Forging his path as a member of the UK rap community since 2017, South London native Kaniva is no stranger to the microphone. A seasoned freestyler, the London rapper has built his name by igniting excitement within the minds and hearts of his audience with his impassioned cadence and brazen one-liners.
While 2020 has seen him more intently lean into the drill sound he began experimenting with last year, this new project reintroduces some of Kaniva’s earlier soundscapes; including beat selections of the more melodic variety.
Regardless of tempo, instrumental, or genre, the one thing that shines through is Kaniva’s ability to tell stories; eloquently painting vivid scenes with his words – and let’s not brush past the rapper’s bravado.
This assertiveness and witty wordplay, that of course add to the effortlessness of his delivery, are a natural element of his sonic appeal. Throughout the EP the rapper exhibits a sense of self-belief which is so infectious, that even as a new listener you are nudged into the idea of following suit.
His confidence, however, is not without merit. During the course of 2020 and even prior Kaniva has accumulated a shopping list of accolades worth shouting about comprising of sponsored shoots with both Ellesse and Adidas, in addition to opening the Sunday show at Wireless connect.
The lyrist’s content thus far has often reflected the ups and downs of real-life settings, with the latest addition to his narrative appearing to be centred on growth, maturity, and manhood. With subject matters including career progression within music, friendship, and the rapper’s interactions within women, “2” is an expressive exploration of Kaniva’s personality, personal development and irrefutable talent.
Opening with a mid-tempo, arguably conversational tone, track one, “Who’s He?” provides listeners with a brief summary of Kaniva’s current mindset and focus. The highlight of this song outside of the ease of delivery for me was it’s ad-libs, which were loosely reminiscent of the encouragement one would hope to receive from your friends during a studio session. While “Good Evening” was a track for the streets and “Cassaniva” one for ladies, my personal favourite was “Imagine”.
Diving beneath the surface for a more in-depth look at his career to date amidst a flurry of snares and electronic riffs, the track was a great way of highlighting that you don’t need a sombre beat selection for an honest introspective discussion.
Now two projects deep, 2020 is shaping up to an exciting year for the London rapper, with “2” representing an enticing warm up to the presumed greatness that is sure to come.