K.O is a veteran of SA Hip Hop. First broke into the limelight in 2006 and stayed there. From having a successful run with a crew, killing features and being a label exec, K.O has done it all and is now enjoying conquering a solo career.
PTY UnLTD is only K.O’s third solo studio album. It’s an album filled with creatively crafted tracks with a musical finish. Given how he started out, K.O has always known how to appeal to the commercial listener. He does that once again with this album. The play on languages will always be something to admire from K.O. Not forgetting his way of telling hard truths. Here’s a breakdown of the album.
From the get, K.O sends out a reminder that he’s not to be messed with. No two ways about it, a close circle is what works for him. Whoever’s got a problem can meet him outside. This intro track runs for 3:40.
Supa Dupa is an ideal track one could pick from to introduce K.O to a new ear. He doesn’t drop bars but it represents how he handles his sound and content. K.O always preaches self awareness. There are many snakes in the city. The only people worth trusting are people he came up with. Still, K.O is about good energy and wishes you well even if you don’t wish the same for him. The singing is great.
The beat drops and you can tell this is a hit. It’s confirmed when K.O comes in with the hook. The guy doesn’t just sing but knows how to play with his voice in just the right way to get the best out of it. Mr Cashtime states that he still got a thing for a nice time and the huns. This joint will make you want to sag your pants and spend money loosely. The beat has progressions similar to K.O’s Caracara.
Holy water was released a week before the release of the album, as one of the singles. K.O sings the chorus and works in a trap flow. All this balanced with good rapping.
A deep bass comes on, kick drums doing their thing. K.O serenades a love interest, confessing to doing her wrong in the recent past. He credits her intuition and says she’s a seer, a profit – Bushiri. All of that seems to mock the situation. K.O sings throughout the whole song, playing with his voice and changing his cadence seamlessly.
Piano keys, thumping kicks. K.O has always had an ear for great beats. K.O’s claims to body verses is backed up by a solid track record. He drops a reminder “If you talk about a feature, yeah that’s another rapper deceased”. You’re right K.O, you do reinvent yourself unlike any other.
A nod to the late HHP and Pro, who were veterans of SA Hip Hop. And that’s enough, no need to get in depth with stories from memory lane. The nod is enough.
The play with languages comes in again. He borrows lines from a past hit by Bongo Muffin but adds creativity to how he does it. Rappers take notes. The name is a play at the name of the campaign the South African president used when running for party president. Presidential when he come through.
Amapiano beat. There’s a lot of this to come from the SA Hip Hop scene, especially seeing as the big names are doing it. It’s bound to be momentary and it will only work for a few. But it does represent a South African flavour at the moment. In true Amapiano style, the party doesn’t stop, still going strong even after 4AM.
Say U Will
Sa U Will features songstress Nandi Madida who has worked with K.O on another hit before (Gangsta Love). One of the singles released ahead of the album. K.O gets his smooth talking on over an RnB sound. Lots of flossing while he’s at it. There’s another side to the cold persona that’s presented to the general chick. A side brought out only by the right girl.
Features Loki and former group and label-mate Ma-E. At this point, a lot of what K.O touches turns to gold. K.O raps about responsibilities he’d rather honour than just blowing all his money on balling and things that don’t help with advancing him and his people.
K.O knows how to tackle content but on this track he takes it to another level. Still working in some signing. On this he talks about his upbringing and having to learn about and deal with inequalities. The story then gets into his come-up and his decision to become a rapper. Son of a priest, he asked for support and blessings before setting off to Johannesburg to start a career. He wraps it up with a view from the pinnacle.
Sjava takes the chorus with a strong message. We’ve become in patient win what we expect for ourselves. You can’t just fly from the get
go. It starts with crawling, walking and running first. Describing it robs it of how he delivers it. It’s one to hear for yourself.
Tailor-made love. K.O tells a story of how he falls for someone who’s a perfect fit. A fit so perfect, he chooses to leave his ways behind. It’s another track where there’s only singing. K.O’s writing is versatile.
Features Wizkid and DJ Maphorisa. Another Amapiano sound. This joint shows that a beat yamaPiano can be perfect for a poetic piece. Percussions in the background gives it an old school feel. Wizkid comes in to sprinkle his dancehall flavour. Not sure if artists are restricted in their vocab, but that’s enough about winding now, ai! Good song though.
The entire album is chilled. The tempo stays mellow, giving off a mature feel. K.O does a lot of his own singing. That’s never given him any negative attention because of how he broke into the rap scene with former group Teargas. Another reason is how good he is with the pen. He blends both
abilities into what make him uniquely K.O.
13 full-length tracks. K.O was in the mood to make music, no interludes. Something to appreciate with K.O is how his lines connect. It has become a thing to just find lines that rhyme but don’t relate beyond that. The beats are softer than the grimy texture Skhanda is known for but K.O holds it down by not going off-character with the raps. Good songs for the summer. Singing stands out more than the rapping.