Kay The Aquanaut & cee.reality | Before The Dog, After Humanity
Hmmm, through growth there’s usually change but now with Kay The Aquanaut, growth comes working with an array of producers, with whom he’s collaborated on previous releases. Maki, Kitz Willman, Factor Chandelier, and now cee.reality with Before The Dog, After Humanity. For his latest full-length release, things have taken a different turn altogether as we find the familiar emcee moving within an anti-establishment mindset, coming after the haves with have-nots sensibilities.
Well, that’s not entirely true but for the most part After Humanity is filled with dissent, fueled with an anger towards the few that take advantage of the many. It starts subtly on the opening title track with cee.reality’s dark, heavy-handed beat tempered with droning bass and continuous blips. Kay takes out frustrations over it all, with stormy lyricism filled with discontent. Okay, we know what we’re getting into here from this point on. “End Of The Leash” featuring Lee Reed moves with vehemence as both emcees share their disdain for inflated costs of living, both well aware there has to be a tipping point. The metaphoric take of pets on leashes is clever, as the tension builds for us all. The beat cee.reality provides here tempers the anger and suits the rappers well.
There are moments when the melancholy takes precedence though, as “Empty Shopping Carts & Broken Hearts” gives listeners clear imagery of lost individuals confined to bare streets, never finding solace or a place to rest their heads. It’s heavy, gripped with reality. But sometimes, anyone can get it and they do on “Stomp City” where Kay doesn’t call out anyone specifically but we know the kind; know-it-all rappers that awash themselves in braggadocio. It’s cee.reality’s beat though, is littered with an assortment of percussion throughout that makes the hard edges interesting. “BMX Bike Gang” though seems self-reflective as he rhymes about an array of things from riding with his homies, familial support artistically, and doing what he needed to do to rock the house. Literally. This one here is hypnotic.
Before The Dog, After Humanity is a pretty strong release filled with 13 heavy tracks. I’m here for it and curious to hear what his next release, with Factor Chandelier, will bring.