Koga Shabazz just released Overture to the Unknown, a seven-track ode to hip-hop. Everything about this album has a grimy, urban, city at night feeling. With inspiration drawn from the Central District, it’s no surprise that Koga would be gritty and raw. An eerily empty Metro bus interior draws you into the cover with a graffitied bus stop sign listing the tracks on the back.

At just eighteen years old, his youth does not stop him from channeling 90’s era east coast rap. Dave B and Gifted Gab are the heavy hitters featured on the album, alongside some other young up and comers straight out of Garfield High School. The list of alumni continues on into the production with Sam Lachow overseeing the entire project.

On October 6th Shabazz dropped the album and threw a release party at Love City Love on Capitol Hill. This was more than just a cool event to peep the new album and support. You could feel the passion from even the youngest kids in the crowd. Nights like that are why I’m so in love with hip-hop. More than rap, it’s an entire culture that was alive and well that evening.

Everybody looked incredibly fly, representing a blend of hip-hop fashion from throughout the years. People were breaking to the beats as only b-boys and girls do. The video for Overture was being projected on one of the rough and bare walls. Andrew Imanaka directed these first visuals off of the album. The intensity in Koga’s piercing eyes tells a story as deep as the lyrics.

Koga Shabazz – Overture

Did that video knock you out? Tell us how long it took you to recover in the comments below.


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