In today’s age, technology has flooded our lives with content. Caught in the mire are modern musicians who champion an art form more widely distributed than any other throughout human history. And we, more often than not, overlook the music created by unfamiliar faces because it’s challenging. We’d rather have an easy listen, a known quantity to skim through while we think about something else.
Hearing is easy, but listening is difficult. Welcome to “Why We Like It,” where we rebuke the trends in favor of thoughtful analysis and underknown sounds.
“Bebop Rocksteady” — Imp & Kaffo, the Sensei
How We Found It
Activist and wordsmith Imp has returned to our SubmitHub inbox. Having previously covered their track “Itinerant,” we are big fans of Imp and their latest track, assisted by Kaffo, the Sensei, only deepens the love. “Bebop Rocksteady” comes from the EP of the same name, where the track is remixed by Fendi Pendergrass, devineabstract, Argiflex and lucidjason.
Why We Like It
I find this track so easy to love. Not only is it full of references to my favourite Marvel characters over an instrumental soft as butter and sweet as desi desserts, but it displays Imp and Kaffo, the Sensei as true masters of vocabulary. They rhyme with dense schemes and clever bars while seeming like they are just having the most fun in the world, on each listen the song leaves me feeling so impressed at how effortless it seems.
These two MCs are having fun with their bars because they have the astronomical talent required to do so. Poetry flows so freely and naturally off their tongues that a song born from Imp and Kaffo taking the piss out of each other is constructed so beautifully.
They find themselves so intune with the art that their points of reference come from fictional superhumans, with Kaffo kicking off the motif in his initial verse rapping “Dastardly like Doctor Doom, I’m feeling marvelous / I snap on the beat, y’all turning into cosmic dust / all powerful and all knowing, call me Kaffo galacticus.” Kaffo’s botched pronunciation of the destroyer of worlds is picked up on by Imp as they respond “I’m rapping with the wrath of god / Show up, spit couple verses better than ya catalog / I wrote this rhyme on the MARTA while reading comic books / Kaffo mispronouncing names, suggest he take another look.”
This song is easy to love because of the pure joy that went into the making of it. Its conception came from a playful relationship between two extremely talented people, producing art that reminds me of the bright, stress-free environment of hanging out with the homies. Through a song of comic book references and inside jokes, Imp and Kaffo still managed to make something deeply relatable.
From Imp & Kaffo, the Sensei
Ryan: Where did the motif of rapping about fictional characters and the supernatural come from?
Imp: Personally, “Bebop Rocksteady” is one big inside joke between Kaffo and I, even when the jokes are obvious to those looking in. I’d say that the motifs we used arise naturally from our storied friendship and the subjects explored within our solo discographies more than us actively seeking them. My desire to make jest at the expense of Kaffo was at the forefront of my mind with other characteristics indicative of our rap styles falling into place.
Kaffo, the Sensei: For me, it just felt like the very obvious and natural thing to do. Imp sent over the instrumental and my first thought was “this is really an Imp type beat, I’m going to do my best Imp impersonation while also throwing jabs at them.” Imp likes to rap about comics and fiction, and it was really fun to explore that sort of thing conceptually. There are quite a few “if you know, you know” bars here and there, but I think it all comes together pretty nicely.
More From Imp & Kaffo, the Sensei
As mentioned, the EP that this track is from is a series of remixes of the same song, well worth checking out. I also highly recommend Imp’s Children of the Atom album from 2020 and Kaffo’s Master of None EP.
More to Discover
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