rap, other highlights like “Willy Chavarria,” “Pressure” and its title track “It’s OK Loverrr” are unrelenting in personality — letting KAMI’s left-of-center ear shine fully. It sounds as if these songs were made to be heard coursing through the festival grounds of Coachella or inside H&M for a rainy day retail therapy session. Other cuts like “Outside,” “Princess Cuts” and “Boujee” force you to not forget KAMI’s affinity for bars that make you move (be sure to peep the interesting UK-island fusion on “Boujee”) and sizzle with groovy lines and an essence too irresistable.
KAMI reaches final lover-torn form on the outro “Fitiwi,” where our protagonist flakes out on a trip to Switzerland with a friend. “What are you doing?”, his friend frustratingly laughs off. “Is this about that girl?”. His rap chops glisten over production on the track’s backhalf fashioned by theMIND, introducing the two-sided song with an impression of Frank Ocean’s airy, emotional dystopia. “I know that I fucked up / I know that broke trust / the tears turn to melodies, the ones that you can rehearse,” he expertly floats, finally protesting the closure he needed amid this thrill ride of a bender. Going off the grid is certainly warranted to realize what’s missing, and on It’s OK Loverrr, KAMI finds bliss within the bounce back — accepting that his faults are as human as his former flame’s.
KAMI’s sheer versatility is perhaps his greatest trait. It’s more apparent on his hip-hop catalog as well, recently tapping fellow Chicagoan femdot. for his latest track “Go Gentle” (Oct. 18). That same level of lyrical poise, genre infusion and vocal control is present even within his rap performances — and should be expected moving forward. KAMI is a clear-cut diamond in the rough, shining through the pain that’s left him damaged; Those “tears turned into melodies” after all.
Listen to “It’s OK Loverrr” below!