Disclaimer: All views presented in this Album Review are those of the album reviewer and not of DJ Wade-O.
In a genre filled with so many artists, it is easy to get stuck on certain labels and miss out on some artists that have been putting out music. That is how I feel about Armond.
He has been doing music since 2010. I remember first checking him out on the Ketchup project that he put out in 2011. I was intrigued by his lyrical ability to tell stories and explain ideas. I figured this guy is sure to be featured on different artists’ albums. Sadly, I was wrong, but he kept putting out music on his own.
At one point, Armond kept talking about this ‘kairos’ album, but it took a little longer than expected to come out. He released some mixtapes while listeners were waiting, and now, Kairos is finally here. I was excited to see how he’d developed as an artist, and if there were any tracks that could reel in a broader audience. In this album review, I plan to share what I discovered.
There are two versions to the Kairos album. The Director’s Cut version with 18 tracks, and the regular version with 15 tracks. This album review is on the Director’s Cut version, so there may be song indicated in this review that are not featured on the regular version.
The definition of Kairos, according to Webster, is ‘a time when conditions are right for the accomplishment of a crucial action; the opportune and decisive moment.’
Armond did not waste time explaining this to the listener. “This Is Kairos” is second on the album and it explains the idea of taking hold of “your moment.” This was a strong song that makes the listener think about their own kairos as you hear the chorus say,
“work like you need it, enjoy it like you want it, I spent my whole life gettin’ ready for this moment … never livin’ with my eyes closed, this is my kairos.”
Also songs like “Marathon,” “Pour Effort,” “Frostbit,” and “Walking Contradiction” had different messages, but I felt the theme of Kairos was present. I heard the idea of taking account of your actions and how those actions can affect moments in life all throughout this album.
I think that Armond did a great job creatively with this album. He did not have interludes that continually talked about what kairos meant. It was weaved throughout the themes of each track.
Armond is not just a rapper. He is a lyricist. He’s one of those artists that if you miss a line, it’s probably your fault and not an error on his end. You can tell he puts a lot of thought into each lyric.
I appreciate this from Armond because it can be a challenge. You can listen to a track, hear a line, and then a week later it’ll hit you. I want to share one example (of many) that I thought was witty and clever.
In “Frostbit” he says:
“He’s (God) the paragraph and period in my sentence.”
I thought this was clever because of how he used the idea of written language to describe God. He says God is the paragraph and I took this to mean he’s over everything within life. Then he says he’s the period. From that, I got that he’s the one that knows when our lives will end. And lastly, he says he’s the period to my sentence. I saw a correlation to Jesus, saying that God is the one that put a stop (period) on my sentence for death. I also thought he played with the words and sentence could be sin tense. In grammar, the usage of tense can be used to reference a situation in time. I thought this was a brilliant line that showcased just how much he puts in his music.
If you liked that one example, you’ll love all that he does on this album from a lyrical standpoint.
I mentioned in the beginning that when I first heard of Armond, I thought he’d be featured on different projects. Although it did not happen (as I would’ve liked to see), the features on Kairos show that he is a respected MC.
Armond teamed up with quite a bit of big names in the Christian Hip Hop scene. For example, he has features from KamBINO, Lavosier, Sean C. Johnson, Swoope, Dre Murray, Bumps INF, and more. Each artist added substance to the tracks they were on, but they didn’t steal the stage. This was good for him because the fans of the other artists can check out the tracks and hear how well Armond can hold his own.
Kairos had a great balance in my opinion. The blend of tracks with and without features allowed for the listener to get to know Armond and also hear how well he works with other artists. Features should not be what an artist lives on, but they can definitely add value to an album. In this case, the features were icing on an a piece of cake that was already tasty.
The features from artists were great, but he also had some notable production. Wit, Swade Beatz, Wes Pendleton, Pizzle and more all did a great job with this album. It showed that the producers were willing to work with him and it proved that he has respectable talent.
Kairos was a wonderful album to listen to. Armond had some very transparent moments when he rapped about his family and different situations he’s been in. I feel like if you have not heard his music, this would be the album to check out to hear his heart. He shares perspectives that you simply don’t hear too often, or completely get passed by. Overall, Karios challenges, encourages and edifies the listener.
There were moments where the production could have been better. A couple of tracks sounded a little fuzzy in my headphones, but that was about it. He also did not have many tracks that were upbeat. So if you’re looking for that, this is not an album for you. If you love lyricism and good music, I do feel that you will get a lot from this project.