Review

Lakei’s “Versions of Me” EP is a captivating alternative R&B project riddled with gorgeously polished bars and stunning vocals

Lakei takes a moment to reintroduce himself alongside Hanwah on the R&B ballad that is “Introduce U Pt II.” The exceptional vocal layering and melodic harmonies make for an intoxicating experience that really sets the tone for the project. The chemistry between the two artists is beautifully evident as the vocals complement each other’s perfectly.

Lakei then reconnects with Khady Rivers on “Butterflies,” a wavy ode to the ups and downs you face through the complexity of falling in love. “I should just walk it off, maybe I’ll run it out, maybe I’ll cut it short, or I’ll decide to take a longer route,” – uncertainty is the name of the game. Khady Rivers delivers an immaculately smooth verse, spitting animated bars with clever rhyme schemes. His presence is welcomed on the track.

“Nje Ngam” with Vitu is one of my favourite Lakei tracks ever. A moment is taken to flex, and Lakei does it flawlessly. The song is a banger, and a great reminder of just how good Lakei is at rapping. Vitu matches Lakei’s energy and we’re left with what will end up being one of my favourite tracks of 2021. “They trying to do nje ngam, they cannot do nje ngam.” No, they cannot.  

Lakei embraces his inevitable stardom with some astrological bars on the extremely catchy “Better in Your Eyes” before the psychedelic “March 24 Interlude” leaves you lost in marijuana smoke and self-reflection. Maybe just the self-reflection.

“Purple” is a charmingly atmospheric and hopeful track that sees Lakei get vulnerable in the midst of exceptionally well-controlled vocals and clean, nostalgic, production. The Ziggy Stardust feature is perfect, who feels like a natural fit next to Lakei.

We’re taken back with “80’s Guitar Girl” featuring Del Chino, an R&B pop track that in an ideal world would be all over the radio. It’s the summer love song of 2021.  

The hardest bars are saved for last as Lakei and Master Kiii compete for the city’s slickest rhyme slinger on “Happy Go Outro.” Both rappers come through with their best and the project ends on an extremely satisfactory note.

Lakei wrote, produced, mixed, and mastered everything on the project, one that I undoubtedly see as his best yet. Go stream it, or buy it on Bandcamp.