Khari Owens is a rapper based in Oakland, California. Under the moniker MusicbyKO, he wields a barebones, but thoughtfully poignant artistic identity that encompasses a debut EP, a follow-up full-length, and over 170 thousand Soundcloud streams to boot. In a two-year span, such drive has catalyzed his consistent festival run as opener for high profile acts such as JID, Earthgang, and numerous others. Using his widespread acclaim, Owens strives for his relatable lyrics to resonate genuinely, as well as offer something refreshing for his listeners.
Owens’ latest single, “Gotta Go,” offers a short, yet far from scant continuation of old-school flair on a modern rhythmic foundation. His matter-of-fact tonality fits well amidst the smooth, 70s-inspired synths, carrying a decent overall flow. From a thematic sense, I found Owens’ leanings to highlight the flawed, generally erratic nature expressed by group mentality at large. In doing so, he sufficiently represents the urge to move forward in spite of life’s constantly unpredictable obstacles. Thus far, MusicbyKO has created a solid output to bolster his showcase of talent, and I look forward to seeing how he expands it further.