Pop and hip-hop rhythms meet reggae vibes and gospel lyrics on Hoka, an uplifting and philosophy-filled LP where the average lyric goes as deep as "The more I understand about the human race/The less I understand about our purpose and place." For Nahko and his band, think Michael Franti and Spearhead but through the lens of a man who's been a victim of human trafficking and was raised white, only to learn of his Apache heritage later in life. Heavy numbers like "The Wolves Have Returned" reveal that these scars run deep, but uplift is all there is to be found on "Love Letters to God," which Darius Rucker could pick up, while the cool rocker "We Are on Time" is Dave Matthews Band worthy. Add Hawaiian elements and Nanko's cutting raps and there's almost too much to consume, but the tangled and bewildering Hoka is also dazzling and unclassifiable.
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries
feat: Zella Day