Every day we are introduced to new artists backed by a major name. Some are worth the time to listen to, but most aren’t. Kepstar’s Shades Of Gray falls in the former category. Introduced to the world by the world famous Clinton Sparks, Kepstar is off to a good start. His mixtape Shades Of Gray showcases good lyrics and solid production making for a great listen.
Goodbye To Yesterday is a good example of that. Over a guitar driven track, Kep spits a story of struggle and pain that comes with walking the lonely road to stardom. Lines like, “You rap and I rap/ The difference is I make music and everybody listening/ I devoted my time sweat and tears/ Time money and years/ I got nothing to fear/….from your point of view, it looks like I’m living the life/ I got a little buzz and everyone believes in the hype,” Kepstar rocks over the mellow track. This song has a lot of replay value!
1 Up, featuring Joe Budden, is a good track. The Slaughterhouse member comes through for the hook, “5th gear check, left lane bet, is that you fading in my rear view yup. I got one up, one up, one up,” while Kepstar doesn’t slack in the lyrical side, “I’m the topic of conversation now, girls that dated him, hated him, dudes just hating cause they ain’t him. I’m leaving, on a jet plane. Court side, you sitting nosebleed at the Nets game.” I was waiting for Joey to make an appearance with a quick 16, but that didn’t happen. Regardless, Kepstar showcased his ability to beat up a beat.
The title track, Shades Of Gray, is a banger. Another somber track, Kep uses it to give more of a glimpse into his life. This time, he opens up more that you thought as he touches on subjects like alcohol addiction.
He spits about feelings of friends letting him down, “People ain’t believe in me, best friends deceiving me. Manager saying he had thoughts of leaving me. It’s not because he lost hope. It’s that he’s seen me at my lowest and he thinks I’m on the same road/ But I ain’t going back to where I once was, or where I once been, whatever I have enough friends.”
He then comes back to reality as he drops lines about letting them down, “One by one I keep losing them, I brush it off. Then I look around and notice that I have none at all. Cold hearted, disregarded my emotions, bottled it and keep it close so that it’s never open. I never show the real me. The shades of who I could be though, it kills me. And it still brings tears to my eyes, knowing that I lied and the look of frustrated disapproval in your eyes. I could’ve been something, I could’ve been great, but I was following that bottle to the bottom of the lake.”
This is something that many people could relate too, no matter what the personal problem may be.
Featuring contributions from Termanology, Devo D, J. Cardim and T.J Fox, Kepstar manages to not get outshined on his own tracks by his guests, which is a good thing. He has a great way with words, laying them down in a way that all people can relate to.
Shades Of Gray is a great project from a soon to be great emcee.
Standout Tracks: "Shades Of Gray", "1 Up", "Goodbye To Yesterday", "Do My Own Thing"
1. Goodbye To Yesterday
2. I’ve Been Dead
3. Not Like Me ft. Otis Clapp
4. 1 Up ft. Joe Budden
5. Don’t Walk Away ft Devo D
6. Do My Own Thing ft. Termanology
7. I Gotta Go ft. T.J. Fox
8. Must Be The Life ft. Devo D
9. Dear John
10. 24 Hours Away
11. Dance With Me
12. Shades Of Gray
13. What You Like
14. If I Die
15. Life That I Could’ve Had