The Brooklyn rapper dissects his personal life and experiences in each song, giving his listeners a look into what makes him the artist that he is. With a project full of lofi and ambient sounds, allowing Kota The Friend to really dive deep into his well of introspective lyricism. The wordplay and change of structure in each track separates him from his peers, and that’s exactly what has garnered him such a strong following over the years. Having worked with the likes of Statik Selektah, Joey Bada$$, Bas, Saba and KYLE, Kota The Friend’s talent is prominent and he shows it with this release.
Kota built up the anticipation for his project with the lead single “Dear Fear” accompanied with visuals that definitely fit the mood. The Jazzy vibes that Mike Baretz and E Madonna put together in their production sit well with Kota’s tone and voice. We see the artist take steps to avoid toxicity and further develop his personal life. Kota seems to acknowledge the inevitable hate that comes his way as his career begins to skyrocket.
When people see you growing surpassing what they imagined. They quick to call you a fraud attempting to steal your magic.
The visuals show Kota speaking to himself and then writing what seems to be a note. Reflecting on his life and lessons that he has learned,
If you never let in the pain, you never learn how to love, you don’t experience joy.
Lyrics like these do more than just fit the narrative for an Indie Hip Hop song, they truly speak to people and allow fans to deepen their connection to him. This track is immersive, expressive, and a great example of story telling in music. Kota The Friend takes all of these notes and implements them in his project “Lyrics to GO, Vol. 3.”
How often do we see artists release a video for each song on a project at release? Kota The Friend focused on simplicity with “Lyrics to GO, Vol. 3” and gave us a well put together project along with clean visuals with lyrics to follow along. Quality camerawork, clean angles and adequate lighting allow Kota The Friend to shine in each song. Listeners are able to focus in on what’s being said versus what’s being shown on screen. From exes and heartbreak to the trials Kota has faced throughout his life, we get a full scope of it all in this smooth project. I tend to find myself skipping around when I’m not particularly fond of a song in an album, but “Lyrics to GO, Vol. 3” made it onto my No-Skip List. It’s not that the production is otherworldly, or the punchlines are ethereal, but each track just spoke to me. My personal favorites are “Bitter” and “Twenty-Nine.” There’s something about genuine feelings that makes me pause and, rather than skip ahead, choose to rewind to catch that last line again. What made me fall in love with music was how a song can relate so much to your life and offer you an escape from the loneliness. I’m sure this is why Kota has amassed the fan base that he has. Kota The Friend is real, honest, and vulnerable.
“Lyrics to GO, Vol. 3” is the perfect album to sit down and listen to if you get excited by a good story.