Last Gang Records
Canadian rap star K-os remains a cult figure in the States, but standout singles such as 2004’s “Love Song” have had an impact, influencing artists like K’naan and Drake (who is taking K-os on his U.S. tour this spring). If you’re unfamiliar with K-os’s B-boy forays into pop-rock, soul and other musical flavors, then Yes! is a good a place to start. It doesn’t have as many good songs as his best album, Joyful Rebellion, but it has plenty of sharp tunes. On “4, 3, 2, 1,” he uses a sample from the Pharcyde’s “Soul Flower” to reminisce about hip hop back in the day. He teams with Saukrates for “I Wish I Knew Natalie Portman,” and brings Murray Lightburn from the Dears and Emily Haines from Metric for the tour story “Uptown Girl.” The sound is melodic and adventurous.