I’m going to make the bold statement that Kinetics and One Love’s new album “You Are Not Alone”, which came out Tuesday, is the beginning of a new era in hip hop.
Elements characteristic of revered ‘90s hip hop are present in the album, which combines the thought-provoking lyricism of Kinetics with One Love’s fine-tuned, classic hip hop production and delicately balanced electronic vibes. Rather than a nostalgic return to old school craftsmanship, “You Are Not Alone” takes the qualities of the classics and applies them to a sound that feels distinctly 2012.
The thoughtfully written and precisely executed verses, on topics ranging from hip hop to domestic abuse to teen suicide, step away from common themes in today’s hip hop landscape and aim for something deeper, more intellectually engaging, imparting more meaning. With each listen, I’ll catch a new line with clever and creative wordplay, and I’m confident that this will become one of those select albums that will lyrically engage my thought process in new ways five years down the road. “You Are Not Alone” is a concept album, weaving themes of isolation, individuality, and the complexities of humanity through each track’s wording, sound, and even the track order and album art.
The album is available for download on iTunes.