Ka is so underrated, it should be a crime.
The reclusive Brooklyn rapper has carved a lane for himself since dropping his debut album, Iron Works, back in 2008. He opts not to promote his albums—you won't see him hopping into your Twitter mentions—instead, he lets his music do the promoting for him. He would rather post up at a record store and sell physical copies of his albums hand-to-hand than go on the usual promo tour of performances and interviews. In doing so, his fanbase might be smaller, but it's passionate, and loyal.
Ka's meticulous process and attention to detail has earned him two classic LPs to date: 2012's Grief Pedigree and 2013's The Night's Gambit. And one can certainly make the same case for his most recent effort, Honor Killed the Samurai. The album's intro, "Conflicted," features vintage samurai movie samples and the first verse puts Ka's essential pearls of wisdom on full display. Since the New York Post decided to try to out him as a cop-hating fireman (an open secret for those in the know — and who cares what dude's day job is?), we chose to celebrate Ka's contributions to the game by giving him the Best Rap Verse of the Month.
"I strained to obtain so I could give more
Most dangerous when there was nothin' to live for
For the fetti back, ready to let the Sigs pour
Was on nuttin' long enough, need a big score
The harmony dreamin' had me constantly schemin'
Rarely peace, and barely a beast, armed like a demon
Singin' "tough upbringin'," swore it was the hardest
A lot of years starvin', before I was an artist
When bringin' tomorrow, the sorrow plus the hurt
Finally eatin', reapin', it's just dessert
It's just, so trust my work from dusk to dirt
Committed rhymes, if you give it time, much is learned
Firm dense, but earn strength with a young store
Brought hammers to grammar school—hence the gun talk
The coke drought made it a cesspool
What they ail is steel, need a fresh jewel
Enthralled in crime not more but, nah, less cruel
Attractive street where active eat the less drool
I speak brass tacks to my last acts
My gift might be missed if mixed with trash raps
The nights whole, slice your loaf if you ain't breakin' bread
Some hate wait and beg, we take instead"
Ka is the old head in the hood that everybody respects. At first, you're confused — he's an FDNY captain and living a quiet life — but then you remember the stories you were told about his younger, more savage years, so you listen to every word he utters as if your life depended on it. Listen to the OGs, young Padawans; they'll save your life in more ways than one. We appreciate you, Ka, keep giving us this art.