‘Lyrics to GO, Vol. 2’ is Kota the Friend’s latest reflective poetry

by Rachel Crowell

‘Lyrics to GO, Vol. 2’ is Kota the Friend’s latest reflective poetry

Kota the Friend

Lyrics to GO, Vol. 2

FLTBYS · January 18, 2021

‘Lyrics to GO, Vol. 2’ is Kota the Friend’s latest reflective poetry

Kota the Friend’s new album is short but deeply personal, like a fifteen minute rags-to-riches poem. As always, he brings his unique voice and perspective into each of the tracks, and the album acts as an ode to Brooklyn, where Kota was born and raised. He reps his Brownsville, Clinton Hill, and Gowanas education and puts that first over material things in the song “Luke Cage.” Lyrics to GO, Vol. 2 is full of allusions and lyrically clever pop culture references, and offers listeners a peek into Kota’s life.

Like a lot of other successful rappers, Kota reflects about how much he used to want fame growing up. Similar to the narrative in To Pimp A Butterfly, where Kendrick Lamar transitions from a lustful, power-hungry king to a man trying to find his humanity and religion, Kota also reflects on what fame means to him. The album lacks the catchy melodies of past hits “Long Beach,” “Colorado,” and “B.Q.E.,” but this is most likely because Kota wants to focus on the lyrics, which are more personal than in his former albums.

This album is so lyrically detailed that just listening to it is not enough – it almost begs to be read. A lot of Kota’s messages are lost if the song is just listened to, since he includes a lot of clever allusions in every verse. “Luke Cage” references the Marvel superhero that saves Harlem, and like the hero, Kota wants to protect his people from Brooklyn. He is presumably inspired in another verse by artists like Kendrick Lamar, Ice Cube, Bryson Tiller, and Kanye West, who have all referenced the Adam Sandler movie Water Boy in their verses, when Kota raps, “my flow is like the water, call me Bobby like Boucher.” Next, he cleverly combines a rhyme while bragging that he takes “Ls but [he’s] still a legend like LL Cool J.”

This album might not have the same appealing bubbly intros and smooth melodies that Kota’s other songs have, but there is a lot more substance. Kota openly reflects about how his fame has led him to a greedy life, and how he not only possesses “generational money” but also new money that he has never possessed before and he wants more. His reference to these topics really strengthens the content of the album since it gives fans a deeper insight into his life. Although this album might not make the top of the charts, he does an excellent job at reflection in every song. He discusses how much he struggles with mental health and confidence. Even though he really confesses his feelings in this album, he still thinks of himself as “Emotionally Dumb.” More content and emotional baggage is covered in this short album than ever before, making it more lyrically powerful than anything else he has made in the past. This album is a great addition to Kota the Friend’s discography, since it works as a little poetry book for his fans to listen to and learn from.