Koby is a distinct addition to the Zambian Hip-Hop industry, he brings an inordinate new dynamism to the rap scene and with not more than 3 years he has been able to astound with a steady collection of beats. He has had his snags, like when he tried his luck at sampling one of the best Zambian songs ever “I’ll Be Waiting” by K’Millian and the late Joe Chibangu, on his song Act One, it was a poor record but hey! Even great people can error. He equally has songs that easily dwarf that horrid memory, he simply makes good music when he is in the driver’s seat, go figure.
The majority of the music he has put out point to the fact that the future of Zambian Hip-Hop is in good hands and with XYZ leading his way, there is no way he could fail to leave an indelible mark on this thing we love to call rap.
We have taken the autonomy to rank 5 of his best songs, this started out as a top 10 but had to cut it down because his catalogue doesn’t have 10 VERY STRONG songs that can stand on their own. Good news is he keeps working on new music so he will get there as time as goes by. Making this list was tough, songs like Man Down & Hakuna Matata couldn’t make the cut but when you go through the list you will see why.
5. Odi (Featuring Jay Rox)
For a long time the debate was on, on whether Koby could make a pop record and he managed to do so with the aid of the very talented Jay Rox. This record would have been higher on the list if his verses were sturdier but its comprehendible, it wasn’t a record that was made to make you get your thinking cap on. The one line that one could point is “Drinks In the air we raising the bar up, higher than a mother who raising her son up.”
And no “Keeping the circle smaller than a hole in a bagel” doesn’t count.
He is exempted from distress because he produced the song and it’s easy to tell that he knows how to put melodies together to create something that has the potential to get the masses amped.
The song was well received but didn’t live long but we can bet it will still be palatable In the distant future.
4. Page 1 Freestyle
The only very exasperating thing about this song is that it is VERY SHORT! This feels like the time we listened to the Magna Carter…Holy Grail album by Jay Z and found songs like Beach Is Better and Versus, just when you thought Hov was about to go in, the song was done. Now just like the way the album recompenses for the ‘Missing bars’ by having great songs like Picasso Baby and Oceans among others, Koby’s bars are ample on this song.
This unquestionably sounds like a primer to an epoch because before he takes you on a ride to where he knows he is going, he tells you where he is coming from and does it in a way that is apt. Koby does the most when he is pensive and this is a shining example.
On this striking song, Koby talks about the woes of being a person of interest. Weaving his way through all the perquisites that come with it which encompasses a very fast life that is not for the faint hearted. He asserts that it won’t get to him, that part of the song in itself mirrors a show of meekness that stems from him knowing where he stands in the game right now. He is among giants, he knows he is one but is waiting for that big moment and he is kitting himself. The hook is spellbinding! We’ve heard him sing before but this is by far his best attempt at putting the phone down and not calling Paul Da’ Prince to do it for him.
He bares his soul on this record, in the process letting everyone in on the stream of consciousness that exists under his dreadlocks.
2. 4 (Featuring B Mak & Slapdee)
A song simply titled “4” was Koby’s breakout single in a way, it received favorable airplay and was applauded by many for bringing out the best in the people that feature on it, B Mak and Slapdee, two seasoned rappers that were given a run for their money by this new school cat that conveniently sandwiched his verse between theirs.
Koby knew this was going to be an imperative record for Zambian HipHop and also knew the raps were going to be tiered so he brought out some great quotables that substantiated that you don’t have to be the guy closest to the ceiling to stand tall.
1. Last Time
This is probably his most relatable song to date because we have all had that “one-too-many” drinking spree where we got fucked up and asserted to never go down that route again but found ourselves back at it, Koby provides the soundtrack to that and its superb.
Everything about the record speaks for itself, from the hook to the solid verses on to the impeccable beat which was produced by Roc Beats (Produced Slapdee’s Man In The Mirror, which is undoubtedly the man’s best song of 2015). The beat was great for Koby because it has trap rudiments that are germane to the current state of Hip-Hop but still strings along the soul that he is fond of hoarding in the bulk of his body of work.
This record is everything.