This is the 6th full-length album from Detroit emcee Kovax. Beginning to catch my interest when he opened up for the Last American Rock Stars at the release party for their MNE-backed self-titled debut, he then left me highly impressed with his previous effort Manifestor fully produced by Middle Finger Music co-founder Foul Mouth the following summer due to the eclectic range of sounds throughout from horrorcore to jazz rap & trap as well as the strong lyricism throughout. But as the 4 year anniversary of that previous body of work approaches in a couple months, Kovax is making a Komplex return.
“Posthumous” opens the album with a eerie trap anthem declaring to be back from the bottom whereas “Sights Set” takes the rap rock route thanks to Onry Ozzborn talking about taking all he needs with him to the target of his ambition. The title track has a chill boom bap approach to it admitting that he ain’t nothing like his brothers or cousins prior to “Isolation Tapes” blends some guitars, kicks & snares courtesy of DJ Los detailing his personal rigors of dealing with life during the 1st of 2 COVID lockdowns & all that came with it.
Moving forward to “Zip Zoom”, we have Kovax over a more bassier instrumental telling him to give him anything that’ll get him fucked up just before “Aura Glow” brings it back to a more boom bap sound with some keyboard melodies woven in. “Super Like” however has a peppier groove to the beat bragging that he just had to get laid, but then “Old Fashioned Blood” with Sankofa finds the pair over a dusty Marv Won instrumental spitting that hardcore shit.
Marv eventually hops on the mic too on the dreary “Chet Steadman” comparing their flows to the Rookie of the Year character until longtime collaborators J Bone & Big Dude reunite throughout “Simpin’” by delivering a quirkily comedic ballad about lust. “Steve ‘54” however ends the album with a sample-based tribute to his father.
Manifestor is still my favorite album of Vax’s yet that doesn’t change the fact that Komplex is still a worthy follow-up looking into the Detroit emcee’s rapidly changing, explosive creativity as some of his best songs to date reveal themselves here. The production pulls from pop, boom bap, trap & rock focusing more on real life stories, punch lines, catchy hooks & double time cadances.