Hip-Hop is in an interesting place right now, in that same breath though I feel like hip-hop is still divided. In one corner we have the people who are fans of Big Sean, believe Drake is the second coming of Jesus and are still waiting for Lil Wayne’s comeback. In the other corner we have cats who refuse to acknowledge the Drake’s of the world because their head is buried in their Madvillain record from over a decade ago. Enter Kourvioisier. Kourvioisier is an artist out of North Carolina and if you’ve been keeping up with us he’s no stranger to you. He released his album “No Drive” last week. One of things I noticed off top was the diversity in his beat selection and lyrical prowess. However is that enough for Kourvioisier and his production teammate Dre Rubio to create something that bangs in the whip? Let’s jump into “No Drive”.
On “No Drive” Kourvioisier covers a number of topics and Dre Rubio steals the show with his mix and use of samples. Tracks like “Exteriors” & “Miss McCall Pt. 2” show Kourvioisier’s views on relationships, it shows his romantic side for the ladies, but also conveys some of his doubts. Both songs have Kourvioisier spitting rapid fire style, which could appeal to the radio, but if you dig deep into his lyrics you can hear the deeper and more passionate meaning behind the tracks.
Perfectly balanced I think is how I would describe the album, Kourvioisier showcases a multitude of flows and singing, there’s never a monotonous moment on “No Drive”. “Say some positive things and mix it with some ignorance” is what Kourvioisier says on “The Get Up” and the album is just that. Kourvioisier is aware of the issues we’re facing and weaves it in almost every song on this record. However he never does it in a way that sounds boring, it never comes off as preaching. It’s an album that bumps in the whip, but also an album you can throw on for some late night introspection.
The versatility on this record is unmatched and some of that credit has to go to Dre Rubio. The production on “No Drive” is unique, it’s creative and takes influences from all over the place. Those influences are thrown into a melting pot and Dre Rubio pays homage to the greats, while giving you something to groove to. Kourvioisier handles these soundscapes with all types of approaches. “75 Groove” and the very next track “Nirvana” has a chilled vibe to it, but on “Nirvana” there’s a beat switch where the music becomes more blunted and on it Kourvioisier goes from attacking a club banger to singing the melodies from Rubio’s beat change.
Kourvioisier and Dre Rubio have made one of my favorite records from this year and you shouldn’t sleep it on it. The album ends on a more serious note with Kourvioisier really pushing the listener to keep up hope and to after yours. The title track is a more somber piano driven track and Kourvioisier is laying out his thesis and story for the listener (still trying to make sense of the second part of the song though). “No Drive” is a great release heading into warmer weather, but don’t let it fool into thinking it’s just a summertime joint because lyrically there’s a lot to unpack. I can only pray these two continue to keep working, because they are an entertaining duo with a lot of potential.