Album Review by Mogalakane Bodila
Album: Born to Rule
Artist: Khari Kill
Label: I Dwell
Born to rule by Khari Kill reflects the depth of his faith in Rastafari. The entire album has a strong ceremonial undertone and what is apparent in his music is a deep connection to the rich historical and cultural legacy of Ethiopia, coupled with his love for Haile Selassie I and the teachings of the Orthodox Tewahedo church.
On the 13 tracks that constitute his latest project, Khari Kill’s silvery voice and piercing chants can be heard over the heavy productions of Jack Riddim (I Dwell records) whose music is distinguishable by its warm and roomy ambience. Khari Kill’s latest offering was released in 2013 and was preceded by an album entitled ‘Picture of Selassie’ which was also the name of his hit single on the ‘Truth and Rights Riddim’ (Massive B Records).
The title track, ‘Born to rule’, is a passionate 4 and a half minute drill in Ethiopian history and is also about the divinity of Emperor Haile Selassie. Among other potent messages to be heard on this album are calls for the end of gun violence amongst the youth and an appeal to women to hold onto their integrity despite a thriving popular culture which encourages the opposite. There are re-occurring testimonials throughout the set about the pivotal role played by Rastafari in Khari Kill’s life which make the picture on the album cover (painted by Khari Kill) an appropriate visual representation of what can be heard on the album.
Jack Riddim has also produced music for artists such as Capleton, Toussaint, Lymie Murray and Pressure. On this album he skilfully blends the shuffling jabs of the drums with the whining guitars, a haunting horn section and Khari Kill’s energy-charged mantras. His use of effects gives the songs a dynamic quality; the elements in the music seem to rush out of the speaker, surround or ambush the listener and construct a large ‘room’ around them. The quality of musicianship on the project is well worth appreciating.
Check out the exclusive interview with Khari Kill for MzansiReggae.
The album is available on iTunes and all major music sites.
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