HKB Finn dabbles in all sorts. Poetry, acting, spoken word performance, and of course rapping. You may have heard of the Son Records released 'Vitalistics', his debut solo album. He's also released material as part of the partnership 'The Humble Beez Collective', is working on an album called 'Confessions Of A Trouble Maker', and has collaborated with trumpeter Dominic Ntoumos and the UK producer Insane Macbeth.
Now come's 'Acousic Afro Hiphop', an impressive twelve track album produced entirely by Tunde Jegede, out on Alter Native Studios. This is an earthy, rootsy, atmospheric gem with many interesting soundscapes to explore and vocal tracks to digest. Certain to be appreciated by fans of Ty, much of the music is instrument based and provides a stripped down form of hip-hop which is very refreshing. The vocals and lyrics sound just as refreshing though. It's nice that for almost the entire album, Finn sticks with his natural accent rather than flirt with any other. The lyrics are all well crafted, offering a variety of topics much like the music offers a variety of vibes.
Some of the tracks are more typical hip-hop affairs, with standard format rap verses performed. Other tracks feature singing vocals and there's some almost acapella stuff for spoken word poetry to sit on. Perhaps the possible downfall of the album in some people's view will be that they're not used to simply sitting down and listening to a stretch of computer, synthesiser and electronic free music. But the album is accessible at all points and can be stopped in one place and started in another if they prefer. In saying that, it's also very impressive as one singular unit of expression.
'My Cup' opens the album and sees Finn rhyme in a bouncy flow. 'Confession (I Am)' has a finger clicking, hands clapping beat with assertive lyrics. 'Miss A Rebel' is a romantic number with a sweet flute throughout. 'Baby Love' feels like the more contemporary, radio suitable track of the bunch. 'Eponymous (Anthem)' has a cool chant of Finn's artist name and some really enjoyable light drum sounds. 'Rhythm Is Our Methods' is pretty much an instrumental and suits its name. 'Lifesaver' has some emotive guitaring which Finn talks over. It features Maya Jobarteh singing. On 'Archetype', Finn lays down some soulful vocals that he sings himself. 'What If?' has the feel of a full live band. 'Journey To The Inner' is quite jazzy with a quite hard drum beat.
The artist is far from a newjack but don't feel alienated if you don't know the backstory because this glimpse of his talents offers more than enough to make you a fan, and will likely have you checking up the older releases floating around. It's classy, and all the more so because it's the output of an independant artist yet sounds no cheaper or less enjoyable than something by someone with a juicy budget.
Check out www.hkbfinn.com for more information.