Album review by our contributor Bliss
MR. 5K’s debut album “Keep the Change”, excels in both quality and production. His distinctive voice will surely make him a recognizable figure in the local Tamil scene in the near future. The eight track album clearly highlights the identity of MR. 5K as a versatile and humorous rapper yet it fails to convey an array themes.
If you have listened to Jaybee Jalsa Jalsa, MVP’s first two tracks and Whose Lambat Tea, the hit single from the compilation album Rabbit and Friendz, then you will be expecting a lot from MR. 5K, the latest addition of the ever-growing label Psycho Unit Asia. In recent times, Psycho Unit has affirmed their place as one of the best independent record labels fromMalaysia with various successes. Thus, with MR. 5K signed with Psycho Unit Asia, it is only apt to say Keep The Change will be produced in the highest quality and true to it, Keep The Change oozes in quality and production.
Keep The Change is all about MR. 5K, the lyrics, the songs and everything explores the identity of MR. 5K as an artist. Although signed with an established label, yet it appears he has been given a great deal of creative and musical freedom to craft an album which emphasises on his own sound. Nonetheless, the influence of Psycho Unit is evident through the funny skits and humorous dialogues in between the songs, which is a trademark for any songs from Psycho Unit.
The album has eight tracks, ranging from fast rap to reggaeton to melody; clearly covering a range of music genre. The album starts with Bank In-Tro which is a skit highlighting MR. 5K selling roti to make a living as he mentions that piracy is likely to kill his album sales. The brief conversation between MR. 5K and the potential customer leads to MR. 5K playing his album tracks to the customer. It is indeed a comical method to introduce the album, yet this is what defines MR. 5K – a humour driven rapper, unlike the stereotypical rapper who wears bling-bling and throws random peace signs.
The first track of the album is Whose Lambat Tea, which sees MR. 5K sharing the mic with Rabbit.Mac and Daddy Shaq. This is MR. 5K’s first hit single which made him a household name among his peers. The next track featuring Tony J and Sheezay is Mynah, which symbolizes girls. Rapping about girls is a formula which always works and Mynah is an example of this. The song has already been featured in THR Raaga Malaysia Top Ten. The third track is Oiyala, a Tamil reggaeton track, featuring Psycho Unit’s ragaman Candyman. The combination of MR. 5K and Candyman is explosive as both of them possess distinct voices, thus making the track sound exciting and fresh. They should do more collaboration together and develop on Tamil Reggaeton as it certainly has a market inMalaysia. The fourth track of this album is Keep The Change featuring Bugz, previously known as Ballistic, this is Bugz second track as a featuring artist. Bugz carries the chorus while MR. 5K drops rhyme after rhyme, but nothing much stands out from this track besides Bugz’s bridge. It is a good track but does not qualify as great. The fifth track, Apple Back, which features Vikadakavi, is a certified hit and expect it to be played in every Indian club. Once again, the formula of rapping about girls works and this is another example. Nonetheless, Vikadakavi clearly stole the limelight for with his bridge at the end of the song. Just when you start thinking MR. 5K is all about humour-driven fast rap and no substance, comes Hopeless, a track featuring Daddy Shaq. This is a timeless piece and emphasizes what the Moneyman can do in a melodious composition. The next track, Chicke Lady, which again features Daddy Shaq, is the complete opposite of Hopeless. It is a comical track and describes a woman who the protagonist is in love with. However, the track does not seem to impress me. The final track is Silk Sareez, which was previously released as Kandaggi Seele as an underground track, featuring Mista Thee, Prince Dave and El’ Hustler from No Name Recordz. This track highlights the fast rhyming skills of all the artists, particularly MR. 5K. The album also features two bonus M.V.P tracks – The Official Soundtrack and Ponnambalam. M.V.P is a collaborative project between Tamil artists from Johor –Singapore, in which MR. 5K has been involved in. The album ends with Cash Out-Tro, a comical skit between the customer and MR. 5K.
There is no denying MR. 5K is a complete rapper and his album has certainly proven this. However, it is worth noting that all of the songs in the album are featured by other artists. Thus, the question whether MR. 5K can hold a track on his own comes into play. Besides, in certain tracks, the featuring artists seem to be one who makes the song great, such as Apple Back and Hopeless. Additionally, the album fails to cover an array of theme and at times it appears, MR. 5K does not want to leave his comfort zone as humour-driven rapper. Tracks like Hopeless show a different dimension of MR. 5K he should explore. Nonetheless, this is MR. 5K’s debut album and from what can be seen, the Simpang Pulai man has his legs firmly cemented in the music industry with his distinct voice. MR. 5K is surely one of the most sought after artist for collaboration at this very moment because his presence is both unique and gives strength to any track he features in.