Today, Nashville rapper Kaby releases his new album Era Of The Try Hard. Blending elements of southern rap, boom-bap and soul, the 10-track projectdeveloped into an ongoing narrative about today's music and is overall a cohesive statement about Kaby as a man and artist. Altogether the songs reflect his persona: making sharp turns from rapid-fire flows, melodic anthems, brazen lyrics and vulnerable themes. Each song finds Kaby putting on a different part of his personality and versatile talent on display. He uses his voice differently on almost every track like a one-man group.
"Era of the Try Hard" evolved from an album to a statement piece, almost on its own accord," explains Kaby. "As the sound evolved and the video series grew, the story presented itself. It's a commentary on contemporary music and how hip-hop is progressive by design. All I want to do is talk my s, and it feels like I found a megaphone."
Creating an immersive experience to accompany his album, Kaby is also releasing the 4th music video of his 6-installment visual series with "Runoff." As Kaby's smooth flow weaves in and out of the boom bap track, he reflects back on his journey so far, but wanders off path to find himself distracted in a clouded haze.
Kaby explains, "Runoff" being the 4th visual, serves as a reflection of "Everything" (Part 1). The overall narrative is my journey and I'm sure other artists alike. We crossed over (Part 2) into a creative's Eden (Part 3), and now we're seeing the other side of that: distraction."
Era Of The Try Hard follows Kaby's critically-acclaimed project H.E.R.E., which was crowned Nashville's Scene's top honor, Best Hip-Hop Album. His follow-up Era of the Try Hardis the evolution of his journey as an artist. For two years, Kaby along with longtime collaborators Nathan Zensen and Mike Ewing, recruited several talented musicians to record dozens upon dozens of songs before narrowing it down to his very best top 10. The result has Earmilk proclaiming that "Kaby will Soon be your new favorite rapper" while UPROXX warns their audience, "Don't kick yourself for being late to the party." Smitten, DJ Booth asks, "Ever fallen in love with an artist after hearing just one song?"
Tennessee artist Kaby (pronounced KAY-bee) defies expectations. Born and raised in Nashville, Kaby was influenced by New York heavyweights Ghostface Killah, Pete Rock and Detroit legend J. Dilla as much as Southern titans Juicy J and DJ Paul. He finds inspiration from a wide variety of sources, so his sound is not easily defined as merely boom-bap, Southern, or any one thing. Kaby doesn't wear his influences like a costume, but like a tapestry made up of different textures and colors. Both musically and visually, Kaby has a style all his own.
He started making and selling his own mixtapes at 17, and as he grew older, music remained his singular focus. From freestyling at open mics to performing at college shows, Kaby continued to refine his sound. Thankfully, the city's music community was an open-minded group that gave him space to be creative. "Nashville's hip-hop scene is almost like a trial run. You get leeway with things that you wouldn't be able to do in other places," Kaby says. The city reciprocates that love anointing him with Nashville Scene's Best Hip-Hop Album for his 2013 effort H.E.R.E.
His new album Era of the Try Hard is a culmination of those years of hard work and inspiration from his many influences. The result is Kaby's best work ever. "At the end of the day, I want to contribute to the culture. Not to extract."