Before we go full into the excitement of 2017, let's attempt to wrap our heads around Killer Bee's latest installment: "Otaku", an emotionally-driven collection of sentimental feels and crisp beats. The artist is based out of New York City and New Jersey and has a particular knack for updating 90's hip hop classics to a raw and hazy state, making listeners absolute puppets to the feels. His last unveiling which we covered was his debut album "alone_", exploring cinematic realms of lo-fi hip hop and easily setting the backdrop to childhood memories as well as current times.
Regarding the title of his work "Otaku", Killer Bee says,
"I named the album 'Otaku' to poke fun at myself and my love for anime/Japan. It also falls in line with Lofi Hip Hop's obsession with the anime aesthetic. I always joke with my friends that I'm a step away from getting a body pillow. I also wanted to explore the stigma behind it and question its definition. I don't think people should judge each other so harshly.". As the "Otaku" stigma still hangs around, it's easily said that the Japanese culture shows an equal amount of admiration for hip hop and rap culture in the West as well. But so much more than that, Killer Bee's "Otaku" is interestingly enough a melting pot of culture in sonic form, extracting inspiration globally, but also from different points in time.
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Maybe what makes Killer Bee's work so indelible is it's familiarity presented to us in samples used, providing listeners some sort of emotional comfort. Similar to encountering an old childhood friend, there is a sense of ease found in the music, but still worlds to discover. Throughout the musical jumble, Killer Bee tactfully uses samples from everything from Easy E's tracks, an excerpt from Like Crazy, fuzzy slips of Musiq Soulchild and more.
Some of the standout works on the album include "luvsick", "swin", "irl", "under ur spell interlude" (feat. dylAn), but in all honesty, the album should be listened to as a whole, as each track's cadence seems to compliment each other. With the combination of soul music, old school hip hop, every day chatter, fly as hell drum work and the whimsical nature of the timbre, "Otaku" is a self-reflective experience. A bottomless spew of imagery accompany Killer Bee's sound, grounding us back as humans with vulnerable emotions. "Otaku" is imperfectly perfect, translating and reintroducing listeners to an array of sounds from the past in a new polished way. Download the album for free here or purchase a digital download for only $4 here. You can also follow Killer Bee on Spotify.