• Travis Salviejo

Citizen Kay's exigent new single marks a triumphant solo return

Photo: Michelle Grace Hunder

People are often surprised when they find out that we (both Beniah and I) have a taste for hip-hop, both of us growing up listening to different hip-hop artists through our teen years. For Beniah Australian hip-hop was a big part of his musical up-bringing, for me I always tended to like the stuff coming out of the US and UK (and Korea for a little bit there). Don’t get me wrong there are Australian hip-hop acts that I love, L-Fresh The Lion, The Herd, Seth Sentry - but even with these spectacular artists there are times when I am so down with what they’re doing and other times where I find myself less interested in their music. My hot takes on Australian hip-hop will be saved for another time (I am fully aware it’s a weird read) but the latest track from Citizen Kay Don’t Blink goes so hard that I couldn’t help but let you know about it.

Citizen Kay has been a staple of the Canberra music scene for a while now, producing for the likes of Kirkland, Groovy Daughter, Neko Pink and of course Genesis Owusu, but never forget that Kay is not only a killer producer but an incredible emcee as demonstrated on this track. The track is intense, reminding me of a Rage Against the Machine track in the intro with its minimal, sample-based presentation and the vocal that builds in intensity into a flurry of verbal phrases that show that Kay is not one to be slept on.

The lyrics portray frustration (potentially around things like police brutality and the BLM movement that has been so prominent not only in the US but here in Australia as well) and paints a picture of Kay reflecting on his own place in these social movements, not wanting to stand on the sidelines anymore. The hook is super nice too, delivered in a super rhythmic way that adds to the driving forward momentum of the track

Mayday mayday this is crazy aint

I take it take it don’t delay the break up

Mayday mayday this is crazy aint

I take it take it don’t delay the break up

Don’t Blink, Don’t Blink

This track is everything I love about Australian hip-hop; it feels real, the beat goes super hard and it has something to say, but then what do we expect from one of the kings of Canberra (in my humble opinion).

You can find Citizen Kay on Facebook / Instagram / Spotify

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