Lo-fi rapper Kota the Friend returns with a second release in “Lyrics to Go” series


Leo Gilad

Chronicle Reporter

The first installment of Kota’s “Lyrics to Go” series was the perfect Kota release. His style has always been more suited to the short-form, where he can make his point quickly and move on. The sunlit lo-fi hip-hop instrumentals can often drag on if left unattended, a fate that befell much of his more extensive releases, like “FOTO”. 

That’s not the case, here. Kota’s lyricism is direct. He doesn’t bother much with any of the literary knick knacks, instead opting for blunt appreciation or critique of his fans or his naysayers, respectfully. He’s a staunchly independent artist, having built his career from the ground up without any label diluting his art or pushing him into the mainstream. He’s got a cult following due to his own efforts, and he wants you to know it.

Kota often preaches taking joy in the simple things. He’s a simple man. All he needs is love, music, and freedom. His music is reflective of that. It never sounds particularly heavy, even if the subject matter might be. Kota knows how to find levity in anything, and his lax, casual delivery is well-equipped to address sadness without any baggage to be found.

Every rapper, deep down, wants to be Kota. He owes no share of his revenue to any suits, and he does exactly what he wants to do. His art is made on his terms. The second installment of “Lyrics to Go” isn’t anything spectacular. But it is a satisfying, brisk listen that makes you crave more.

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