Kalik Osborne, better known under his moniker Kayo Genesis, is a progressive hip-hop artist whose craft can not only be heard but seen, acting as his own cinematographer throughout his discography. With a steady flow of fans and support throughout his short career, Kayo first caught our attention with the single “Woke” and his follow-up “Distance.” Acting as the third single off his forthcoming EP, Bad Sushi, the latest video “Cinema” not only continues the EP’s aesthetic, but shines a light upon the artist as well as an additional element to the throes of conscious hip-hop.
Produced by Tairiq and Garfield, “Cinema” immediately captures the essence of a score to an older foreign film, embodying the textures and sounds of Oriental music. Kalik’s delivery is strong as he manipulates his own flow, playfully between verses, holding back when needed as well as pulsating through ending lines with an emotive and abrasive tone. By the track’s 2nd minute, “Cinema” clings to a different beat. Slightly slower tempo than the first half, the focus is on Kalik’s words and rhythms produced by each bar. Exaggerating pronunciation adds to the laid-back scheme, ironically during Kalik’s meaningful lines of materialism and priorities; pointing out being assassinated with designer things and the women who want the men with the diamond rings.
Visually, the third installment continues the road to enlightenment, embracing cinematic lines from martial arts films. Kalik is flexing throughout, what seems similar to the likes of Little Tokyo in Los Angeles, doused in a traditional bamboo hat and attire. Featuring Anthony Jackson, Mina Huynh, and Michelle Makela as the video’s potent dancers, the video presents a visual portrayal of what “strength” and confidence looks like without disrespecting the culture. Kalik’s continuous theme to implement the Oriental customs and sounds resonates flattery, as he only has appropriated the two in a positive light. By the second half of the video, whereas the flow and tempo switches, the scenery takes a dip to a residential street, highlighting that Kalik’s ideals are now back home.
Whether Kalik sees himself on a spiritual journey, collecting fruitful insights as he returns home, his artistry seems to have slipped through the cracks. There’s profound meaning and selective time that Kalik puts into each track and video, as he begins to tell a larger tale, with what we can assume will be fully heard on his upcoming EP. Slightly resonating to the theme of Kung-Fu-Kenny, Kalik’s own direction and voice offer promising years to come for the artist.