RKZ – Are You Down

Burban, Dubstep, Grime, Hip Hop, R&B, Rap, UK Asian

Score: 6.5

RKZ has a lot going for him, but there is a risk of having too much of a good thing. It sounds absurd, but he is exactly the personality type that is in danger of becoming a “jack of all trades, master of none” – that’s fine if one wants to be known as a great all-round personality, but it’s different from being a great musical all-rounder. Being an all-rounder means picking one or two aspects of music (e.g. rapping or singing), and excelling at all of the microscopic areas within it – not being merely competent at a variety of different trades (rapping/singing/dancing/directing/DJing/Presenting/writing/poetry/TV/radio). In fairness, RKZ told this very website in a wonderful interview that he is a free spirit, but there comes a time when it would be wise for him to pick a lane – he’s been around for practically 7 years now, and his genuine breakthrough moments tend to come through R&B. And “Are You Down” is further example of a mixed bag: the beat is quite superb, simultaneously banging you over the head whilst also worming into your brain; the chorus is solid; the various flows (in particular the Jay-Z one) are inventive and exciting. Yet, something is missing, a combination of the lyrics and delivery – it’s good, sure, but it’s just not good enough to grab your attention in the way that a Sam Kay or Raxstar can manage (let alone the hundreds of non-Asian rappers out there). It isn’t about trying to change RKZ – it’s about giving him a set of parameters within which he can fully express himself, because right now we are getting 65% of a variety of things, whereas we should be getting 100% of one. (Reviewed by Rahul)
Check his “Power Trippin'” EP out here.

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