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New MSQ: Bakari Kennedy - “Sittin’ 4 Quarters”

EP’s are often dismissed fairly or unfairly as “throwaways.” Most people don’t believe that a handful of songs can carry the same weight as a full-fledged project. Bakari Kennedy is offering a serious challenge to that notion with his newly released, Sittin’ 4 Quarters.

That’s not the only misconception the 21-year-old emcee is challenging either. The Charlottesville, VA native and current Richmond resident is as far away as you can get from the “mumble rap” and empty content that tends to be associated with Gen Z. You would be hard-pressed to find a wordsmith anywhere at any age who is as thorough with his lyrics and concise with his flow.

As the EP title, Sittin’ 4 Quarters and the cover art imply, there is definitely a strong sports influence on this four-song EP. The first song, “Benchwarmers,” produced by Traumatones stays true to the ball themes with lines like “I got a brother who chasing a dream but he feels he doesn’t get no real looks from the scouts…” and he uses sports references throughout the tape much like the vocal samples in the production on all four songs—to weld it all together cohesively. He achieves this with great mastery.

I love some of the old, obscure hoopers (Mustafa Shakur, anyone?) he mentions and punchlines are always fun if not necessary. But the real beauty of Bakari’s music is the wisdom and depth he displays in lines like, “We keep on praying for freedom from pain but addicted to things that be dulling the soul.”