Kwame - Please, Get Home Safe. (REVIEW)
Updated: Nov 8, 2021
On an Instagram live published in the early hours of Friday morning, Kwame, post-performing, spoke on the release of ‘Please, Get Home Safe’. The Sydney hip-hop star made clear the need to simply sit down by oneself and absorb the EP’s 30-minute runtime. With the knowledge that I was heading to his live album showing that night I listened to the EP twice through prior to going out.
This would be the final show of six across three nights for Kwame, who was being supported by regular collaborator Phil Fresh.
What I experienced, across listens by myself and in an intimate crowd at one of Sydney’s oldest homes for live music, the Lansdowne Hotel, was a masterful and mature step in a brilliant direction for an artist who is barely half a decade in to his career.
'NOBODY' ft E^ST
Released late in 2019, ‘NOBODY’ is the triumphant start needed for such a glorious full release. The angelic harmonisation and echoey synths that build in to Kwame’s breakdown midway are an emphatic prelude to what is a powerful flow switch-up. E^ST serves as a magnificent feature on a track that sees Kwame telling us there’s nothing that’s going to avert his ambition.
'STOP KNOCKIN’ @ MY DOOR!'
Without a doubt, this has to be my favourite sample on the album. Taken from Ann Peebles’ ‘Trouble, Heartaches and Sadness’, the sample blends wonderfully with Kwame’s natural rap delivery. The track is a reassurance for oneself to steer away the negativity and thoughts that can weigh you down in the pursuit of your goals.
'AIN’T SO' ft Arno Faraji
Written and put-together in one studio session, ‘AIN’T SO’ is confidently the hype track of the album. The menacing instrumental on this catches your attention immediately, serving as the platform for Kwame and Perth native Arno Faraji to spit their bars. Faraji is perfectly suited to this track, offering a tight, badass verse that leaves you hitting replay again and again.
'TOMMY’S IN TROUBLE' ft CLYPSO & Phil Fresh
‘TOMMY’S IN TROUBLE’ is something special. Immediately its piercing synths and eclectic, ominous energy reel you in as CLYPSO offers up a wonderfully unsettling refrain and powerful verse. Kwame experiments with the production throughout to great success, adding an empathic electric guitar late on as he and Phil Fresh trade verses, conveying an obvious rapport that brings a smile to your face.
‘GLORY’ represents love and warmth. A song like this radiates with therapeutic energy, basking the listener in a blanket of positivity and empathy. Through ‘GLORY’, Kwame simply wants to reflect that one’s struggle is not ever-lasting and that it doesn’t determine who they are. The track’s inclusion of a choir, made up of talented Sydney-based singers such as Kymie and Maxine, is the icing on the cake.
'WE CAN BE'
‘WE CAN BE’ is a declaration of empowerment. The beautiful chorus evokes a thought about the power of humanity as a collective. Regular Kwame collaborator, Nikos Haropoulos-Smallman, contributes with stunningly diverse work on the keys throughout the project, but on ‘WE CAN BE’ he keeps it simple and powerful. A wonderful ending track which continues to test the boundaries sonically.
Kwame makes music to ensure that the listener feels good. In the same way Kanye West’s music is created to make you feel good, (even when the subject matter is a lot darker in tone) Kwame knows how to put together a track that will leave you feeling all sorts of emotions.
'Please, Get Home Safe.' reflects the idea that in order to heal others around you, you need to be at one with yourself first. The first four tracks evoke the internal struggles of Kwame in his effort to defiantly stand against the negativity and self-doubt he feels. By comparison, ‘GLORY’ & ‘WE CAN BE’ sees Kwame seeking to empower the listener in order to inspire them. Both Nikos Haropoulos-Smallman and regular Kwame engineer Xiro contribute to the vocals on ‘WE CAN BE’. A multi-instrumentalist and producer, Xiro’s work is sighted all throughout the project from the impressive guitar work to the instinctive production. At Kwame’s live show, he cited ‘WE CAN BE’ as the track he is most proud of and satisfied with in his discography. If that isn’t enough to get you to listen to it, I don’t know what is.
Originally published November 4th, 2020.