Review

Master Kiii dives deep into his psyche in “Dusty Demos”, an experimental and boundary pushing lo-fi jazz rap project

Known for his ridiculous lyricism and rhythm-bending flow, Master Kiii slows it down and explores the nature of his mind in this latest tape. The intro is a pure instrumental, an exquisitely produced piece of music housing jazz inspired rhythmic guitar to ease you in, before transitioning into the deep and thoughtful experience titled “Lost”.

“Lost” delves into the corners of Kiii’s mind. The lyrics are thoughtful and incredibly well put together, with clever word-play hidden between moments of anguished reflection. Lines like “I guess I’m lost in my mind, visions VHS where you can press and rewind,” and “Suicidal with the sickness, you will seek in the mind” create this atmosphere of deep contemplation, and Kiii’s slower but flawless flow adds to the sombre feel.

“01-06-19” continues with the melancholic feel of the tape, as the artist explores his depression and general angst. He does not hold back when it comes to laying his feelings out on the table; with lines like “I need help, I feel the demon breathing while I’m living this hell” and “It hurts me, this life is like a desert and I’m thirsty” giving a clear picture of where his mind is at. A beautiful vocal sample rings out saying “it stands out on a high way” on repeat, and the artist rides the gorgeous production with ease. An element of hope is brought to the track with lyrics like “I’m representing black power when I raise my fist, my mama raised a soldier so I’ll never quit” and “I promise I’ll be on point like pyramids.” The track itself is an audible journey that manages to be visually stimulating.

“Dusty Vinyls Out of Space” follows and has a more light-hearted feel, featuring the talented Zain Thomas. Zain delivers a solid verse with clever lines and smooth flow, before Kiii casually strolls through with superb and detailed lyricism. “I’m kind of depro like Bojack, my neighbours don’t like me ‘cause I’m black like Kodak,” – clever wordplay with significant lyrics is the artist’s forte.

“Broken Cassette Tapes” is an aggressively introspective piece of music, with the artist spitting blatantly honest and personal lyrics in between some incredible word twisting and smart bars. Master Kiii naturally glides over some smooth jazz-like production with an almost unsettling saxophone playing and the listener is transported to his world.

The EP closes on “Demon Wind,” a sort of rhyme-flex over eerie production. The song is a clear showcase of just how good Master Kiii is with his words; the single verse in the track being delivered with exceptional precision. “Boy been a savage-like Vandal, you boys catching L’s, no Samuel” – the track is riddled with sharp lines brought to life with Kiii’s powerful yet effortless flow. It’s worth mentioning that the entire project was produced and mixed by the artist himself, highlighting his wide range of talent.

Master Kiii is a well-respected underground rapper and producer based in Cape Town who is approaching his greatest form yet. A lyrical samurai and literary phenomenon, Master Kiii is bound to go big.