NEW RELEASE | Kashmere Don- Once Upon A Time


New music from Rappers I Know affiliate Kashmere Don ( f.k.a. D.Rose) who delivers confident finesse and intelligent wordplay on his latest project Once Upon A Time. Working strictly with one trackmaster for this project ( producer E. Ross ), Don is able to build a pack of focused sound pieces that tap into something deeper, bluesier, and more mature than what many of his rap peers are offering today. Don’t let me be misunderstood.. this isn’t some one-dimensional, fist waving,”get-off-my-lawn-you-skinny-jeans-wearing-punks” vitriol spilling. Instead, Once Upon A Time –from its southern-soul steeped production to its vivid and uncomplicated lyricism–feels like listening to the thoughts of a seasoned vet as he watches and observes the world running through its cycles. After a heartfelt and genuinely compelling poetry opening from The Hue‘s Khimmie “Spacebunny”  Jefferson on the track “Khimtro”Kashmere launches into a trio of tracks that are titled after three no-so widely known vocalists (Bettye LavetteWillie Hutch and Charles Aznavour) whose work E. Ross rearranges into well layered, modern beats filtered through a dusty, 70’s styled filter. On “Betty” the duo creates a bluesy funk cut that’s a slow burning head-nodder on the surface and a moody bit of self-examination upon deeper listening. The follow-up track is a brassy, sunlit celebration called “Hutch” that promotes the virtues and fruits of having an unrelenting drive and hustle. And though this mid-album anthem isn’t strictly about that “blue-collar life”, it’s messages feel a lot more approachable than those being hurled by the “Coke & Bugattis” set. The descending half of the EP features the simply titled “Charles” and the aptly titled “The Corner”, both of which play out like steely reports from a week in the life of D. On deck are vivid images of hustlin’ & scramblin’, survival, stress, betrayal, and other “everyday life on the block” moments from the vantage point of a man who knows. The closing cut is a slick, spoken-word piece, called “You Are“, performed by Kashmere himself and dedicated to the beauty and grace that is the black woman. Or, to describe it another way:  the sort of track that will always be a welcomed addition to any album in my collection. Altogether, Once Upon A Time is a standout set not only because of its intricate lyricism and soulful production, but also because of its singularly self-assured tone and energy. Dope work from the Kashmere Don and producer E. Ross. 



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