Album Review: Kid X - Father Of Zen

Album Review: Kid X - Father Of Zen

Lesego Komane

Kid X has been one of the artists whose music is enjoyed and vibed to for the past decade. 

With the influx of music drops that flood the internet every week, it is sometimes hard to keep abreast and lock in to vibe with a solid project. The streaming platforms have somewhat watered down the consumption of music from an album perspective; due to projects having a shelf life span of two weeks maximum before the next artist drops a single that catches the masses' attention. Gone are the days when one would anticipate an album for months before getting their hands on it, nowadays it's instantaneous for an artist to share a body of work or a measly single track that holds weight...but... that's a topic for another day!

Not to say this review will be biased because of  being a staunch fan but I will say that he is undoubtedly one of the artists that I connect with on a music level. When X first caught my ear, it was on a freestyle he dropped during the Siz N Scoop era; back then he was a ferocious spitter whose command of the English language was second to none, in my opinion...

 



Since then, I have watched his rise and growth in music from a distance, albeit in awe, to say the least. He went from dropping fire 16s to becoming a fully fledged musician with a multilingual catalogue of hits. His journey in the industry is a stand alone written piece on its own. One day I'll do best.

"I usually dumb it down just to get a loaf of bread, but today, it's business as usual... I'm going overheads..." - Kid X ( on his 2016 departing track  from Cashtime Life).

With 3 commercial releases under his belt, Kid X has had a run that most of his peers can only dream of. The Sama Award winning rapper is cruising comfortably in his own lane and his shine glimmers from afar. One thing that cannot be taken away from X (real name Bonginkosi Mahlangu) is his effortless affinity for his native Ndebele Roots. He blends African sounds with his heritage and urban ebonics vocabulary; creating an eclectic hip hop sound like only he can.

 



Father of Zen is probably Kid X's best work to date, as I mentioned before, he is in his own lane! The sound is easy on the ear when necessary and also hard hitting when befitting. Every song on the album serves as a prelude that seamlessly segues into one cohesive musical project.

On the opening track 'The Cure' X assumes a Sniper rifle scope standpoint, immediately firing a barrage of covert hollow point rhyme slugs that require open mind surgery; meaning he annihilates any doubt you might have about his lyrical prowess. Kid X's rhymes lay precisely on the suspended chords and what comes out of the speakers is both audible and crystal clear. 'Jukebox' which features former Cashtime Life label mate, Moozlie, is a certified hit; with the two reprising their musical chemistry on a banging feel good Kwaito beat. 'Hayi Kancane' is a trap jam on which X does lyrical back flips the only way he knows best. Next up is 'Umraro', a personal favourite of mine; on this one X enlists the immaculate talents of Lilow NTK, Thokozani Kabini and Mas'lela. Kid X loves his Ndebele culture and his melodic take on this one calls for ethnic celebrations.

Other notable tracks to look out for include 'Do Better' (featuring Solo Ntsizwa Ka Mthimkhulu), 'African Woman', 'Pot of Gold' (featuring Nirvana Nokwe), 'Vuk' Esofeni', 'Umndeni', 'Zen' and 'DMD' ( featuring Ntunja and Given Zulu).

One joint I want to personally highlight is 'Open Sesame', the 6:19 finishing touch on this flawless project. Kid X flexes on a different level and you'll have to listen to it to get where I'm coming from...

I will say that the Kid has the best rap album in the country this year (2021)❗