“The real stories I cannot actually tell you. It’s like a paradox; because it’s like these stories don’t exist because I can’t tell you the stories, but they do exist: I just can’t tell them to you.”
Via his solo project Kofi The Spiderman, Kofi Edzie of Arty $lang has always been open and forward about his own issues with mental healthiness. On Cruel And Unusual, his previous album released earlier this year, he drew upon his own struggles with depression and unwellness to weave a wicked web (Pun intended) of twitchy and paranoid hip-hop, and paint a picture of disturbingly honest, but determined struggle with Kofi’s own neuroses. It may not have been much longer than 20 minutes, but no further time was necessary for Cruel And Unusual.
So unique and potent a record would require one hell of a follow-up, but no one could have predicted that one would come a mere four months later, and certainly not that it would be as much of an inventively uneasy head-trip as the debut. In Adventures In NumbNumb Land, Kofi builds upon the fidgety, dire hip-hop of Cruel And Unusual, touching upon themes of loneliness, rejection, depression, ennui, psychological suffering, and mortality, across a little over 26 minutes. As if to reflect the barren emptiness Kofi invokes in his lyrics, the production is comparatively more minimalist than on Cruel And Unusual, creating an atmosphere of alienation and disquiet for his depressed, but deft and witty rhymes, and jittery beats, which fuse lo-fi hip-hop sensibilities with jazz, folk, chamber pop, and punk instrumentation. (All produced by Kofi himself.)
Kofi The Spiderman’s tracks are a sort of brilliantly fatalist-yet-cathartic sort of hip-hop. The kind that’s equal parts menacing, vulnerable, tormented, and with a sort of unspoken, subtle hopefulness deep down. Adventures In NumbNumb Land is another exquisite entry into his catalogue, and indicative of the kind of tortured genius that can exist even further underground than underground hip-hop’s offerings.
– Lilz Martin
For Fans Of: Tyler The Creator, Boards Of Canada, Kid Cudi, Cex
Key Track: “Her Whispers Are Poison”