For 19, Kweku Collins possesses a sense of wisdom some wait their whole lives to find. On Nat Love, he harnesses that wisdom into 11 tracks that sometimes make you happy, sometimes sad, sometimes angry, but always introspective. Often with a calm demeanor, Kweku doesn’t set limits on the social and personal issues that become the themes of his music. Throughout Nat Love, he drifts between songs about social injustice, falling out of and being in love, and making sure everything is right in the world at the end of the day. By and large, it’s some of the most intellectual and thought provoking hip-hop I’ve heard come from a 19 year old.
As a member of Chicago indie hip-hop label Closed Sessions, Kweku has been able to put all the energy into his music he’s desired to since he first started rapping in high school. Just months before his high school graduation, he committed himself to being the newest prospect of Closed Sessions, who split with their first main project Alex Wiley this past summer. With Alex Fruchter running the show and Mike Kolar helping craft the music, all Kweku had to do for Nat Love was focus on the music.
On “Ego Killed Romance” featuring fellow Closed Sessions artist Jamila Woods, Kweku creates an almost cosmic vibe that clicks with the songs message about ego and “reaching for the stars”, so to speak. It’s here where you realize that Kweku connects with us through his lyrics and singing-prone style, but also in his production. The second time I said “wow” while listening to this album was when I saw it was almost entirely produced by Kweku himself (with just one song produced by Closed Sessions artist OddCouple). But maybe that’s why Nat Love sounds so seamless? The disconnect with writing intellectual lyrics over someone else’s music can’t water down the end overall goal with a track. In Kweku’s case, he never has to worry about not making his point, because he’s often times crafting the whole track at once. No other minds to influence it’s direction, just his.
Kweku Collins headlines Reggie’s Rock Club TONIGHT with Qari and Ric Wilson. You can still scoop tickets right here. I’ll definitely be there.