Kembe X • "Like Elijah"
The story of Kembe X is one of my favorites when it comes to Chicago hip-hop, but it's also a familiar tale in a city that hasn't produced a solid music business infrastructure yet. Getting his start alongside Alex Wiley, Calez, Jean Deaux, and others as part of The Village in 2012, Kembe has since broken out on his own and made his way out to the west coast to rest his head (and record) in warmer climates. With a close relationship to Isaiah Rashad (also a Village member) and the TDE family, Kembe has been plugging away at the studio, preparing for something great. While there's speculation of how deep his ties to TDE go, Kembe has been making moves similar to someone with some major label influence.
Other than his EP alongside Scion A/V, it's been years since Kembe has produced a solo project, but in 2015 and continuing into 2016, he's been be generous with the loose releases. Just days after the release of "Work Week", Kembe quietly dropped "Like Elijah" produced by Matt Genius and Kennana. It's his fifth new song in the last month and he doesn't seem to be losing any steam. On what might be my favorite Kembe track to date (even the artwork takes flight), the Chicago native navigates the bouncy production with his story compared to that of the biblical Elijah. Whether Kembe's modeling himself after a prophet or not, we're just glad to hear he's gettin' it, and we hope that leads to a new album this year.