Chicago has enjoyed a decade of music coming from the inner-city kids that grew up surrounded by violence and discrimination. Some have approached it with cynicism, while others have tried to add some light where there’s already too much darkness. K’Valentine falls in with the latter, spinning a positive vibe and “we can do it” attitude in her lyrics.
Thankfully, K’Valentine doesn’t use as much of the drill production that plagues so much of Chicago’s rap scene. It pops up here and there, but it’s used wisely. Instead of coming off like every other local rapper, she shoots for fresh sounds that draw you in rather than blending in with everything else.
Signed to Javotti a few years ago, Here For A Reason is K’Valentine’s first full-length LP after a series of mix tapes. She does her best to make her reasons clear, and after just a couple tracks I think you’ll see how she’s earned her spot on such an impressive roster.
K is trying to become the latest female to gain notoriety out of Chicago, with Tink and Noname being a couple of the more famous to achieve some fame. I’d put her skills above theirs, and the potential for greatness is certainly there. She has a great ear for melody and a flow dripping with confidence and knowledge of craft.
The track that really made itself stand above the others is “Atlanta.” It’s only negative is the intor featuring a voicemail returning a missed call. It’s a bit muffled and doesn’t add anything to the feeling of the song, which is one of deep love and yearning. She plays with tempo and bounces between rapping and singing, performing both solidly with ease.
Here For A Reason is a great introduction to a rising talent. If you’re a fan of rap and hip-hop, you’ll want to get on the K’Valentine bandwagon before she blows up. Talib Kweli has her opening his current run of shows, which stops in Chicago on Thursday February 2 at Metro.
The album is currently without release date, but should be out relatively soon.