Malibu Ken – Self-titled (Album Review)

Malibu Ken is a new duo consisting of indietronica producer Tobacco out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania & legendary New York wordsmith Aesop Rock. They announced their formation late last year & after a few singles, they’re delivering their full-length debut with the help of Rhymesayers Entertainment.

The album kicks off with “Corn Maze”, where Rock talks about privacy over an 8-bit sounding instrumental. The song “Tuesday” describes an average titular day over a druggy beat while the track “Save Our Ship” gets cryptic over some synths & guitars. The song “Sword Box” spits battle bars over some haunting synths while the track “Dog Years” looks back at his youth over another 8-bit sounding beat.

The song “Acid King” vividly recalls the story of his friend Gary being murdered over a minimal synth instrumental while the track “Suicide Big Gulp” seems to be discussing depression over a synth-funk beat. The song “1+1=13” talks about luck over a spacious beat while the track “Churro” vividly talks about an eagle killing a cat over over a trippy beat. The album then finishes off with “Purple Moss”, where Aes goes back to a more introspective approach over a somber beat.

Overall, this is a pretty solid album. It’s too short only running at 34 minutes, but Aesop Rock’s lyricism is more intelligent than ever & Tobacco’s synthesizer heavy production suits his stories very well.

Score: 8/10

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