„Killing Me Slowly” is a full-fledged hip-hop, rap album with contemporary flairs by Zeke.
In the era when hip-hop is the fastest evolving genre in music history, it is always a balance act to write a song for posterity and not for the minute – and stakes are evidently higher when it comes to a complete concept album.
It might sound an odd choice during the times of 15 seconds of fames to come out with something more structured and layered, however, Zeke is able to avoid the tentacles of meaninglessness prevailing in pop-rap trends and yet not swayed by the golden age of hip-hop either.
„Killing Me Slowly” is certain bravado from the upcoming artist, Zeke, who navigates every subtle, seismic change with the ease and gravity of a seasoned pro – yet an occasional wink in the eye makes everything more relatable and personal.
Zeke has a marvel of youthful imagination and a reflection of downfalls but his evoking concrete hardness is veiled in a good sense of self-awareness and shifts on a dime from spine-tingling tension to trippy beauty or some easy-sleazy fun.
First of all, „Killing Me Slowly” is pure hip-hop and not adjacent from the worlds of dancehalls, grime or reggeaton. Exuding statuesque coolness and in certain songs a kind of detachment, dropping tongue-twisting rhymes or indulging his gruff soul-man croon, Zeke was able to look beyond his immediate circumstances and made a splash as he wanted.
Is it ushered? Definitely not. His voice has something to say and he isn’t beating dead horses like so many. Zeke speaks on self and has reflections of self, thriving in depicting unresolved questions and emotions.
As Pusha T says, “I just want them to understand my foundation, and when it comes to my foundation, ain’t nobody fucking with me on that”, Zeke expresses himself with thematic ambition and listeners will find it difficult to ignore him. Instead of fashionable iconoclastic postures, he comes with high-energy and eccentric voice with jolt.
We are dazzled right from the intro with a playful tear down of the 4th wall right in the Intro and how deeply personal and artistic in its counterpart, the artistic, chill-down, ethereal spoken word Dark Side. In between, he embodies the recent culture of nihilism and soul-search with a decent mirror handed to every listener.
This journey of soul comes with playfulness like in Parking Lot (feat. Scxtt Aye) and hard-hitting reality in Drownin.
Zeke is not a bildungsroman, rather flashes and glimpses of the everyday psyche and emotional treadmills; Know The Deal (feat. Lexxi Jay) is a superb example for his talent in this R’n’B vibe.
The rhyme slinger is in his element in Ever Since and Caught In The Life (feat. Guy Average) where the use of autotune feels reasonable.
It is hard to find one standout track from the album, since Zeke manages to feature verses in every ways. One might feel connected to Okey Alright more, others to the completely differently toned Moment of Silence.
The rhymer saves himself from falling into the abyss: the worldview’s expanded, nothing feels redundant, and there are no blatant pivots to anything outside his purview. On the other hand, Zeke feels to most natural and authentic when he tells his own story and it gets more personal.
Coffin of Jewels is probably the most mainstream take on the album and the one to go to radios and playlists along with What’s the Word. In this fully realized album Put You On is the most challenging and way out there.
Zeke is proudly beaming his personality into and through each of his thoughts and songs, the choice of samples and backing tracks suit him and quite atmospheric time to time.
Is there a chance for Zeke to ascend like the larger-than-life superstars like Ye, Nicki Minaj, Eminem or Jay-Z? The history of rap is rich and varied, to be chosen beyond a night out one needs to surpass the so many iconic artists with deep catalogs and the ever-evolving sounds plus the regional scenes is not an easy path.
It feels Zeke has every chance to become a household name.
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Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/zeke/1273564036