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Koga Shabazz

Salad Days The Mixtape

Released March 2016

I first came across the music of rapper Koga Shabazz after hearing him open Sam Lachow’s birthday show at Neumos. Then, he caught the ear of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis who featured him in their Residency lineup at Chop Suey, alongside fellow up-and-comers Vic Daggs II and West Hell. Shabazz is a high-energy live performer, so this 2016 mixtape, Salad Days is something of a surprise. Here, he presents us with some Sunday afternoon headphones rap, the tracks like the tightly-packed (and cool) collage on the cover: short, dense and bursting. This is a great listen for when you’re out walking around your district, wherever that may be. I read somewhere that the things you mutter under your breath are your real truths, and that’s true here: Shabazz has a quiet flow, almost buried in the mix behind the beats, such that his voice is just another texture in the palette. It’s a fresh sound and I suspect we’ll hear a lot more from him soon.