Brooklyn based heavy spitter K.Gaines is on the cusp of releasing the best installment in a series of very bold artistic statements with his upcoming Ticket to Elsewhere EP. A collaboration with producer Maxwell Benson (Too Short, Rapper Big Pooh, Sadat X), the EP aims to push the envelope in hip hop sonically and lyrically over the course of seven tracks. From the sociopolitically charged jungle ruckus of “Riot Gear” to the clever tales “Glass Ceilings (featuring Sebastian Marciano from Stereo Off),” a clever embodiment of the time tested idiom no struggle – no progress, Ticket to Elsewhere posits itself in quite a unique lane on hip hop’s vast highway of rhyme and reason. A cornucopia of aural and lyrical food for thought, Ticket to Elsewhere also nds K.Gaines dropping delectable jewels on cuts like the esoteric “Tippy Treats (Edibles)” and “Cinnamon Gravy” while trading poetic recipes with wordsmiths on “Buttermilk Biscuits” (featuring Leo Coltrane and Phaze Future) and the otherworldly “Cook That Bass” (featuring Lyric Jones and West Coast legend Ras Kass). Benson, a Los Angeles-based producer who has quickly earned his stripes in the industry with legends and new comers alike, compliments this endeavor striking a distinct balance between boom bap from the past and futuristic sonic foresight. The result is a hard hitting tour de force, replete with warbling synths and hard hitting 808s.
The EP serves as a mere puzzle piece in a much broader arc of works K.Gaines plans to release over the course of 2017- including subsequent EPs as well as music videos. Each of the following EPs will blend K.Gaines executing his dexterous lyrical prowess and narrowing his focus with laser sharp precision. To this extent, each installment will showcase musical styles from distinct regions of the US and feature producers from each area. The cover artwork for Ticket to Elsewhere features an elaborate rendering by up and coming Los Angeles visual artist Reef Kills. The artwork for each EP in the series, once juxtaposed with each other, will form a more intricate visual piece with all the purpose and intention of a map. “What we have is a beautiful conceptual arc.” muses K.Gaines. “It’s a cerebral project. Indicas and sativas can be used to form hybrids, depending on what type of experience you’re trying to create. When we blend our sounds, subject matter, and ows, what we are giving you is a ticket to somewhere else. Each EP is a puzzle piece to a different region.” With Ticket to Elsewhere, K.Gaines and Benson have boldly charted a magnificent musical course off the beaten path. They’re fully aware that it may be a daunting journey for some to follow. But musical genius has never completely pandered to popular culture. Instead, it lands its place in history by using aspects of that blueprint to lead the culture elsewhere. “We’re not chasing the crowd with this one,” affirms Benson. “It’s an art piece. Not everybody’s gonna get where we’re going. But we can leave a map in case they want to catch up later on.”