In October, 2014, we selected Kembe X as a DJBooth Top Prospect. At the time the Chicago native had already graced our homepage on 11 separate occasions, but we knew then his best work was ahead of him. Nearly two years later, Kembe confirmed our suspicisons, releasing his outstanding debut Talk Back in mid-July.
One of the highlights on the 14-track album is the dynamic "Oxygen," which just received a brilliant visual accompaniment. Created by Yellow Nguyen and Christopher Han, the video is series of constantly animated sketches that follow Kembe's lyrics from start to finish.
There are countless high-quality animated videos in hip-hop's visual history, but the originality employed by Nguyen and Han for "Oxygen" is undeniable. When Kembe rhymes, "Rainbow and arrow archer drench from a brainstorm," we see an animated version of the emcee use a bow to launch an arrow into the sky, a trail of beautiful colors behind it. And when he spits, "Xanny got me feelin' hollow, shit, life can be hard to swallow / In my vision the tunnel ends our limbs lookin' like branches," Kembe is transported into a narrow tunnel, headlights from oncoming traffic quickly approaching and blinding the viewer.
There's a reason rumors began to swirl in March that Kembe was one of two John Doe artists signed to TDE -- he's making music (and now visuals) his way.
By DJ Z, who loves to argue with you on Twitter.
Photo Credit: YouTube