Tina Kang wins the impressive honor of being the first Ninja Pants writer to submit something in before it was due! Oh yeah, she also kicks off coverage of Kero One’s 2005 release, Windmills of the Soul.

Kero One, Windmills of the Soul (2005), Hip-hop, Plug Music

Kero One is no rookie to the music industry. Hailing from northern California, specifically the Bay Area, Kero One’s musical roots take us back to the early 90’s when Kero One began rhyming, DJ-ing and spinning; gaining recognition through his rhymes on bay area radio shows and hip-hop clubs.

In the summer of 2003 Kero One offered a taste of his musical stylings with the release of his first album, “Check the Blueprints.” His first album was well received and reached top 5 spots on radio and DJ play lists worldwide. Kero One’s talents were recognized by Japanese promoters who invited him for a nation-wide tour of Japan in 2004. During the last couple of years Kero One has contributed his talent to numerous collaborative efforts show casing his talent as a DJ and lyricist. November 7th. 2006 marked the date of his latest release “Windmills of the Soul.” You can listen to some of his jazzy indie hip hop or just show him some love by visiting him at www.myspace.com/keroone or at his personal website at www.kero1.com.

Kero One’s latest contribution “Windmills of the soul,” is a compilation of jazzy blues melodies meticulously woven together in a tapestry of drums, synthesizer, sax, tambourine, bass and voice. Kero One’s album laces intellectual and passionate rhymes with soothing beats that compliment each other surprisingly well. His songs create a soundtrack urban life eliciting scenes of bustling sidewalks, endless miles of skyscrapers, steam rising from the sewers under the glimmer of street lights, and dark blues cafes. Kero One artfully crafts each of his songs using his ethereal jazz melodies to carry soulful lyrics that slowly, seep into the ears and souls of listeners like heavy smoke.

I was surprised by Kero One. Usually when I hear Asian American hop-hop artists I cringe at their awkward sound, which are usually epitomized by sorry off-beat lyrics and poorly coordinated melodies that emphasize their amateurish attempts. But Kero One has surprised me with his wordplay and funky new sound. Kero One has single-handedly restored my faith in Asian American hip-hop artists.

Kero One’s album is a good choice for listeners who might not enjoy mainstream rap/hip-hop that has been tainted by the heavy emphasis of ear-ripping bass lines and “bitches and bling.” Kero One has created some serious ear candy that both music aficionados and rookies can appreciate. Kero One uses clever word play and intoxicating melodies to create songs that showcase a softer, elegant, but in no way less powerful side of hip-hop. Kero One brings back the art of rhyme and expresses his various thoughts and experiences from city life to temptation and dreams; his topics are real and his passion is raw. This album is definitely something you can listen to while sitting at Starbucks attempting to study, or on a clear summer day while driving with your friends to the nearest Del Taco. I recommend you to give him a listen and indulge in Kero One’s musical buffet of delicious and mesmerizing sound.

tina kang