Queens, New York native rapper Kevin Anglade otherwise known by his stage name K.A. released his 47 minute debut album, “Cries of a Rose: The Hood’s Tragedy” this past weekend. Per K.A., “Cries of a Rose: The Hood’s Tragedy” serves up as Hip-Hop/R&B musical concept album progressively verbalizing the efforts of a 20 year old African American male trying to break into the hip-hop scene to join Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy Records in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York. The new album explores the R&B theme heavily as it relates and speaks extensively about the struggle, strife and perseverance of self character needed to survive and make the best decisions that will affect not only you but those closest to you in the big city urban landscape. K.A. took musical output from music artist such as Donald Glover aka “Childish Gambino” and Frank Ocean during the creative process of the album and furthermore credits the musical talents of pass African American music artists such as Marvin Gaye and Gil- Scott Heron as giving him the motivation to see the project of its magnitude come to reality and completion. The album features collaborations with artists such as, Keion Staton, Myles Petillo and The Voices in Praise Choir.
Knowledge Share: K.A. got musical output from Donald Glover and Frank Ocean to help him with the creative process for “Cries of A Rose: The Hood’s Tragedy”
Who is Kevin Anglade???
Kevin Anglade is a New York native who in addition to being a musician is also a writer, poet and educator, is currently in school attending Temple University in Texas as Ph.D student within the Department of Africology & African American Studies studying Hip-Hop as an African art form. Focusing more on his music, K.A. goes down as a 4X threat being a writer, producer, recorder and mixer. In fact the majority of “Cries Of A Rose: The Hood’s Tragedy was written, produced, recorded and mixed by K.A. himself.
Full Album Review
Emotions (Intro)- Up (All Night) — Trapped (In My Mind)
The first track in the album plays as an introduction to the story that the entire album is about to take you on a journey to discover. “Up (All Night)” plays as a smooth R&B indie track with a slow chorus and intermediate rapping about the plight of trying to stay right up in America. “Trapped (In My Mind)” features a reggae-style beat as K.A. , raps about thoughts in his head that prevent him from being able to succeed and reach his full potential that he knows he has within him. The song also ends with another short skit.
Constantly (Overthinking By Myles)- Never End (The Cycle) — If You Knew (In My Head)
“Constantly (Overthinking by Myles)” is an interlude track that features another slow R&B lullaby (that’s significantly heavier on the blues) that then goes into a skit which has the main character of the album Roy and his friend Guy getting pulled over and having a interaction with a police officer. “Never End (The Cycle)” is the first of the two singles on the album and is another blues-ladeded potent song that presumably occurs in the aftermath of the police officer interaction where the main character Roy is reflecting back on the decisions that got him to be in the jail cell that he is in. “If You Only Knew (In My Head)” plays as another short R&B ballad and ends with another skit, this one of Roy’s mother going up to the police station to pay the bail to get Roy out of jail, but not his friend who Roy was arrested with.
Hand That Was Dealt- Put Me Through (Back to You)- The Blues Interlude
“The Hand That Was Dealt”, is another skit track that has Roy being convinced by his friend Guy to go ahead and do another street activity by convincing him that his music career might not ever take off and it s important to make sure that he has himself other avenues to make money whether it be legal or not. Put Me Through (Back To You) plays as a reggae, coastal vibe track while still maintaining the overall R&B theme that has taken a hold of the album since the beginning. The track also ends ‘with a soliloquy by Keion one of the two featured artists on the album. The ninth track, “The Blues Interlude (Hue-Man by Keion)” is a full-scale soliloquy performed by K.A. speaking at his rawest on the album.
Game of Cards (Self — Worth) — Don’t You Cry (My Baby)- The Healing ( A Requiem by Myles)
“Game of Cards (Self-Worth)” is the first true hip hop song to appear on the album and is also one of my most favorite tracks on the album and is spectacular in every shape and form as it has the main character Roy and his friend Guy rapping back and forth about why it is they are doing the things they are doing. “Don’t You Cry (My Baby)” is another long blues ballad that has Roy singing about missing his father and then goes into a rap explaining the repercussions for Roy of not having his father in his life who we learn throughout the course of the album was killed by senseless violence. The Healing “(A Reqiuem by Myles)” is the twelfth track on the album and has a more experimental sound to it that sounds more ominous than the tones found on every other track on the album.
Find A Way (In My Life) — Gonna Be (A Brighter Day) — Worth It (Life by Myles)
“Find A Way (In My Life)”, is the longest track on the album and is a slow jam jazz song also featuring artists Keion and Myles as they rap about their perseverance dealing with ordeals in their life. “Gonna Be (A Brighter Day)” features The Voices in Praise Choir and takes on a gospel theme as K.A. talks about persevering through faith, the track also doubles as an outro for the entire project too. Lastly, Worth It (Life by Myles) ends the album officially with K.A. giving out a message of positivity.
When I first listened to the singles “Never End (The Cycle)” and “Find a Way (In My Life)”, I figured pretty quickly “Cries of a Rose: The Hood’s Tragedy” would be some kind of variation of a deep soulful R&B/jazz concept album and that’s exactly what K.A delivers. “Cries of a Rose: The Hood’s Tragedy” broods overall with R&B themes with a sprinkle of rapping throughout where appropriate. Some of the tracks are simple skits too but what's really unique is how certain skits are included within the beginning, middle or end of certain songs. Overall, the production and quality seen on “Cries of a Rose: The Hood’s Tragedy” is excellent especially for that of a new and upcoming artist, I can't wait to see what K.A drops in the future.
Christian's Album Score: 4.0/5.0
Christian’s Top 3 Songs:
- Game of Cards (Self-Worth)
- Find a Way (In My Life) (feat. Keion & Myles)
- The Blues Interlude (Hue-Man by Keion)