Following the success of his debut album FOTO last May and embarking on his first US tour just three months later, Kota the Friend continues the momentum with the release of his latest project, Lyrics to Go, Vol. 1.
While Kota epitomizes what it means to be a true Brooklyn creative, honing his craft as a rapper, producer, photographer, and visual storyteller, Lyrics to Go, Vol. 1 exhibits that his contributions to the hip-hop landscape serve as the pinnacle to his varied creativity.
Carefully composed across a consistent, chillwave soundscape, Lyrics to Go, Vol. 1 calls attention to the dichotomy of life, and how it's perpetual obstacles tend to have a destabilizing impact on our mental health and conceptions of fulfillment. An ode to growth and staying power, "Lazy River" grapples with these themes of hardship until it seamlessly transitions into "She," a track that serves to showcase love as a glimmer of hope within the human psyche. While it is sonically coherent on its own, Kota's aesthetically warm, visual adaptation of "She" reinforces how the simplicities in life can also be the most rewarding.
Clearly a man of many talents, Kota's background as an all-encompassing creative allows him to coin a distinctive, poetic approach to music-making and storytelling. This is apparent in his 48-video YouTube series "Lyrics to Go," which assisted in the thematic conception and promotion of the Lyrics to Go, Vol. 1 project over the course of three years. Because of this, Kota has made it apparent that the beautifully crafted 10-track project is more than just an audible experience - it's rooted in complex ideas and thoughtful interpretation across multiple mediums.
This is undoubtedly just the tip of the iceberg for Kota the Friend. While we eagerly await Volume 2, the only thing to do is revel in Kota's chill production and honest reflections.
Listen to Lyrics to Go, Vol. 1 below:
For more from Kota the Friend, revisit his moving of "Alkaline" below.