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Kae Sun is a songwriter whose work transcends contemporary definitions and exists in a realm of its own. A poetic observer of the human experience, his music is designed to touch without suffocating the listener with faux illusions of authenticity or grandeur. Instead he turns his observations into questions, engaging his generation in debate over direction and thoughts on tomorrow. His love songs are both passionate and beautiful, delivered with the sincerity of an old soul.

The mostly self produced Lion on a Leash is a collection of heartfelt, well written songs that successfully combine elements of hip-hop, roots reggae and soul. He also adds elements of afro-funk, influenced by his Ghanaian upbringing. This combination gives him the freedom afforded the likes of K-os and Q-tip to tell his story in different shades without being beholden to one color. The production is simple, raw and sometimes rough.

While he shines as an MC, he does occasionally suffer from overly ambitious lyricism, trying to jam pack words into spaces where they don’t necessarily fit. As a singer he conveys his passion in a manner reminiscent of early singer/songwriters.

To put out something this good early in his career speaks to his long term potential. A definite must hear for heads looking for diversity in their hip-hop. Stand out joints include “Too Young, Too Soon,” “A Day Goes By,” “How Long” and “Jungle Law.”

Enjoyable and definitely worth checking out.

-Enyi Emesih

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