Kwamé & A New Beginning/Kwamé A Day in the Life: A Pokadelick Adventure [PA] CD

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Kwamé & A New Beginning/Kwamé A Day in the Life: A Pokadelick Adventure [PA] CD. Personnel: The Sharp (vocals).
Recording information: Bayside Sound Studios.
Unknown Contributor Role: Phyllis Brown.
A Day in the Life: A Pokadelick Adventure is the definitive Kwamé album, a concept record about his life as a high schooler, and also the one where he created his signature visual style with a wardrobe full of polka dots. A self-described "quiet nerd type" who even brags about his excellent grammar on one cut, Kwamé navigates a world of bullies, crushes, immature girls, gossip-mongers, parties, bad report cards, and -- of course -- sucker MCs. A few songs don't seem to have much to do with the concept, but it hangs together pretty well musically, with buoyant, Daisy Age-flavored production (partly by Kwamé himself). "Ownlee Eue" and "Oneovdabigboiz" are underrated singles, and Kwamé shows off his storytelling talents on album cuts like "Da Man," "Therez a Partee Goinz On," and "Whoz Dat Guy." A Day in the Life is filled with cartoonish, electronically altered voices commenting on the action and interacting with the bemused hero. It's all good-humored and colorful, if completely non-threatening, and it's too bad that Kwamé seems best-remembered today through disses by hardcore rappers like Tim Dog and the Notorious B.I.G. Sure, the polka dots are goofy, but in light of everything that's happened since then in hip-hop, they also hark back to a simpler, more innocent era, and there's nothing inherently wrong with that. ~ Steve Huey


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