Canadian rapper k-os has questionably hinted at a racist agenda at NOW Magazine after receiving a mediocre review.
This week, NOW published a review of the new k-os album, “Atlantis: Hymns For Disco.” Writer Jason Richards commented that the abundance of mainstream guests- including Sam Roberts and Buck 65 – “will only strengthen [k-os’s] detractors’ case that he’s a crossover pop artist disguised as a true-school b-boy.” Even so, Richards gave the album three N’s out of a possible five:
“Though the music is instrumentally rich and well-produced, the big frustration here is lyrical. k-os has no shortage of philosophical ponderings and ambiguous rhetoric about the nature of self and the universe, but it’s hard to squeeze much meaning out.”
k-os responded on his Myspace page:
“its plain to see that a black man at NOW mag. is being manipulated by his indie rock nerd bosses. As i sat down to talk with Jason Richards a so-called Trinidadian .. it was so easy to see how he has easily became ‘the used!’.. a fall out boy. Reading my review in NOW was carthartic because once again it proved that their agenda is clearly personaL and NOT musicaL. (sic)”
“The truth is that on a sambo level this young gentlemen is making sure he keeps in good favour with the NOW editor and sadly enough disses a ‘brother’ in the process. … You love Uncle Tom!”
k-os closed by writing, “Eat a dick!”, though the message was taken off his Myspace page shortly thereafter.
The ensuing story on canada.com further confused matters by taking the original review somewhat out of context (“Richards called k-os ‘a crossover pop artist disguised as a true-school b-boy’ and criticized the artist’s lyrics”) and neglecting to address the ethnic slurs used in the response. These are significant errors, because the situation is not a conflict between a harsh reviewer and an upset artist. According to the grading system at NOW, a rating of NNN means, “Swell.” So really, k-os’ response is not only racist in content, but is all the more inappropriate given that it is sparked from not receiving a rating of “Sizzling” or “Stratospheric”.
Of course, this is not the first time k-os has lashed out at the media and, er, non-media- in 2005 the in-need-of-a-hobby artist took offense to a fan’s concert review included in their personal blog.
While the quotations from k-os suggest he fancies himself as a Kanye-West-style critical artist, he comes across sounding more like Tracy Morgan’s portrayal of Harry Belafonte: