Ka is one of rap’s great mythic cult heroes: A Brooklyn native who was once a prospect on New York’s underground rap scene and who has now retreated from that world, simply releasing his own intensely personal and singular music when it works for him. Ka works as a Brooklyn fire chief, and he also runs his own label. He writes, produces, and releases his own albums, and often shoots his own videos, as well. His music is heady, gnostic ancient-wisdom stuff — downbeat, muttered, allusive, entirely free of drums. This is rap as pure contemplative zone-out material. It’s the best.
On Friday, Ka released his new album Descendants Of Cain. Where Ka’s last album, 2018’s excellent Orpheus Vs. The Sirens, was inspired by Greek mythology, Descendants Of Cain appears to focus on Old Testament stories, in particular the saga of Cain and Abel. Right now, the album is only available directly from Ka; you can pay $20 to get the wav. files from his website. Ka says it’ll be up on streaming platforms later this week. (Ka usually spends his album-release days out on a particular corner, selling albums hand-to-hand. He obviously can’t do that right now.)
You can get some sense of Descendants Of Cain in the early track “Solitude Of Enoch,” one of the songs were Ka looks at parallels between the Cain/Abel story and violence in America’s black communities: “It’s hard to say, every sentence is pain/ Brothers killing brothers, descendants of Cain.” Ka raps the whole song in a meditative grumble, and his own production is full of acoustic-guitar flutters and psychedelic flourishes. Listen below.
You can buy Descendants Of Cain from Ka’s site. It should be up on streaming platforms 5/7.
God willing I’ll have my new album on all the streaming sites 5/7, 12am est. And for the eager listeners you can purchase the digital download of the wav files on my site 5/1. Hard to believe this is my 7th album.
— Ka (@BrownsvilleKa) April 28, 2020
Song titles and album credits… pic.twitter.com/kudwTxWQ4O
— Ka (@BrownsvilleKa) April 29, 2020
I appreciate all who listen to & support my art. I’m sad this time around I can’t shake hands & give hugs to express that. As always this will take a patient ear, there’s a lot to unpack so take your time with it. Digital downloads only on https://t.co/e3L1Xc7tob 5/1 midnight EST pic.twitter.com/fvZbpbIbSE
— Ka (@BrownsvilleKa) April 30, 2020
I went thru the comments and you all made my day with the kind words. I feel privileged to be respected by so many lovers of the art. Thank you for being open minded enough to listen to my story and perspective and allowing me to walk with you on your journey thru all this. Peace
— Ka (@BrownsvilleKa) May 1, 2020