Indie rapper and songwriter Kaejo resides in Louisville, KY, where he mixes music to create his own brand of hip-hop. Some of his influences include the Beastie Boys, Pixies and the Four Tops.
His debut album, The Unrequited, highlights the varying stages, angles and perspectives of unrequited love – everything from childhood sweethearts to club hookups. It paints the shades and hues of love with simplistic instruments, pure vocals and impressive choruses.
The songs on The Unrequited tell unique and fascinating love stories. The first seven songs on the album create stronger lyrically inspired visuals than the last six songs. Those songs become slightly repetitive with their tone, beats and electronic choruses. Kaejo, however, successfully keeps the theme of unrequited love exciting throughout the entire album.
The four songs that make the biggest creative impression on The Unrequited album are “RSVP,” “On Hold for the Devil,” “Sweet Thang” and “You Can’t Leave.”Through lyrics, “RSVP” creates rich visuals of lifetime unrequited love. A man loves his childhood friend all his life, and now he must watch her marry another. Tiny sound tricks, like clicking of a glass for a toast, really help cement images of this story.
“On Hold for the Devil” almost acts as a counter argument to “RSVP” because it’s more about instant love (lust) than its lifetime development. This song also incites vivid images through Kaejo’s rap. The “On Hold for the Devil” chorus is the most memorable one on The Unrequited. Instantly it causes singing.
“Sweet Thang” focuses on non-romantic love while presenting an ambiguous tale. It’s one of the few songs doing this on The Unrequited. The “Sweet Thang” (to me) has two possible meanings, unfulfilled dreams or temptation. The chorus of “Sweet Thang” acts as an internal voice for the song’s character. He’s either tempted to do something wrong/commit a crime, or haunted by the choices he didn’t make and needs reassurance about the ones he did. Then the line “get away” could apply to getting away on vacation, or getting away with a crime. It’s quite intricate in its stylistic singing choices and words. “You Can’t Leave” swaps genders. It gives two sides of unrequited love, the woman who wants to fight for the relationship and the man ready to give it up. It’s an impressive idea that Kaejo executes potently through his songwriting.
The Unrequited has many good things about it. Kaejo experiments with varying musical genres through his chorus collaborations, which helps tell his stories. It seems like his choruses also act as internal monologues to the characters’ moral dilemmas. This adds an unexpected creativity to the album. The Unrequited complexities create a charming and concentrated hip-hop voyage.
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