Quoted text from original post, posted July 1, 2009 by Ben Herson & Mikal Lee
“A good and trusted friend passed me this mixtape, September 9th, by Canadian Rapper Ian Kamau. The mixtape is serving as a warmup and introduction for Ian to a wider audience in preparation for the release of his album proper on (yes you guessed it….) September 9th. In all truth, it is almost an insult to call this merely a mixtape, as Sept. 9th may be one of the most focused and relevant releases for this year. A great blend of the personal and political, the musical and the raw, while having a coherent theme throughout, something you don’t normally find in a mixtape. On first listen you can hear similar vocal tones of Slick Rick in Ian’s voice, but there is no comparisons at all to The Ruler. The seriousness and direct stance of his lyrics compared to the legends more tongue in cheek light hearted manner, Ian’s sharp wittiness comes more scathing, though both share an almost matter of fact way they deliver their own commentary.
The album, er sorry…mixtape starts out with Dear Summer, a brief recount of Ian’s childhood and early manhood leading up to this point. As he starts off melodically riffing to the track, you feel the old soul that Ian tells us he was considered as a youth. His laid back voice and effortless cadence could almost lull you to sleep, if not for the beautiful truth he conveys in living, and living with struggle. When Morning Come, Alarm Call, After the Show (which is a spoken word piece), and Majority Report all give us insight into his perspective on racism, imperialism, and the white supremacist system construct that we all live under and endure. On Alarm Call as he poetically recounts the great migration, and the historical toiling in the lowest dregs of society that Black People have faced some might be quick to say “we’ve heard this story before”. However, Ian’s bouncy rhythms, powerful flow, and unique style better then anyone currently mixes the poetic and emcee seamlessly. His zen-like franknesss, and wit has him playing the dozens against the system unlike most who have been pegged as “militant”. His whole approach is a fresh trail through the well traveled ground regarded as “conscious” music.
Still, the mixtape gives you “Say it ain’t so” a ballad speaking of a young man looking to truly become one as his strongest support system, his mother moves away. The track is a testament to Ian’s talents, as he sings and rhymes, sharing his pain without whining, showing a vulnerability that makes this more then a rap, but a song. On the brass anthem, “April Fools” he turns up the tempo and brings a more open jazz feel, riding the horns and breaking out his own brand of rhythmic dry humor. Aside from some already used beats (its a mixtape, remember?!), the mixtape on the whole, is not a mixtape. Really. This is a project that should have anyone who loves dope music, looking for Ian Kamau and x’ing off the days in their calendar to September 9th.
Written by Mikal Lee”