KayCee Shakur first stepped on the music scene in 2018 with her first single, “Slide”. Since then, she has managed to grab and retain the attention of listeners with her slick lyrics laced in sweet, sensual, and soothing vocals. After a three-year hiatus, the Chicagoan R&B singer has released a new LP, Nu Moon. The title, NuMoon, is a play on the moon’s phases. When the moon is in its new phase, it is in conjunction with the sun and invisible from the earth. New moons are known to signify a new beginning, a fresh start. For the singer, the last few years have been a period of growth and reflection; death and rebirth. Speaking on the title of the project and what it means to her, she says, “I desire to be more like the moon; I want to be able to recognize what I need to change so I can recreate myself when necessary.”
The 13-track album is made up of: an intro, two interludes, and a blend of short and long bops. From start to finish, Shakur leads listeners to experience a variety of feelings. The new project (when compared to her previous albums) is very instrumental and raunchy. She begins “IDK Yet” by saying: “This is not a love song, this is a fuck song” over smooth guitar riffs. Meanwhile, another standout is the jazzy, soulful, and soothing “Whew Chile.” She breaks down the different elements on each song for EARMILK in her own words. Listen to the LP below, and read along to kayCee Shakur’s track by track breakdown.
I feel like this phrase has been a constant in my life the past 3 years. The Virgo in me causes me to put worlds of pressure on myself and as an artist I’m naturally harder on myself than others. That pressure causes me to go into hermit mode which allows me to place intense focus on what it is that I want and how I want to get it. It’s a gift and a curse, still trying to find the balance of zoning in without disappearing. Where’s KayCee is just an echo of the past 2 years.
“Wasted” is the ideal follow up because it just feels good! I wanted the 1st song to be bright and vivid. This song is just a collection of random thoughts said out loud, and it sounds like a summer day. This joint is definitely a mood song, let it brighten up your day!
You Know You Do
You know when 1st meet someone and you love everything about them, even the things you’d typically hate? Yeah, that’s what’s going on here, it’s that bending over backwards, always together, can’t do no wrong type of thing. This song is about admiring a new love and planning your entire future together in the 1st 2 weeks. I love, love can you tell?
This one is part fantasy part reality, it’s really a daydream with a melody. The lyrics speak of an ideal life like the ones we see on Instagram (laughs). It’s funny that that’s where modern day fairytales reside right? There’s a point in the song where I say “ok I’m lying” which is representative of the massive amount of deception we encounter on a daily scroll through social media. It’s served as a reminder to be authentic even through the flex.
A Valid Point
Spoken from my manager, Valerie ‘Valid’ Harris, this is an echo of a few people who helped me get out of my own way, and let go of the idea of perfection. It was heart to hearts like this that gave me the confidence to dive back into music after such an extensive break.
“Whole Fools” is such a current mood song for me. It outlines the meditative state I’ve been in, staying to myself, bettering myself, and just trying to remain cool. I think the theme of self work makes it one of the more relatable tracks on the project. I love how confident I am that no one can knock me off my square on this one, it’s the “don’t get hopeful” for me because people really find joy in reverting your progress but you a whole fool if you think I’m gonna let you get under my skin. Not today!
“IDK Yet.” Is one of my favorites because it’s probably the most collaborative song I’ve done to date. I write all of my songs so it’s always dope to bring other artists in to add something different to the track. Matty Wood$ came through and matched the energy but still provided an element of newness for my regular listeners. I also added layers of background vocals performed by artist Lassai, which makes this track a real standout. It’s a really beautiful fuck song, that’s the best way to describe it.
“Whatever” is actually affirmation for myself. I’ve been working on being more like water, beating able to go with the flow. I always tell people I was a very serious child, I spent Saturday mornings on the phone discussing politics as a child, literally. In my adult life I’m making it a point to be more carefree, more yes’ less no’s. I’m really about whatever these days and I must say, it makes for better memories.
Mental health is something I talk about often in music, it’s almost like I’m updating the listeners of where I’m at mentally, like a mental check-in. I wrote this song when dealing with some resurfaced trauma I thought I was over, but the thing about doing the work is the work is never really done. So when I ask “where the fuck are you going” that’s a reminder that somethings you just can’t run from. Deal with it.
“Spell Book” is really a song about cord cutting. Sometimes we’re really ready to done with a situation, especially when people abuse the love you have for them. So it’s not about doing harm to anyone, it’s more so about releasing all ties and moving forward without the heaviness of their energy. The fact is those who drain you of your energy are feeding off of it, so there’s almost always resistance when trying to break free from these situations, that’s when you have to flex your power, hence the spell book.
This is probably the only song that directly reflects the pandemic. Every time I hear it I’m reminded of how unsure we all were about everything a year ago, it was scary. I wrote this song about two lovers who realize that they may not have a lifetime to love each other, so they could either stop the games, or well, die alone. I think the theme is so universal because we all have things, or people we’ve taken for granted. I love the sentiment of urgent love, it feels cinematic.
This is actually an ode to old Chicago and my great great Uncle Joe. It’s set in the thick of the great migration. My Uncle was a disc jockey for a small black station and also owned a restaurant and grocery store in Bronzeville known for their ‘Sykes Burgers’ I was born in raised in the same two flat as my Uncle Joe and was always in awe of the man he was, I almost thought he was immortal until he died. This one makes me feel close to him, like he’s ushering listeners to the last stop on the Nu MOON train.
I remember how inspired I was when I 1st heard the “Whew Chile” beat, I felt like I could see the lyrics being played out as I wrote them. The vintage vibes resonate so much with my old soul that I felt the need to include that Supreme-esque background vocal feel. Even with the vintage feels the lyrical content is fresh, filled with self warnings of how not to be played, and squad shout-outs “Whew Chile” is definitely on its way to be a KayCee Klassic!