Kwamé

Kwamé the Boy Genius: Featuring a New Beginning

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Kwamé's debut album, Kwamé the Boy Genius: Featuring a New Beginning, is an all-too-brief affair, clocking in at just over half an hour. Although it makes no explicit connection, it's a perfect fit with the Daisy Age revolution being spearheaded by De La Soul around the same time. Positive vibes and offbeat humor abound, and even if producer Hurby "Luv Bug" Azor is no Prince Paul, the music is bright, appealing, and funky. Despite a load of goofy boasts and disses, and an occasional reference to his Islamic faith, Kwamé doesn't take himself too seriously, and he keeps things upbeat and genial the whole way through. The album's centerpiece is the freewheeling narrative "The Man We All Know and Love," which quotes songs from Sesame Street, Louis Jordan, and Minnie Riperton (among others) as Kwamé seduces one of his mother's friends and then thinks better of it. It's proof that Kwamé is a sorely neglected figure today, even among fans of playful, intellectual hip-hop.

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