On Monday, January 19, Kota the Friend put out the latest installment of his “Lyrics to Go” series. Lyrics to GO, Vol. 2 is chock full of quotes and easy listening beats that make it easy to get lost in the music. The project differs from Kota’s more traditional offerings like last year’s Everything or 2019’s Foto. However, the differences are what makes this series special. Kota just loves to rap and Vol. 2 only accentuates that.
Lyrics to GO, Vol.2 is a brisk 15 minutes and 22 seconds of the young emcee spitting about everything from Luke Cage to “Hidin’ out in Santa Barbara” to lovin’ where you’re at in life. Each beat on the album was taken from “Kota the Friend type beats” on Youtube and every song is less than 2 minutes. Do not mistake the brevity for a lack of content though. Kota is one of the most uplifting, positive and talented artists in Hip Hop currently. As his career has progressed, his lyrics and wisdom seem to grow with him and it’s highlighted on this project. Below we’ll look at some of Kota’s most poignant lines from Lyrics to GO, Vol. 2 and discuss the release as a whole.
1. Clinton Hill
“And pullin’ up in a Benz and steppin’ out with the steez
Elevatin’ to somethin’ they said I would never be“
2. Luke Cage
“I think I’m finishin’ the chapter, ’bout to flip to a new page
People fightin’ nature, talking ’bout, ‘I don’t do change‘”
3. 200 Dollars
“Tryna control the drama and damage I’ve done
I find it tougher to juggle dollars and family love
I used to look into the mirror, like, ‘I can’t be a bum‘”
“Make your apologies when you at the top of your game
And give ’em properly, bow, offer it, walk away“
“I’m still focused, fuck if I feel broken
Created everything from the darkness, I still wrote it
I still wear my heart on my shoulder
I’m still hopin’ for the best, I’m still awake when I rest“
6. Living Room
“Lookin’ at the past got me feelin’ like I’m mad blessed“
7. Emotionally Dumb
“Boy, I fuck up everyday hurtin’ people that I love
‘Cause I can’t communicate, it’s the way that I came up
I internalize the bad and it’s hard for me to trust
I got narcissistic qualities, I hear I’m out of touch“
8. Santa Barbara
“I be unavailable, people don’t know where I’m at
Doin’ what I’m here to do, livin’, fuckin’ sharing raps
Say that I want happiness but it seem like I’m scared of that
She say she in love with me but I ain’t really hearin’ that“
“Don’t believe in idols, I think you find the answers inside you“
“I recently been talkin’ to myself like I’m enough
Like fuck ’em if they feel like you ain’t worth it
Swimmin’ in this shallow water, skimmin’ on the surface
I just keep it movin’, keep on walkin’ in my purpose“
We know what we’re going to get with Kota on each release. He gives us top tier lyricism over chill, laid backbeats. He’s accessible to everyone in the way he spits about real-life problems and successes. Even though each song clocks in under 2 minutes, Kota still manages to impart a message on every track. Each of the quotes above is a life lesson that you can take with you (à la “lyrics to go”). Music like this is important in the way it inspires us and also helps us to realize we aren’t alone in our struggles. For that, I’ll always love hearing new Kota the Friend music.
Kota is primed for a breakout this year. In 2021, he’s scheduled to release a “secret” collab album, a follow-up to Everything as well as this recent installment of Lyrics to Go. It’s refreshing to listen to a rapper of Kota’s caliber in the way he spits but also because he stays true to his word. It’s easy to believe that Kota will follow through on all of his lofty promises because so far, he has done just that.
However, if this is your first experience with Kota, you should probably go back through the rest of his catalog. Anything, FOTO and Everything are all full-length projects that any Hip Hop fan will love. While people who enjoy straight bars will love the Lyrics to Go series. New listeners might find volumes 1 and 2 too short. Those criticisms would be warranted but that’s why I implore you to look deeper into his catalog. Kota is a top tier emcee and Lyrics to GO, Vol.2 only further cements that fact when seen within his catalog as a whole.