Artist: k-os, Album: It's All Good, Song: Musical Essence
K-os is a hip hop artist from Toronto, Ontario. He released his first single, Musical Essence, in 1993 while attending university. A video was also produced for the song and it received some strong rotation on Much Music's Rap City program. The song was included on a Quality Record's compilation entitled, It's All Good. The theme of the release was "Strength In Unity" and it was dedicated to Afrika Bambaataa and the Zulu Nation. The album was engineered by Canadian rapper, Kish (see blog 10/24/10) and featured Canadian rappers Jelleestone (see blog 1/23/12), Ghetto Concept (see blog 11/12/10), Citizen Cain and The Rascalz. It's a very good compilation that also has some stand out tracks from The Pharcyde, The Fugees, Run-DMC , Gang Starr and Jeru The Damaja to name a few. K-os's track is an absolute stunner though and anybody close to hip hop back then realized it as well. Former Toronto Raptor, John Salley, must have been hanging out in a lot of clubs during his days in Toronto because he took k-os under his wing and eventually along with him back to L.A. when he left town. A proper debut was in the works but k-os was apparently unhappy with the direction of the project. He would eventually return to Canada in 1999 and by 2001, his new debut, Exit, hit the market. Once again, much like his first single, k-os showed depth and diversity in musical style unlike many of his peers. Unfortunately, it wasn't as commercially successful as he would have liked but his next few releases would be. Today, k-os has been nominated for a Juno 15 times and has won three of them. He has 4 albums and is set to release a double album this year entitled Black on Blonde. His albums have achieved platinum sales status and even his unsuccessful debut has now reached gold status. Sadly though, he seems to have buried his first single and shows no signs of ever re-releasing or recording it again. So today, unless you can track down a 12", your next option is to find this compilation. At the time of this blog, there were none available on-line. You can watch the video for the song, Musical Essence, on You Tube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnnCBM5RoLo&feature=related). You can keep tabs on k-os at http://www.k-osmusic.com/ or at http://tour-tv.com/. Thanks for reading and enjoy!