We Plug to You... AKS - The Bus Stop EP

Emerging South London emcee AKS is no stranger to us at We Plug Good Music, having previously performed at one of our 'One Mic' live music showcases and featured on our critically acclaimed 2010 Prelude to the Future compilation mixtape but he's yet to grace the illustrious pages of the We Plug Good Music review website until now that is, because with the music that this young lyricist is creating these days, it's hard not to plug AKS to you. We would not be doing our jobs properly and if we're about anything, we are about doing our jobs properly!

AKS first came on our radars when we saw him perform with his Midas Touch collective two years ago and firmly when we got to hear debut mixtape - 2009's A Miracle in the Making - which saw the newcomer add his unique rap verses to a wide variety of popular songs from Lily Allen's "The Fear" to Hudson Mohawke's "Overnight" to 88 Keys' "Stay Up" and us certainly paying him ample attention at this point. With the release of his latest opus however - the 8-track debut EP The Bus Stop - AKS does much more than fulfil the promise he showed on his previous outing, he succeeds in putting together a timeless body of work that is seamless, cohesive and well crafted but also very personal, intimate and compelling - highlighting his song-writing dexterities, well honed delivery, amazing ear for production and refreshingly mature and relatable subject matter. 

As we usually do in here and because we always have the good music to back us up, you don't just have to take my word for it SO without further ado, let's delve into the music, shall we?

"If I'm nothing more than ordinary then I'm nothing less than necessary"

What you just heard is my favourite song right now from The Bus Stop EP. The song is titled "Truth be Told (I, I, I)" and it features the beautiful vocals of emerging UK soul singer Kadija Kamara with production from P.Y of Our Music. The rich bass guitar and keyboard-driven musical arrangement laced with percussion drums and lush vocal harmonies from Ms. Kamara provides AKS with the ample canvass to paint the perfect picture of his struggle for artistic integrity and staying true to doing what he loves above anything else. It doesn't get more real or relatable to me than this song right here.

This next song you're about to hear is titled "House Called Home" and everybody born and/or living in diaspora should especially be able to relate to this. The Chemo-produced second single from The Bus Stop EP sees the British-born Nigerian rapper eloquently put into a song, his feeling of displacement and seclusion stemming from being removed from what seems to be or rather is his natural and rightful "home". Beginning poignantly with a vocal sample of Enoch Powell's infamous Rivers of Blood speech and closing with a warm dual-request for AKS to return "home", "House Called Home" is backed by a bass-heavy keyboard line, complimentary guitar strings and minimalistic kick drum patterns. Listen below.

Now unto the title track from AKS's The Bus Stop EP aptly titled "The Bus Stop" which was made popular when AKS took to popular online music platform The Cordless Show to perform this record last year. Markedly different from the live performance version, this Nutty P-produced keyboard-driven studio version flanked by bold drum kicks and complimentary hand claps is a honest and sombre but yet auspicious (which especially pours over into the following record titled "Worth Waiting For") start to the The Bus Stop EP which sees AKS reflect over the pessimism and uncertainties surrounding pursuing his music career and sets the entire EP off the right way as we find out whether or not he will take that bus... Listen below.

"Sometimes I Feel Like I Should Have Never Picked The Pen Up..."

As a final foray into our review of AKS's debut EP, allow me to share with you one more song from this 8-track - "The Bus (Outro)" is the final track of the EP and a perfect conclusion to this compelling 30-minute musical journey AKS takes us on and it is over this stripped down version of Nutty P's production from the above track ("The Bus Stop") you just heard that we finally find out whether AKS takes the bus or not. Why don't I just let you listen to it?

Truth be told, we could have easily picked the other four songs from the EP and used those for this review and the outcome would still be nothing short of a glorious review because the other songs that make up The Bus Stop EP are certainly not lacking in any regard.

The Self Taught Beats-produced "Worth Waiting For" is an mid-to-up tempo soulful Hip-Hop number backed by a superb combination of live instrumentation brought together beautifully by glorious bass licks and a lush underlying violin arrangement while "The Monologue" is a straight 3-minute lyrical assault from the London-based emcee packed with punchline after punchline after punchline and some seriously sick wordplay and in addition, the rock-infused "Soul is Sold" as well as the lustful "Blame It On Her" are as good as any of the preceding songs you've just heard and certainly not just on this EP to make up the numbers. You'd be hard pressed to find a skippable song on The Bus Stop EP.

What I am saying essentially if I haven't already made myself clear is this - The Bus Stop EP is one EP you reallneed to get plugged into. You really do not want to miss out on such amazing music. It is certainly already one of my EP's of the year. Get your copy below.

Keep Tabs on AKS: Website // Facebook // Twitter

Until the Next Time...

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