New York's Pro Era rap crew built a reputation for themselves as golden era revivalists, but as they've grown older and shared more music they've been able to add to their tool kit. Kirk Knight's upcoming debut album Late Knight Special, which is out October 30 through Pro Era and Cinematic, is the boldest venture into new territory from the collective yet. Working in rich intstrumental textures—mostly Knight's own production, with a few assists from Mick Jenkins pals ThemPeoples—it's an album with considerable depth, one that feels both totally contemporary and disconnected from any specific period in time. It's just good music.
Among the highlights and more timeless-sounding moments on the album is the song "Dead Friends," which enlists Chicago rapper Noname Gypsy and instrumental wizard Thundercat, who's in the midst of his own banner year. Knight turns pensive, singing "every time I feel alive I think about dead friends" and reflecting on his own path away from violence, while Noname Gypsy offers up one of her typically dense, calming, referential verses and Thundercat closes everything out with a searing guitar solo. It's heavy stuff, but it's also hopeful, and it's damn good. Check it out below and pick it up for free on iTunes tomorrow with a pre-order of the album.
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