By Alex P80 Parks
In 2018, Brooklyn emcee Eddie Kaine gave us what seemed to be a mixtape ahead of its time, the aptly titled 2k19. This 13-track effort showed his prowess for creative wordplay, a relaxed, yet focused flow and some dope references throughout. Since then, He’s blessed us with a couple videos, some guest features and has worked hard to craft his true debut. Kaino makes a strong statement with Aruku (Walk). He calls on some of the underground’s most consistent, up-and-coming producers and a few select features, including The Walkers collective, some fellow BK cats and a couple close associates, to create the soundscape for his real introduction into the game.
Eddie Kaine: ““This Album ‘Aruku’ means walk in Japanese. It’s basically a representation of me walking on every beat. I want the people to know I just wanted to give people an all around dope album but still give them an introduction of who I am. ”
“You Wouldn’t Understand” Producer duo The Standouts produced this bluesy organ and guitar-fueled loop as Eddie is clearly serious about his lyrics, with a confident and direct approach on the mic. On “By Any Means“, The Standouts move away from their signature soulful loops to a more sinister street vibe as Eddie brings his smooth delivery while Rome drops another effortless verse. The video shows Eddie Kaine and Rome Streetz in various spots across the Brooklyn nightscape, posted up, burnin in the hallway, flexing some heavy bar work.
Check the video here:
“What I Do” feat Rim finds both BK emcees bouncing flows over this fun, summertime vibe with a touch of nostalgia, courtesy of Wavy Da Ghawd. Rim brings his veteran presence with his unique cadence and rasta influences, complementing Eddie’s harmonies on the hook. On “Everything’s a Go” Wavy flips and chops a well-tread sample as Eddie releases a flurry of lyrics, clearly having some fun on this one. “The Illest” reunites Eddie and Spoda, this time over a Don Carrera beat. The crackly loop and murky vibe set the scene for Kaino and Spo to pull the ski masks up for some nighttime endeavors.
The Standouts lay a playful, soft vocal sample on “Tied Up” Feat Bub Rock, which shows off Eddie’s range again with more harmonizing on the hook. Bub brings his lyrical depth while Eddie stays in his smooth pocket here. Both emcees tiptoe across the beat on this one, Bub with deft moves and Eddie with a smooth sway. On “You Know” Wavy Da Ghawd crafts an uptempo track, looping up a quirky, frenzied guitar riff as Eddie spits:
“All in the hood I’m boutta roll up
Not so big you can’t fold up
Been that guy, I got it sewn up
‘Just go hard’, what n***as told us
This rap shit made me a monster
This street shit, one of my sponsors
I does this, I got the vouchers
I ain’t never rocked with slouches
Just the n***as that bubble ounces and fuck up couches..”
“Terrible 2” Feat Ty Farris, Wavy delivers a bubbling flute loop and stuttering dusty drums as Eddie brings a hype, energetic verse followed by Ty’s focused and technical rhymes. The euphoric, gentle melody on “Smoke Break” Feat K.Burns, produced by The Heretic is fitting for the intended vibe of the track. Eddie closes out Aruku with the poignant and profound “Grew Fast.” Don Carrera crafts a smooth and delicate beat with synths, strings and a slightly funky bassline. Eddie opens up here, showing some self-awareness, discussing becoming a man and covering more personal topics.
Aruku flexes Eddie’s versatility as an emcee who can write on some different topics over well-constructed beats. His lyrics provide enough to stop and think about and a few to run back too with some “oh shit!” moments. Kaino really has shown that he can stand along with some of his peers with a strong showing like this. Add his vocal talent to sing on a few joints and he’s different enough to move from the pack. It certainly seems that Eddie Kaine is capable and set to be around for awhile, making some quality HipHop.
Cop the album here: