• Andrea Bauer
  • Kembe X (left) with Genesis Denton and Alex Wiley back in 2012

I suppose I could spend the entire day dissecting the video for Taylor Swift’s brand new single, “Shake It Off,” but in lieu of getting frustrated over calculated cultural carpetbagging I prefer to clear my head and listen to new music from South Holland rapper and Village collective member Kembe X. The 19-year-old first caught my ear with 2011’s Self Rule, a charming debut I had on repeat for months largely because of Kembe’s down-to-earth personality, soothing vocals, and introspective lyrics. The mixtape also served as an introduction to fellow Village MC Alex Wiley, who appears on the standout “Don’t Quite (Smoking and Shit),” and Chance the Rapper, who sings the hook on closer “Give and Take.”

Anyway, today Kembe dropped a new EP through Scion AV, which is called, um, Scion AV Presents: Kembe X. That unfortunate title aside it’s great to hear new tunes from Kembe, who sounds more fierce and confident than he did on Self Rule and last year’s Soundtrack II Armageddon EP. I just wish Scion AV’s radio edits hadn’t smudged a chunk Kembe’s vocals on his great collaboration with Ab-Soul and Alex Wiley, “As I Unfold.” Take a listen to the Kembe X EP below.