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Forgotten Fridays: 'Ketsuban' debut mixtape offers food for thought

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"Ketsuban" mixtape

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Writer’s note: This Examiner will now dedicate every Friday to a column titled "Forgotten Fridays," wherein a review of an overlooked project by an Oklahoma emcee will be reviewed, even dissected a bit. This is the first “Forgotten Friday” and the album of the week is Ketsuban's self-titled debut.

Ketsuban is an Edmond-based rapper and beatmaker. In addition, he is a co-founder of the hip-hop collective known as agatewaydrug, which is more commonly referred to and stylized as "AGD." His debut mixtape that sports the same name as his rap moniker was released as a free download via Datpiff on Sept. 30, 2013.

The 12-track album is a balanced blend of old-school and new-school influences. Ketsuban primarily worked with Oklahoma beatmaker and rapper Kulprit D for the project, with Kulprit providing eight of the 11 instrumentals and even a verse on the song "Wake Up," a boom bap-influenced song containing a Smokey Robinson sample.With Kulprit D's productions and Ketsuban's lyrics, the two help create a variety of emotions and musical atmospheres throughout the project.

Ketsuban has reoccurring moments throughout the album where his shock-worthy lyrics resemble that of Tyler The Creator or some of Eminem's earlier work in the sense that the lyrics are unrepentantly blunt with undertones of insecurity and, at times, a sophomoric, Beavis-and-Butt-Head-esque analogy will surface. For this reviewer, it is surprising that this album has not received more streams and downloads due to its underground, devil-may-care approach.

Ketsuban does have a scheme and motif that seems comfortable. However, putting the low-brow moments aside, as well as the semi-monotone delivery, on several tracks the 21-year-old provides lyrical highlights and food for thought, especially on the tracks "Fappin'," "Where The Party At?" and "Just Me."

For hip-hop heads and music fans in general, "Ketsuban" is definitely recommended, with this Examiner giving it an overall rating of 2.5 out of 5 stars due to just a few rookie mistakes such as levels and falling off the beat.

Half of the listeners of "Ketsuban" view it as insightful; the other half view it as a novelty. Either way, the album offers a substance that’s genuine. Whether you're looking for something new, quirky or just brutally honest, this is that something.

Video bonus: To learn more about Ketsuban and his project, please access the clip embedded with this post.

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