Kill Your Idols – [Kemba]

If there is anything certain about a new Kemba song, it will never be dull. The Hunts Point legend has impressively been active in 2020, as a result of dropping three unforgettable singles:

1. “More A Man” –  a powerful Mos Def esque record where he vows to be “more a man’ than his father was,” and “more aware when [he] falls in love.”

2. “none of this matters,” a short, enticing, UK-drill inspired track where Kemba flaunts his versatility and ability to produce a hit regardless of  style or sub-genre.

3.  “Pisces” – Self-revealed as one of Kemba’s favorite songs to make, the banger uniquely aligns with the life experiences and content that he has shared so far. Fun fact: In “none of this matters,” the background “shut the fu** up ni***” vocals (around the 1:45 mark) are taken from this record.

Refusing to stand still, the Bronx native has returned with a fourth single titled “Kill Your Idols,” with mellow production from Brasstracks and Frank Drake. From a lyrical standpoint, this record is undoubtedly the most adept of the four, as well as the most experimental sonically. Whether intentional or not, the song’s subject matter eerily corresponds with tragic current events. The opening lines “Knight in shining armor don’t exist these days, ni**** got bulletproof vests, ni**** go straight for the head / Honesty and honor don’t exist these days, ni**** don’t got no respect, ni**** don’t get no respect” paint an unfortunate portrait of modern society. Kemba’s words on a hero-less world applies to those in uniform; particularly the twisted state of American law enforcement, as well as detrimental corrupt politicians. Even more explicit of this case is when Kemba states: “Good cop like unicorns, hit lick then take off, taped off like move along, paid off like student loans fu** 12 sh**.” In these dystopian-like times, the bad apples outnumber the good ones; so much so that good deeds become myths. Therefore, the song title “Kill Your Idols” is a cautionary statement to not rely on the aforementioned ‘idols’ intended to protect you.

Perhaps the most mind blowing bars are when Kemba maintains the theme of disorder through a stream of multiple analogies: “Superman wear plain clothes, my opps wear uniforms, new apps made new alarms / cops can’t hear through the phone, Jiggaman (Jay-Z) made change clothes, I stopped wearing blue velour. Comparing a mythical superhero to a police officer serves as an undertone that highlights a central issue; people shouldn’t have to fantasize a savior for their own comfort! The final aspect of the track that immediately caught my attention is the hook, which echoes: “I got grains of my past, this a drink, this a trap, I got angst, I got rage, I’m afraid they might clash / I had rocks in my trap house, baby this is glass / why you shocked when I lash out, maybe this effect.” Although the lyrics alone peaked my interest, it is the manner in which Kemba sings them that stand out. Unexpectedly, the glorious A$ap Rocky esque chorus taught me that Kemba and Rocky’s similar artistic capabilities would make a perfect match for a potential collaboration. Nonetheless, “Kill Your Idols” is an excellent standalone release that could certainly fit on a future project. Stream the song below!

Words by Brandon Washington