Kaydee is a Toronto born rapper who bristles at the notion of being ‘the next Drake’. Ever since the discovery of the Canadian Rn’B artist, marketing vultures in the music industry have been circling overhead to find any and all Drake-a-likes. Kaydee and his debut album The Transition is as far away from Drake as is possible to get.
This album is a laid back take of old school Hip Hop. It is fair to say that Kaydee treats each song as though it is its own entity, rather than bricks that make up a whole. This is especially evident given that nearly every song on the 21 track album has a different producer. This has the effect of making the record sound like a compilation tape, or some sort of excessively premature ‘Best Of’ mixture.
Kaydee is dismissive of rappers and hip hop artists who endeavour to produce poppy crossover tunes, which will appeal to the broadest audience possible. This, Kaydee insists, is nothing but a marketing ploy. He is not a man burdened by modesty. He has said in a statement:
“From what I have been told by people who have heard it, it is the best rap release from a Toronto artist this year, and one of the strongest rap releases this year; period. Personally, I stand behind these comments…”
The second track ‘I am Legend’ (produced by Rich Kidd) laments the proliferation of mainstream rappers who are moving backwards and living in the past. ‘Make way for new Legends’ is the thrust of the tune, coupled with a sincere desire for artists to stop chasing ‘money and fame’, as is the wont for so many new wave rappers. Artistry is secondary to success it seems, for much of his contemporaries (Kanye, consider yourself told!). This sentiment is reinforced later on when the guest singer (Unnamed) insists ‘Fuck the money and the Fame: I wanna be a Legend’.
The album continues with stories of his childhood and adolescence in which Kaydee laments the loss of ambition and talent due to the lure of recreational drugs and limited prospects for disenfranchised youth in Toronto. There is also of course the ubiquitous few tracks about the opposite sex, which surprises by being only mildly sexist. Apparently choosing not to pester a woman in a bar is worthy of the highest of praise while still peppering the lyrics with ‘bitches’ and giving graphic descriptions of female anatomy. ‘Tracy McGrady’ tells the tale of Kaydee’s early dream to become a basketball star before a knee injury thwarted his ambition.
The Transition proves to be a sedate, sincere and surprisingly laid-back debut album. The unobtrusive percussion, paired with muted keyboards give the thoughtful lyricist centre stage. The sound clips and film clips at the beginning of each song can get very tiresome, however apt they may be. Kaydee is unlikely to be played in clubs, or featured on playlists. This is an artist of the more thoughtful variety. The Transition does exactly what Kaydee intended: it tells his story, from childhood to the present. While it may not become a classic Hip Hop album, Kaydee is comfortable to carve out his own path with his debut release.