|Album Review: Kari Faux - Lowkey Superstar|
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Half reckless, half unapologetic, 100 percent authentic: this is what comes to mind when trying to summarize the captivating aura of Kari Faux. It's easy to want to classify her an internet rapper, but her rise from her small hometown of Little Rock, has proven her star power evident since she first building up a buzz with her 2014 debut mixtape Laugh Now, Die Later. Since then, she's consistently dropped versatile projects while shining on guest appearances that she made on projects from Childish Gambino and Isaiah Rashad. Determined to shine and solidify herself, Kari Faux is too busy focused on handling business to get lost in the glamour with the latest release, Cry For Help EP.
The title serves as not only an explanation to her unusual profile but a revelation to remember just who she is. If last year's Cry For Help EP was a cry out to finally be herself again in her music, then this project is her finding the comfortability in her sound that she's sought for so long. Faux's newfound sense of creative freedom is paying off as Lowkey Superstar comes off as a multi-genre melting pot with the various influences she pulls from. From the moment the project kicks off with her intro and lead single "While God Was Sleepin", she makes a conscious decision to not lay a stone unturned with saying what she feels or what's led her to who she's become. The guitar-driven beat serves as an opening igniter for Kari's rebel-at-heart spirit to run ablaze as she illustrates how she's been up to no good while she waits for a response to her prayers.
The project's adrenaline goes into full throttle transitioning into her next track "Stick Up", a chest-thumping standout where Faux appears to be more braggadocio. Backed by dazzling production, she effortlessly switches flows and holds the beat hostage as she makes a song tailor-made for highway robbery. The 27-year-old rapper's biggest strength on this project is the blatant rejection towards restraining herself in any way possible. While the project comes with its experimental flaws, her return to full creative freedom has put a new fire in her voice and kicked every track on Lowkey Superstar up a notch.
"Freakin' n Ballin" might just be the summary possible for this project as her flow seems to go into auto-pilot mode over the jiggy instrumental. This is a flex anthem and an ode for flashing her middle finger to anyone that doubted her come up. The Arkansas spitter is carefree as ever as she finds her pocket across the bouncy production and brushes off naysayers: They said that I fell off but sh*t, I landed on my feet.
As much as this project is filled with moments with flexing, it's the underlying layer of vulnerability on the mixtape that's able to glue it together. "Skit" is an open letter on a simmering melody as she devotes herself to rejecting any form of patriarchy. It's stamped on the "actors, rappers & wrestlers" interlude as she glides across her signature minimal production sound to express her disgusts for those who treat playing games like a profession.
Lowkey Superstar is an exhilarating release that shows that Kari Faux is becoming fearless with the music she is making and the energy sound is reincarnated. The best thing about this project is the consistent level of purity it has that made her such a big fish in a small pond. The balance between her rock influences, cloud pop production, and deep bass fuses to make something that makes the project enjoyable to listen to. This is an overall good mixtape and a promising sign with what she may have in store next.
Favorites: "Stick Up", "McGrady", "Chattin S**t"