Song of the Day: BK-One – The True & Living

photo by Julian Murray

photo by Julian Murray

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Midday Show host Cheryl Waters, is “The True & Living (feat. Raekwon and I Self Devine)” by BK-One from the 2009 album Rádio Do Canibal on Rhymesayers Entertainment.

BK-One – The True & Living (feat. Raekwon and I Self Devine) (MP3)

After years spinning for Brother Ali, DJ BK-One breaks out with his debut, Rádio Do Canibal, an album that takes at heart the spirit of Brazil, both musically and culturally. Teamed with producer Benzilla, BK-One samples exclusively from Brazilian music, providing a consistent base of samba, bossa nova, and other tropical styles. But lest you think the subject too limiting for an entire album, BK-One and Benzilla drop original beats and bring in guest vocalists, including Slug (Atmosphere), Murs (Living Legends), Black Thought (The Roots), Brother Ali, and many others. And the fact that Brazilian music, by nature, is fresh and diverse is not lost on BK-One, who has himself traveled extensively in Central and South America. The album title itself refers to the country’s spirit of cultural absorption — its cannibalistic tendency to draw American, African, Caribbean, European and many other styles into its arts, dance, music, and language — while BK-One draws from his own past classical and jazz training as well as his years of record collecting experience.

Today’s Song of the Day, “The True & Living,” featuring Wu-Tang Clan’s Raekwon and former Micranots frontman I Self Devine trading vocals, is a great example of the typically chill grooves on Rádio Do Canibal. The samples are so flawless incorporated with the beats and rhymes that the fact they’re “Brazilian” is irrelevant compared to how dope they sound.

BK-One is currently on tour with Rhymesayers’ Fresh Air Tour, featuring Brother Ali, Evidence of Dilated Peoples, and Toki Wright, and DJing for all three artists. They’re up in the Northeast tonight, in Burlington, VT, and will work their way back to their hometown Minneapolis for the rest of the month. Check BK-One’s MySpace page for more dates and to preview more music. For now, enjoy the warm flavor of “Tema do Canibal”, recorded with the 9-piece Hypnotic Brass Ensemble:

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