|Kooley High will release 'Heights'|
on Oct. 9 and will celebrate its
release on Oct. 16 at Kings Barcade
It'd be easy for acts to fall in line with the cultural trends we've seen that prove to be successful, but the acts in our scene that are gathering the most traction are those that blaze their own paths. That's why it's always exciting to hear what's to come from Kooley High. Kooley is a hip-hop collective that grew from the N.C. State cyphers and blossomed into one of the state's most established names. Former member Rapsody is swiftly becoming a household name thanks to features on tracks with Chance The Rapper and Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly, but don't for a second think that the loss of a member is slowing Kooley down at all.
"Where I'm Going," the recently release single from their forthcoming EP, Heights, proves that Kooley's sights are set forward both as a career trajectory but also musically. "Where I'm Going" is a track that highlights all of the group's finest aspects, a smooth buttery production that blends boom-bap styles with heady, jazzy J-Dilla influence and lends way to Tab-One and Charlie Smarts' lyrical acrobatics.
The thematic points of the track highlight Kooley's confidence as well as their forward-thinking attitudes. Tab opens the track with an effortless verse filled with quick rhymes and clever similes, never stuck on one pattern for too long. Guest vocalist Add-2 adds some versatility to the vocal cadence found on the track, but the lyricism shines brightest with Tab and Charlie Smarts. Smarts' verse boasts intricately arranged internal rhyme schemes that prove to be difficult to unravel without repeated listens. Voices blend together for a memorable hook that excellent summarizes the song's theme and rides along with Sinopsis' dreamy yet rhythmic production. Kooley's vibes feel reminiscent of acts like A Tribe Called Quest, but don't rely on a nostalgic factor to get attention, rather they feel like a call-back to these early hip-hop pioneers and elegantly maneuver their way into a modern-day context. Heights is released on Oct. 9th and the group will celebrate their EP release with a show at Kings Barcade on Oct. 16th. Check out the track below: