The notion of the ‘auteur’ in music has become a rare one these days. What with farmed-out production processes, armies of session players, and litanies of patchwork collaborations, it is becoming more and more scarce to find a record that is the unfiltered expression of a single individual. Yet, with the release of Kojey Radical’s In God’s Body this September, it felt like the spoken word poet and rapper had succeeded in creating a direct imprint of his creative psyche, each track marked with his lyrical insight and gravelly tone.
Accompanying single releases ‘700 Pennies’ and ‘After Winter’ with striking videos of violence, introspection and ecstatic revelation, Radical has shown himself to be more than just a sonic storyteller but a visual one also, and one concerned with personal truths. It is these personal truths that resonate so deeply with Radical’s fans – who refer to him as ‘King’ – and who packed out his Wednesday night headline spot at Village Underground.
Bursting onto the stage with a live accompaniment of drums, keys, guitar, and a DJ, Radical held the crowd’s attention throughout his 90-minute set, alternating between spoken word acapella, trap-influenced beats and sultry R&B hooks. With frantic energy as the prevailing atmosphere, he charged through singalong sections of ‘700 Pennies’, as well as a live rewind for ‘Windows’ featuring a machine gun rattle of toms and the distorted guitar screeches.
Read the rest of the review in London in Stereo.
[This piece was published on 27/10/17]