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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.”

The next song, “Rey Mysterio” is also the soundtrack to BK’s newest video. From here and for the remainder of the project, the production will be beautifully handled by Markeis. The soul sample is complemented perfectly by a distorted, almost chopped, and screwed bar, of course, about being masked up like Rey Mysterio that serves as the hook. The machine gun flows full of wisdom and wit continue and once again true to the concept, Bakari spits, “We up by 40 in the 4th, but still a n**** scoring.” Facts. He’s running it up.

Speaking of running it up, the next track is “ATM” and it's home to a ton of impressive bars but none more than “…slaying their brothers for old designer these n****s moving Mugsy but pockets on Wembanyama.” Come on man. Also impressive is that Bakari manages to flip the old playground “K-I-S-S-I-N-G” rhyme into a hook not about sitting with a shorty in the tree, but rather getting guap with the bros.

Don’t worry though ladies, Bakari Kennedy didn’t forget you. “The Zodiac Killer” is a creative spin on astrological signs and dating. In catering to more sensitive topics, this tested battle rapper does not lose a lick of his edge and that’s the trait of an incredibly versatile emcee.

This EP has more “album” in it than a large majority of full-length projects. The intent that Bakari Kennedy put into each word and every moment of Sittin’ 4 Quarters easily translates and comes across to the listener. The EP is currently available exclusively through Bandcamp (ironically for as low as four quarters) but will be released on all platforms on January 27. Don’t sit this one out. Listen to Sittin' 4 Quarters as well as all of Bakari Kennedy’s music and follow him on social media to stay in tune with his movement.

@therealbakari_ on Instagram

Written by: Zach Kirby @itskirbs804

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