We first heard from Kassius Withakay last year, upon the release of his debut EP “The Storyteller, Vol. 1.” That record introduced a gifted emcee from Manchester, U.K. with a knack for writing deeply personal narratives on some weighty subjects. Through the course of the record’s 11 tracks he covers a broad spectrum of issues including drug addiction, mental health and religion.
With a lyrical flow and production style inspired by the Golden Era of 90’s Hip-hop, Kassius drops real life stories over laid-back Boombap grooves. On ‘Vol 1,’ those true tales were based on his experiences. Although the album touched on some spiritual matters, it was a largely secular work as the singer dealt with his own issues with mental health and addiction. On his latest record the rapper tells very different tales from a decidedly religious perspective.
“The Storyteller, Vol. 2” is the brand new EP from Kassius Withakay, released worldwide to all major streaming services on February 7, 2022. The six-song collection is a concept EP, on which the rapper pairs his formidable skills as an emcee with the words of scripture.
The record opens with the appropriately titled “Intro.” Kassius introduces himself and his intent. Amid tales of his own storied path he explains that what follows are four selected biblical passages, two Old Testament and two New Testament. The track rides on a great Jazz-infused bass and sax groove.
“Genesis” tells the historically and spiritually pivotal tale of Abraham. Kassius covers Abraham’s early failings and the painful choice he must make between two sons. Continuing the Jazz-hop vibe set forth in the intro, the rapper follows the story through the covenant and on to the prophet’s progeny.
“Exodus” takes us on a trip through the desert set to a cool 60’s Soul groove. An ensemble including bass, flute and electric piano ride a bluesy riff over an old-school breakbeat. Meanwhile, Kassius tells the story of Moses, from his humble beginnings to his fateful trip out of Egypt.
“Acts, Pt. 1” and “Acts, Pt.2” take the story forward a few centuries, telling of events shortly following the crucifixion of Jesus. ‘Pt. 1’ rolls on a slow Reggae-infused Hip-hop groove. Lyrically both songs take a Hamilton-style first-person lyrical perspective. First Kassius imagines what Christ may have rapped to the Apostles. Then on ‘Pt. 2’ he raps from the perspective of the martyr St. Stephen over a Japanese Koto Jazz-hop beat.
The record closes on “Outro,” a soulful R&B slow jam set to a downtempo beat. The song starts as a letter to Kassius’ crush, used here as a metaphor for all of his fans. The one-take freestyle then flows smoothly through a number of subjects and personal testimonials.
Check out “The Storyteller, Pt. 2” in its entirety below, or listen on your favorite streaming service. You can also hear the song “Outro” on the Deep Indie Beat playlist. Follow the links below to connect with Kassius Withakay. Get on his socials and join the multifaceted young artist on this new phase of his journey.