Friday, October 12, 2012

Ka - Grief Pedigree (The Visuals)

Early this year, Brownsville rapper Ka dropped his sophomore album, Grief Pedigree. The album has rightfully been met by much critical acclaim and generated a steadily growing buzz both in and out of New York. For anyone who pays close attention to Ka's music, there can be no doubt that the man is a superbly talented MC; his quietly commanding mic presence, tight cadences, subtle wordplay and cinematic storytelling demonstrate as much. Equally impressive, however, are the album's DIY aesthetics. Months before Grief Pedigree dropped, Ka began releasing a string of self-directed videos for songs off the upcoming album.

Ka's videos' minimalist imagery provides the perfect visual complement to his extraordinarily well-budgeted lyrics and concise production; every line of every song is as critical as the last, just as each scene, though void of budget-breaking grandiose special effects, contributes something special to the patchwork. And with "Iron Age" dropping today, each of the album's 11 tracks now has a fully formed visual counterpart. Ka's tumblr page, consisting of nighttime photographs taken throughout Brooklyn, extends the aesthetic into a third medium, offering fans an additional glimpse at the world in which the album's stories unfold, and the composition is nothing to sneer at either.

Merriam-Webster defines 'collage' as "an artistic composition made of various materials (as paper, cloth, or wood) glued on a surface" and "a creative work that resembles such a composition in incorporating various materials or elements." With the final video now posted, it feels as if the collage that is Grief Pedigree may now be complete. The album was and is undeniably great, but now we can experience it in its entirety through another set of materials.