atlantis: hymns for disco: k-os

May 6, 2007 at 3:38 am | Posted in Found At Other Sites | Leave a comment

brook stephenson

When I first heard of k-os I wondered, “Who is that dude rhyming over that house beat?” Then I listened a bit more and said, “Yo, that kid rhyming over that house beat is killing it!” At the least, I can say I loved his debut album, Exit, which featured the single described above, “Superstar pt. Zero.” Now k-os has returned with his latest album, Atlantis-Hymns for Disco, but before we discuss his latest effort lets get you caught up to the album Joyful Rebellion, his sophomore release.

First off, he sings, produces and rhymes and is dope at each endeavor. His arrangements, samples, flows and cadences ride each riddum perfectly and distinctly on every album and song. Does he have a signature sound? If so, it would be good music. He promotes his philosophical positions like in Exit where he shows that hip-hop does not have to be in its current state, and then in Joyful Rebellion where he just drops all sorts of “I f*cking hate the current state of music for real but I love music” intimations (he never really said that but it felt like he was saying it) in a really soulful way. Based in Canada, k-os has tallied up numerous awards for his music and videos including, but not limited to, Best International Hip Hop Artist at the 2003 Source Awards, a Juno Award for Best Video of the Year and a Grammy nomination for Best Dance Song in 2003. That was Exit. Joyful Rebellion racked up three Juno Awards and he followed that up with a well-received DVD project. All that is said just to make sure you pay attention to him because now, we can talk about this album Atlantis-Hymns for Disco.

The album is great. It is better than the last two because with each album he reveals a different facet and grows as an artist.The music he makes is thick, light-hearted, heavy handed, torn, upbeat, down tempo, jazzy, show tune-ish, and catchy with healthy portions of singing, clapping and rapping. It is an exit, a joyful rebellion, with a floating-in-my-consciousness rock n roll sound that features sloppy drums, crisp snares, and gritty guitar riffs that are interpolated with cuts and scratches. It is art. Topic-wise this album sounds like the accompanying press release which is unusual. The press release is damn near a manifesto. In it k-os says, “to use your voice in the world is the greatest responsibility of an artist. Most revolutionary art ends up provoking classic ideals and it is these same classic ideals that become prisons if they go unchallenged.”

Songs like “Sunday Morning,” “The Rain,” and “ Valhalla” are stand-outs but the entire album grabs you and keeps you. Peep the “Sunday Morning” video link to his website If you like that video/song and the other video/songs you might have just been put on to your new favorite artist of the year.

Not since Outkast has an artist or group grown and integrated music and life so seamlessly. Personally, I love this album and this artist’s perspective, integrity and commitment to being an artist at a time when many recording artists are not. I suspect you will too.
brook stephenson is the literary editor of Nat Creole but his knowledge expands beyond the written word. hit him up at


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